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Thoughts from our members

Satisfaction levels and why they would recommend start network membership

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The Start Network’s 2020 Member Assembly Representative Survey has revealed some key insights into satisfaction levels amongst our membership, reasons why members would encourage other organisations to join the Start Network and feedback on how we can improve our programmes.

Most members are satisfied with their membership of the Start Network, especially around opportunities for learning and innovation.

Of the forty members who recently took part in the survey, 93% were satisfied with their membership of the Start Network (48% ‘very satisfied’).

Those that were very satisfied specifically mentioned Start Network’s drive for innovation, and the opportunities for partnership and learning.

“It’s a very interesting collaboration between different members and I think that the Start Network is always pushing for new mechanisms and new ways of working” Carlota Ruiz, Alima

“I value the partnership. Their uniqueness in being available all the time for any learning and advice is great. They are also able to respond to emergencies very rapidly, which is really good.” Rabia Sabri, Community World Service Asia

This learning was seen to have tangible impacts for members, “it really sharpened our own thinking as well and it has added value on how we organise ourselves and do humanitarian aid and this has been a great learning for people in our organisation” Wim den Hartog, Dorcas; “we pushed our boundaries, explored different types of emergency responses together with other Start Network members.” Muslim Aid

Members suggested that the Start Network should ensure that tangible benefits of membership improve with more engagement with members and rationalised communication streams.

One member encouraged more collective learning, “It needs to institutionalise more on the learning process and how we use those learnings to influence the broader humanitarian sector. The network as a whole tends to focus on individual organisational benefits, and we need to work on the collective side.” Nick Guttman, Christian Aid

Another member felt that efforts on such collaboration must come from individual members:

“…what more could we be getting from Start Network? I don’t mean as in us getting benefit from Start directly but how it could be beneficial for us how Start influences the sector… I think the way we can get more is by engaging more … it’s up to the membership.” Richard Corbett, Oxfam GB

Most members would recommend similar humanitarian organisations to join the Start Network, mentioning in particular the value of the collective, and the potential for influencing the sector, especially around localisation.

82% of the members who took part in the survey would recommend similar humanitarian organisations to join the Start Network (65% ‘strongly’).

Various reasons were given.

Some felt particularly passionate about the opportunity posed for the sector by the expansion of the network in terms of the development of hubs:

“There is a lot of promise; especially at the country levels, in the hubs, there are lot of opportunities. We get to explore what is the best role of local, national and international organizations and how we can work together collectively. It also allows us to promote diversity and, especially for international organizations, define how our role needs to change based on our respective strengths.” Jennifer Poidatz, Catholic Relief Services

Many mentioned the power of the collective:

“It’s basically benefitting from the collective ideas and by engaging with other members. It is not only about funding always but an exchange about the systems and how can we improve together.”

“When more agencies buy-in. It helps in demonstrating its value in not only reaching out to more people with collective efforts but also in convincing the donors that it’s an approach that could work for the humanitarian sector” Dr. Normann Steinmaier

One member from a small organisation touched on the empowerment offered by being a member of the network: “For me, the network is a privilege which helps small organizations achieve big things.” Erika Glanz, Cadena

Members felt strongly about building the membership of smaller organisations and diversifying donors.

Members noted that if the membership were to expand, it should do so bearing in mind the Start Network’s commitments to diversity and localisation, “I think there are enough INGOs in the network, but there should be more local organizations in order to reflect the localization agenda” Maeve O’Sullivan, HelpAge International

Members also spoke about diversification of the funding, with one member stating, “We are doing more than recommending Start Network to local organizations. We are also trying to recommend Start network to local donor agencies to support the Start Network and show how important it is to support this mechanism and show what we have learned from Start Network.” Fatima Zahra Bakkari, Qatar Charity

One member felt that increasing the number of local organisations in the membership was key to diversifying funding, “When more agencies buy-in. It helps in demonstrating its value in not only reaching out to more people with collective efforts but also in convincing the donors that it’s an approach that could work for the humanitarian sector.” War Child

Read more about membership of Start Network.

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  • by Jane Devine