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Hub Proof of Concept - Six Lessons in Six Months

Date added

19 August 2020

Summary

This paper is not an evaluation. It is an exploration of the constraints, challenges, and opportunities that have emerged during the first phase of the proof of concept.

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After a visioning exercise in 2017 by hundreds of contributors from across the network and beyond, Start Network imagined a bold new future called Start Evolves. The vision was for a distributed network of national and regional hubs, that would shift power, decisions, resources, and collective action closer to crises. Five hubs were selected in 2019 to be in the first cohort of founding hubs, to grow and learn together about what it takes to deliver the vision and scale it across the network. 

The proof of concept phase is the initial 18 month period for the founding hubs and Start Network to explore and build the basic infrastructure, processes, values, and practices needed to launch local hubs. As a time of constant questioning, examination, and learning it will provide foundational insights to guide the founding of future hubs.

What has happened so far?

Though some hubs have been working since 2017, the five hubs were convened as a cohort for the first time at the end of 2019, to build a shared vision for humanitarian systems change. They each created a theory of change and business case with their local constituents, which was approved by the Start Board in March 2020.

Start Network and the hubs have been developing processes and policies for governance, incubation funding, partnership agreements, membership, program development, and collaborative fundraising. These outcomes are goalposts during the design. Simultaneously, hubs have been building their own internal governance, communication, and membership systems.

This paper is not an evaluation. It is an exploration of the constraints, challenges, and opportunities that have emerged during the first phase of the proof of concept.

Download the paper