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International NGOs collaborating on humanitarian surge in Asia

Date added

07 July 2017

Summary

Mutual trust is vital in collaboration, and collaboration is what the Transforming Surge Capacity Project aims to achieve, to ultimately improve the quality of emergency responses in Asia. 

Read the full case study


Location: Asia

 

Project: Transforming Surge Capacity - part of the Asia Regional Platform

 

Background:

In 2015, the Transforming Surge Capacity project gathered seven INGOs in Asia to form a platform that would promote collaboration, learning, and most importantly, new approaches to surge responses in the region. Two years later, the platform has turned into a vibrant group of surge professionals from various countries in the region, who managed to jointly create the shared surge roster Go Team Asia, which allows international NGOs to share humanitarian response capacity and jointly build regional surge capacity at an unprecedented level. Be it through democratic decision-making, rotational leadership, or innovative means of communication, the Asia Regional Platform has outlined the ways in which it was able to achieve such mutual trust in its latest case study.

Impact:

Through building trust, the project’s Asia platform has enabled INGOs to pool their staff resources – a rare instance of productive collaboration at the regional level. The first deployment from the Go Team Asia roster, which allowed the placement of a logistics expert from Save the Children to Christian Aid’s local team and partners in response to Cyclone Vardah, allowed an efficient use of scarce resources, and mutual learning that contributed to the quality of the response.

Creating a shared roster like Go Team Asia was not an easy task, but through the project, INGOs produced shared standards and agreements, in a unique example of joint HR capacity. This set of standards also provides fundamental bases for future inter-INGO collaboration in Asia, by showing that it is possible, and even beneficial, for INGOs to work together on certain aspects. “Working with people with different experiences made us realise that we should find a common line for certain situations,” notes Ram Kishan, Regional Emergency Manager at Christian Aid and member of the platform.

Through joint trainings, simulation exercises and learning events, the Asia platform also enabled new relationships to be formed between staff across the humanitarian sector. This enabled valuable learning to be shared across agencies, regardless of their different mandates or ways of working. “Everyone involved in the project believes in the project, and has tried to break down their own barriers to work together,” says Sumant Kumar, Regional HR and OD Business Partner at Plan International and also a platform member. Learning about collaboration, cultural sensitivity, gender equality and teamwork was cited as one of the most valuable learning members got from the Asia Regional Platform.

Such levels of exchanges and collaboration were made possible through innovative ways of working, coordinated both by the Platform Coordinator and the Roster Coordinator; from ensuring everyone’s voice is heard, to creating ownership, or communicating in innovative ways.

Read more about the collaboration achieve in Asia in the full case study of the Asia Regional Platform.

To find out more about the platform, please contact the Regional Platform Coordinator Lisa Joerke.

To find out more about the Go Team Asia shared roster, please contact Hamad Latif, Regional Roster Coordinator. 

Read the full case study