Humanitarian Financing: Pooled funding – how can NGOs engage?

So, good morning, good afternoon, good evening,
good very early morning I think to some of you who I see joining us from the US very
glad that all of you are able to be here with us today. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m
Angharad Laing, I’m the executive director of PHAP, which is short for the International
Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection. I am very pleased, once again, to be serving
as co-host together with Melissa Pitotti, Head of Policy at ICVA, for this event which
is third in the Learning Stream series on humanitarian financing being jointly organized
by ICVA and PHAP. Today, we’ll be looking at the topic of
pooled funding. I’m very excited personally to see so many
of you here for this discussion. I see there are now well over a hundred people
with us in this large virtual room and really joining from all over the world. I also noticed in the poll that we had open
at the beginning of the event in the waiting room, if you will, it looked like the majority
of you do have some familiarity with the topic, but are really eager to learn more. So I’m pleased that all of you are able
to join us and very much hope, and expect, that we’ll be able to have a really practical
and useful discussion here today for all of you. So I’d like to introduce Melissa, and invite
her to say a few words here to start us off and then we’ll move into a few technical
points before starting the session. Thank you, Angharad. For those of who don’t know, ICVA is an
international network of NGOs that are dedicated to principled and effective humanitarian action. Many of us are trying to learn more about
humanitarian financing. In our last two webinars, we focused on the
overall humanitarian financing landscape and then we also looked at humanitarian financing
through partnerships UN agencies and NGOs. Today’s live learning session will focus
on pooled funding mechanisms, with a focus on country-based pooled funds, which some
of us call CBPFs, and pooled funds managed by NGOs. Okay great, thanks so much Melissa, and great
to be co-hosting with you once again. So then, without further ado, we’ll move
into the topic for today’s session. We are looking today at the topic of pooled
funding, as mentioned. Pooled funds have enabled more timely and
flexible funding for responding to sudden crises and have made it possible to operate
in otherwise underfunded emergency settings. Today we’re going to not only cover OCHA’s
country-based pooled funds, which will be referred to as the CBPFs, but also funds led
by NGOs, such as the Start Fund, which is providing a quick alternative avenue for NGOs
to access timely humanitarian funding. I’ll pass it over to Melissa if she’d
like to add anything as we get going. You might remember if you participated in
our first webinar on the humanitarian financing landscape that we talked about something called
the CERF, which is the Central Emergency Response Fund. That fund is managed by OCHA; it’s a pooled
funding mechanism that many NGOs can access but only indirectly through partnerships with
UN agencies. Since the CERF is not directly accessible
to NGOs, for this webinar we are focusing specifically on pooled funding sources that
can be accessed directly by NGOs. Excellent. Thanks, Melissa. Very important point of clarification regarding
the scope of the discussion today. So now, we’ve identified four key learning
objectives that we’re committed to trying to cover with you today, so I’ll just quickly
go over those. First objective is to build awareness of the
different existing pooled funds and familiarity both with their purpose and their origins,
which can be important also for understanding the dynamics and the possibilities for access
on the part of NGOs. Second, building understanding of how NGOs
can access the main pooled finance methods, including the CBPFs, as mentioned, and NGO-led
pooled funds. Third, awareness of the main challenges and
opportunities for NGOs to access pooled funding. And finally, knowledge of the different sources
of information that you can go to on an ongoing basis regarding humanitarian pooled funding
possibilities. Melissa, if you wouldn’t mind perhaps introducing
today’s speakers. I’d be happy to. First, we want to introduce Fernando Hesse. Fernando is currently participating in a webinar
and it’s very early in the morning for him, so we really appreciate it. He works with OCHA in New York, in partnership
and policy matters related to the OCHA-managed country-based pooled funds. He’s worked with the UN since 1997. He’s worked in context that are working
humanitarian operations in Peru, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Indonesia, and Egypt, prior
to transferring to the OCHA operations division at the headquarters. In 2014, he joined the funding coordination
section, which oversees the global operations and management of CBPFs. He was instrumental in supporting the reconfiguration
of the section following the introduction of major oversight and accountability frameworks. Currently, as the head of policy and partnerships
unit in FCS, he has been working on the analysis and development of humanitarian financing
policy and at enhancing partnerships with major CBPF stakeholders, including donors,
but also NGOs, and that’s how we got to know Fernando at the ICVA network. I’d also like to introduce Ben Garbutt. He’s the humanitarian funding advisor at
Oxfam, an international NGO that is represented at the country-led pooled fund working group
and co-chairs the NGO dialogue platform on country-based pooled funds. Before that, he was a regional funding coordinator
for Oxfam as well, and ICVA network is quite grateful to Oxfam for playing such an active
role in trying to promote NGO understanding of country-based pooled funds. I’d also like to introduce Deepak Sardiwal. Deepak currently works as a Start Fund officer
for the Start Network. Deepak has been in this role since September,
and he works with members on a daily basis to provide a brokering service and drive the
fund’s decision-making processes within the 72-hour timeframe. Previously, Deepak was a humanitarian analyst
on the Global Humanitarian Assistance programme and led data analysis for the GHA report in
2015. For those of you who were in our webinar the
first time, you heard a lot about the GHA report. I’d also like to introduce Rezaul Karim
Chowdhury. Rezaul is the executive director of the Coastal
Association for Social Transformation Trust, otherwise known as COAST. He has expertise over many disciplines, such
as promoting appropriate technology in the coastal belt, sustainable microfinance, advocacy,
policy influencing, policy research, and disaster management. He’s going to share with us today his experience
in accessing pooled funding. Due to his current attendance in the COP22
in Marrakech, we recorded his intervention and we’ll be playing that together today
with his presentation and if you have specific questions directed for Rezaul, we will try
to facilitate those answers after the webinar. Great, thanks so much Melissa, and we will
get started now by giving the floor to you Fernando. Great, thank you. So country-based pooled funds are multi-donor
humanitarian financing instruments established by the Emergency Relief Coordinator which
allow governments and private donors alike to pool their contributions to support specific
emergencies. NGOs, UN agencies, and other humanitarian
partners in the field have access to the pooled funds in both sudden onset and prolonged humanitarian
situations. A unifying concept for country-based pooled
funds is that centralizing the fund resources and their allocation, and that the leadership
of the humanitarian coordinator on the ground brings the different aspects of the humanitarian
response together in one channel. With the name of CBPFs – I will try not
to use acronyms as much. But as mentioned before, we will also refer
to country-based pooled funds as CBPFs. So the main aim of them focus on three outcomes. One is the strength and leadership of the
humanitarian coordinator. Two, more resources mobilized and better coordination
of the use in support of the humanitarian planning framework. And three, funding priority humanitarian needs
that are identified through an inclusive and participatory process that also involves national
nongovernmental organizations. The overall impact of CBPFs is therefore improved
effectiveness of the humanitarian response the provision of timely, coordinated, and
principled assistance to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity. Country-based pooled funds are guided by the
fundamental humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence. Building on those pillars, the principles
of inclusiveness, flexibility, timeliness, and efficiency, underpin how CBPFs function
and are demonstrated through the country-level process. On inclusiveness, the CBPFs have managed to
include the national and international actors in meaningful ways in governance and strategy,
as well as possible funding. Flexibility refers to the recognition that
the programmatic focus and funding priorities of CBPFs are set at the country level and
may shift rapidly, especially in volatile humanitarian contexts. Timeliness of CBPFs as response mechanisms
follow their ability to allocate funds and save lives as humanitarian needs emerge or
escalate. And finally efficiency, by which CBPFs enable
timely responses to prioritized humanitarian needs. Strategy and operation of country-based pooled
funds have adapted to allow me the single approach to all forms of emergency response
in the Humanitarian Programme Cycle. The Humanitarian Programme Cycle and the development
of the country-specific Humanitarian Response Plans, HRPs, and the leadership of the humanitarian
coordinator on the ground, make it possible to quantify the needs in a coordinated planning
process. The pooled funds operating within the coordination
framework are now adaptable to meet changing conditions on the ground. And this slide represents just a summary of
the main actions that OCHA is leading and that are aligned with the World Humanitarian
Summit and Grand Bargain commitments. To promote a more predictable and accessible
funding makes for the delivery of HRPs, Humanitarian Response Plans, and leverages the comparative
advantage of local and national responders. A Secretary General’s Agenda for Humanity
called for increasing the overall portion of humanitarian pooled funding channeled through
CBPFs to 15 percent. OCHA is committed to optimize the nimbleness
and speed of CBPFs to enable a more effective humanitarian response and empower local and
national NGO partners in the programming and delivery of assistance. These will require a concerted efforts to
diversify the donor base and reach out to new sources of funding. That was a brief introduction to Country Based
Pooled Funds, we come now to the process for NGOs. So which organizations are eligible to apply
for country-based pooled funds? National and international NGOs, as well as
the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and UN agencies. CBPFs are the largest source of direct funding
for national and local NGOs. In 2015, CBPFs received almost 600 million
in contributions and 60 percent of the funding was allocated to NGOs, of which almost 20
percent went directly to national NGOs—about 85 million dollars, we’re talking—and
this is more than half of the total amount globally provided directly to national NGOs. These active country-based pooled funds are
the mechanisms used to receive contributions from multiple financial partners and allocate
such resources to multiple implementing entities to support specific priorities, as mentioned
before, aligned with the Humanitarian Programme Cycle. In protracted crises, CBPFs can also tackle
interventions with a resilience approach so long as this has been prioritized at the country
level. Potential regional partners can become CBPF
implementing partners in the countries where CBPFs are in place, as you can see in this
slide. National NGOs and international NGOs can become
implementing partners once they have been assessed for capacity and risk by the OCHA
Humanitarian Financing Unit and meet the criteria assigned. CBPFs require that NGOs go through a process
to identify and analyze their capacity that allows to make an assessment of particular
grant modalities that may be possible for the NGO. Through the capacity assessment process, OCHA
aims to expand access to CBPFs to a broader variety partners, as well as a way to reward
good performance and great management over time. Capacity assessments are carried out under
the coordination of OCHA country offices and should take place before an application for
funding is submitted. The assessment aims at determining whether
an NGO has a sufficient level of capacity in terms of institutional, managerial, financial,
and technical expertise. Regional partners are then graded as either:
(1) high risk, (2) medium risk, or (3) low risk. The risk level determines the minimum control
mechanisms applied throughout the grant management cycle and this will determine the level of
disbursements, maximum amount of project proposals, project duration, reporting requirement, and
the monitoring that will be in place. CBPFs are the largest source of direct funding
for national and local NGOs, as I mentioned before, and this is the most recent data for
allocations of this year as of November 8th, so just from yesterday. A total 18 member states had pledged or contributed
549 million to the country-based pooled funds in 2016. In terms of funds already disbursed 492 million
to relief partners in 17 countries where they are operational. 46 percent of the funds have been allocated
to international NGOs and 18 percent to national NGOs. So now, for additional information — Fernando, this is Melissa with ICVA. We just got a really good question, so I hope
you don’t mind if we can pause for a second. With regard to your discussion on capacity
assessments, which is a very important issue that we’ve been talking about a variety
of fora, James Davy is asking about the capacity assessment; why is it done at a country level,
when, for example, international NGOs that have regional offices or headquarters offices
outside of that particular country operation might have some additional capacities elsewhere? Do you mind answering that? Yeah. If I get that question correctly, it’s related
to having in-country-specific capacity assessments for those organizations that have already
global presence or regional presence, is that correct? Right, they might have capacity elsewhere
that’s supporting as you were talking about institutional capacity, managerial capacity,
technical capacity, they might have some of that capacity outside of the country where
the capacity is being assessed. Yeah. Right now we’re still doing it at the specific
context or which capacity assessments are on a country level? Yes, so we had this discussion, for example,
UN agencies are assessed at their organizational level at an international level, but NGOs
are assessed at the country level. So could you explain why the score is only
done at the country level for international and national NGOs? Yeah, we are aware of this difference and
it’s because of being part of the UN system and having their own internal control systems. That’s where there is a difference in the
way we deal with the capacity assessments between UN agencies and NGOs. For the time being, we are doing capacity
assessment at the country level for all NGOs, regardless if they have already a presence. We’re trying to look into this and see how
we move forward, but currently, yes, with this part of the accountability framework
that we have and it’s done this way yet. Thank you, please proceed. Okay, so just in terms of additional information
available, one is related to the Grants Management System, the GMS, which is a standard platform
for the management of all country-based pooled funds. Implementing partners use this interface to
submit project proposals and reports, and OCHA coordinates project reviews and monitor
partner performance. The system captures evaluation results, tracks
timelines, and promotes accountability in humanitarian response. OCHA maintains a system-wide overview of all
funds enabling support and coordination, and provides real-time fund information for stakeholders. As part of the GMS the business intelligence
is a tool that displays the data in a meaningful and useful structure which helps users to
analyze the ongoing business process with a consolidated view. I would invite you to go to the GMS and then
go into the business intelligence section and really see the latest data, it’s real-time
data, that you will be able to see on the overall country-based pooled funds. Finally, just to touch upon the CBPF global
guidelines, which are the set of documents which outline the principles, objectives,
and functioning of CBPFs, and which were approved in January 2015, and since that that we’ve
really been making great strides in improving the operational flexibility worldwide. These guidelines include on the one hand policy
instruction, which provides an overview of the principles, objectives, governance, and
management arrangements for CBPFs. And then also the operational handbook that
provides a complete set of technical guidelines, tools, and templates in the management of
CBPFs. The global guidelines are mandatory for all
CBPFs. The operational guidelines contained in the
handbook represent minimum standards for management arrangement that must apply to all CBPFs. Each country-based pooled fund will develop
country-specific operational manners based on the operational handbook. The minimum standard will be these guidelines
which are used at the global level and you can check them also on our website or we can
send them to you if you require. I will leave it there for the time being and
look forward to the questions later. That’s excellent. Thank you so much, Fernando. We do have several more questions coming in,
but we’ll be better off saving them for the end, as you say, and we’ll move now
directly into the presentation from Ben Garbutt coming to us from Oxfam. Great to have you here, Ben. We will have the floor over to you. Thanks very much, Angharad, and thank you
to Melissa, as well. Thanks PHAP for the opportunity to speak. I assume since no one is interruption me,
you can all hear me loud and clear. It’s great to be following Fernando, with
whom we work so closely, so thanks for your presentation Fernando. And wonderful, as I might add, to see so many
people here, some that I recognize, and more than 140 participants which leaves me feeling
slightly overawed, because I know that there’s so much experience in the room, but also leaves
me looking forward to a good interaction with you as well. I’ve only been given five to ten minutes
on this, and I have a lot to run through, and I’m already taking up my own time, so
let’s skip on then. I’ve been asked to speak to you about four
things. Firstly, the benefits of accessing CBPFs. Secondly, the challenges to accessing and
some of the recent improvements in accessing CBPFs. That’s where I’m going to spend most of
my time [is] on that second aspect. Thirdly, I’m going to give you just one
or two very quick helpful tips in accessing CBPFs. Since I’m here, I’m taking advantage of
squeezing in a short advert about the NGO dialogue platform on pooled funds which is
actually related to what I’m talking about so don’t worry about that. So let me move on quickly. The benefits of accessing CBPFs. I’m going to skip through this quite quickly
because Fernando has already spoken quite a lot about this. I’ve got three areas. Firstly, let’s remember that donor contributions
to CBPFs are un-earmarked, which is of course one of the commitments within the grand bargain
for donors. Local advisory boards and the whole of the
CBPF framework and structure should ensure that the funding is sent to the most under-resourced
and priority areas in a response. Of course, it’s related to the Humanitarian
Response Plan as well, so it should be done in that manner. Leading to the second point, which is that
the CBPFs should introduce an element of coordination and efficiency. The improved coordination should facilitate
an inclusive and efficient humanitarian response on the ground. That’s the theory. No one’s claiming that it happens systematically,
of course, but I think that CBPFs and their relationship to the HRPs does help the overall
coordination and efficiency of the response. Thirdly, and feel free if you have a different
experience of this to shoot me down on this one, but there is an element in which you
could argue that CBPFs are administratively-light. There’s these new global guidelines that
were introduced last year and they aimed to ensure that CBPFs are not as administratively-heavy
as they might have been in the past, especially in comparison with other donors perhaps. Again, I’m not claiming in all cases CBPFs
are administratively-light, but I think there have been great steps taken through the introduction
and following the global guidelines to ensure that administration levels are reduced for
those that are accessing CBPFs. So here’s where I’m going to spend most
of my time on challenges to accessing and some of the recent improvements to CBPFs. I’m going to start off with that comment,
or that topic, of access. Fernando has already had a question on this,
but one topic that’s really dominated some of the strategic discussions about CBPFs has
been the partner capacity assessments. Let me talk about some of the main challenges
in bullet point form. Some of the challenges that NGOs have faced
include timing, deadline setting, short turnaround times, and receipt of guidance on the PCA
process. There have been issues of engagement related
to the sharing of results and at times NGOs have felt the feedback on the process has
been weak. Sometimes there have been technical issues
with the online system or language barriers, but most importantly there’s also some frequent
challenge that we face that’s a large volume of documents and procedures that’s required
during the PCA process. Sometimes, although NGOs are producing this
documentation, the usefulness of it is not necessarily clear. Those are some of the challenges. What improvements have we seen? Well, the approach to PCAs included in the
new guidelines aims to minimize any unnecessary burden. Of course, there is an element of flexibility
within the PCA process, so each country can do it in a different way. And I thought I would add a little color in
terms of improvements [or] in terms of giving you some experience and examples from the
field. So we had a program manager from Yemen praising
OCHA for promoting an open-door strategy to reach out to local and national partners. In recognition, that some of the national
partners might have difficulty in submitting the PCA processing and passing that process. In doing that, OCHA, well, we’re obviously
looking for more national partners, we’re able to discuss with local and international
NGOs how to improve access for local and national partners by ensuring that they can pass the
PCA process. There’s some proactive work being done by
OCHA in countries to ensure that partners can pass the PCA process. We’ve also had experience from a Syrian
civil society organization praising the process in saying that it gave him an opportunity
to gain knowledge on minimal standards and regulations, human resource policies, financial
systems, etc., especially given the fact that some of the civil society organizations in
that country are relatively new relative to some other international NGOs, and therefore
that PCA process gave them that knowledge and understanding. I’m not going to paint a rosy picture for
you. There are some difficulties with the process,
there are some improvements, and clearly there are improvements still to be made, as well. The next issue I’d like to raise is about
speed, and I’m going to rush on a little bit because I’m taking up too much time—talking
of speed—some of the challenges that NGOs are faced in speed are mainly in two places:
how quickly applications are processed and how quickly funds are dispersed. That’s not to say there aren’t speed issues
elsewhere, in terms of how quickly a call for proposals is put out, for example, just
that those are the main two areas. Now some of the improvements, OCHA have actually
committed to some speed-related targets. So there’s a target now of 50 days as the
average number of days for processing applications for sudden and unforeseen emergencies. There’s also a target of 85 percent in terms
of the percentage of disbursements from CBPFs to implementing partners made within 10 days. Whether you agree whether those targets are
sufficient or not, there’s some definite progress in introducing those targets. I’m not entirely sure how well OCHA have
attained those targets yet. I don’t know if Fernando has those figures
at his fingertips, but he might be able to update us later, perhaps. Moving on, flexibility of the country-based
pooled funds. We’ve had two types of challenges on this. The first is in backdating. This is because grant agreements couldn’t
be backdated, there were delays in process and often cited as being detrimental in reducing
the time within which an NGO can implement a project. The new guidelines partly address this challenge. For the time being, backdating still is not
possible, but implementing partners can suggest a project start date which is different from
the agreement date just in case they need to wait for the first disbursement to enable
them to start a project. So some progress, but we could make more progress,
obviously. The second challenge on flexibility has been
in terms of changes to the project; changes of more than 15 percent to a project budget
require the HC’s approval. That can take a little bit of time. The new guidelines, again, partly address
this challenge. There’s a clearer budget structure and template
which aims to ensure that implementing partners reduce, in principle, the likeliness of variations. Unfortunately, that requirement for HC’s
approval still isn’t reduced, but [it’s] minor progress within the new guidelines which
we can seek to build on. I’m whizzing through this. I hope you’re all still with me. Some quick top tips for you in accessing CBPFs
and these are very quick, so bear with me. The first is to engage. It sounds very simple, I know, engage with
your local audit team and with the cluster mechanism, but you’d be very surprised at
how often I find complaints at there being something wrong with the CBPF mechanism without
there having been a dialogue in country about it. I would say don’t limit yourself to simply
trying to access the cash. For example, what seats are available on the
advisory board, at a local level, or what access do you have to those who are on the
advisory board? Or how often are you communicating your program
requirements to OCHA or others through the cluster system? The second is to empower yourself. I’ve talked about it at several times and
so has Fernando earlier, but you can empower yourself by reading and understanding the
global guidelines. It’s the single most important document
you can read to understand country-based pooled funds. If you’re seeking to engage, then why haven’t
you read it and understood it? The third is to elevate. So if there is an issue or a problem that
needs to be sorted that you’re finding isn’t sorted at country level, there are options
for you to elevate that issue to an above-country level as well. That brings me very neatly on to my quick
advert about the NGO dialogue platform on pooled funds. I have a question, I think. Yes, Ben. We have some very relevant questions to your
slide that you just had about engaging. We have received some questions from people
who have challenges in terms of access, for example, with the partner capacity assessment,
in terms of heavy administrative processes, you had mentioned earlier to focus on getting
light processes. We also had questions, for example, from Omwenge
in the DRC, and Anita in Uganda about to what extent national and local NGOs can be involved
in decision-making processes affecting allocation decisions. Where should these issues be taken up because
you have just mentioned engaging at the country level and you mentioned escalating or elevating,
could you talk a little bit about that? Yeah, sure. At a country level, there are NGO representatives
on the advisory board. You should be able to find out who they are,
OCHA will be able to you tell you in-country, and you can elevate your issue by going through
them. If you’re finding that, for example, you
think the processes that are outlined in the global guidelines aren’t being followed,
or you’re finding some deviation, you can go through the advisory board to do that. Transparency, actually, is an issue that I
didn’t raise: the transparency of process. It’s often one that rears its head as well. The global guidelines are very clear. They lay out very clearly allocation mechanisms. Actually you can see the word transparency
literally written all over that section on allocation mechanisms. So, if you find that that isn’t being stuck
to, you can seek recourse through the local advisory board. Or if you’re finding this a consistent problem
that isn’t being addressed or a consistent problem in more than one country, you can
come through the NGO dialogue platform on country-based pooled funds, which actually
leads me into this section. So if that’s okay, I’ll move on, Melissa. Yes, please, it’s quite relevant. Yup. So the NGO dialogue platform on pooled funds. I’m going to give you a what is it, who’s
invited, and when does it happen. It was essentially created so that OCHA can
have an opportunity to connect and share feedback about global-level changes and trends about
country-based pooled funds, and so that NGOs have the opportunity to offer feedback. So you can see here it’s an internal forum
for regular dialogue between OCHA and NGOs about CBPFs. This is a place to which you can go to elevate
any issues or challenges; operational challenges, policy-level challenges, that you have with
country-based pooled funds. So, who is it? I mentioned that platform is open to all NGOs. That includes international, local, and national,
NGOs. Obviously, the purpose is to have a meaningful
dialogue so we ask that NGO representatives have relevant expertise. As you can see in the third bullet point there,
national NGOs with direct experience in country-based pooled funds are really encouraged and we
can try to facilitate participation through this platform. When is it? We have meetings twice a year, and we’ve
now introduced webinars and learning events as we go along as well on an ad hoc basis. We’re really excited that the next meeting
is the first time it’s going to be taken at neither New York or Geneva as a location. I think it’s about time we discussed operational
and strategic issues of CBPFs in an area where there are actually CBPFs. So the next meeting, you’ll see there, it’s
in Nairobi on the 2nd of December. There’s a webinar—I’ve got this date
wrong, I’ve got a week ahead of myself, there’s a webinar actually today on the
10th of November, later on, on the financial guidelines to CBPFs so an opportunity to educate
yourselves about the financial guidelines. If you want to join, and I can’t believe
I didn’t put this on the slide, you can actually write to an email address which I’m
going to put in the chat box, or I think Maya is probably online as well and she can write
this in the chat box. You can write to this email address and eventually
you will join the email group and you’ll be sent details of the next meetings, you’ll
be asked for opportunities to input into the agenda, and, of course, you’ll be given
all the links and details about how to join the webinars as well. I can’t see my writing, so I’m going to
write it in the chat box. In fact, that’s the end of my presentation
there and I’m going to give you the email address to the country-based pooled fund NGO
dialogue platform within the chat box. So I’ll finish up there, Melissa. Okay, great. Thank you so much, Ben, for the presentation
inspired a lot of discussion and, as you heard, a lot of questions, so thanks so much for
sharing with us. We’re going to move right along now to welcome
Deepak to the floor. [[38:25 DS] Deepak here. I’m from the Start Fund, an initiative under
the Start Network, it’s an absolute pleasure to be here presenting on the Start Fund at
this webinar and great to see so many people tuning in online. Before I delve into the details of the Start
Fund, I just wanted to provide some context before doing that. So we know that civil society is responsible
for the majority of front-line work during humanitarian emergencies. However, NGOs are constrained by a funding
model where it’s often difficult for them to respond until an emergency has escalated
and attracted media headlines. So in this reactive model lives are lost,
livelihoods are destroyed, and hard won development gains are undermined even before pay response
is launched. So why does the Start Fund fit into this? The Start Fund is a multi-donor-pooled rapid
response fund that allocates pre-positioned humanitarian funding within 72 hours and these
are for 45-day projects. We have currently four donors providing funding
for this: DFID, Irish Aid, the Netherlands, and most recently, ECHO, for an anticipation
window, and I’ll talk a little bit more about that later on. These donors have delegated authority to the
Start Network members to make decisions collectively on how the fund is used. A distinctive feature of the Start Fund is
that it’s collectively owned and managed by the 42 NGOs that make up the network. You saw my first slide, those 42 NGOs, these
are a mix of international and increasingly national and regional NGOs. The second part of my slide, please. So, the Start Fund is designed to enable these
NGOs and their partners to respond early and fast to three types of emergencies that you
see on your screen. Underfunded small to medium-scale emergencies
that often receive little funding, spikes in chronic humanitarian emergencies; it’s
all too often these situations do not receive attention or funding until many lives have
already been lost. The third type of crisis, or area, is forecast
of impending emergency, so this talks to the anticipation window which aims to release
funding in response to signals of a looming emergency to allow agencies to prepare and
respond before the emergency hits. This is very much a change to the traditional
model of humanitarian response which is reactive rather than proactive, where something bad
must happen before resources are mobilized. This slide here just gives you a very quick
overview of the history of the Start Fund, which falls under the Start Network setup
in 2010. The network, for those of you who have followed
our journey, you may remember that we were previously called the Consortium of British
Humanitarian Agencies and this was renamed to the Start Network in 2012. The Start Fund was officially launched in
2014. By October 2015, 10 million pounds had been
awarded through the Start Fund and then in August in year, the Start Fund responded to
its 100th emergency, and this month three new members have joined, that’s 15 new members
this year, taking the total membership to 42. Next slide, please. So how does it all work? This slide tries to show you the different
points Start Network members and their partners anticipate in the Start Fund. Any member of the network can alert the fund
to an emergency, either a looming one or one that is in motion. This is to alert, that’s been highlighted
for you there, thank you very much, and when this happens and within 24 hours a decision
is made by the Start Network on whether to provide funds to the emergency, and if so,
how much, that’s the allocation on number three that you see on the slide. If an emergency is to receive funding, members
are given 24 hours to submit project proposals and these are reviewed by members in-country
and successful projects are awarded funds. From a member alerting the network to an emergency
to be awarded funds, this all happens in 72 hours. That may explain some of the grey hair on
me, which you can’t see right now, and then after that the projects are implemented within
45 days and then afterwards members come together to reflect on the response and identify actionable
learning to take forwards. It’s this ability of the fund to respond
early and quickly to the three types of emergencies I mentioned earlier that provides its niche. While there are other funds available to NGOs,
which are complementary of course, many of these operate through longer time horizons. Key facts and figures of the Start Fund so
far. Since April 2014, the Start Fund has responded
to 128 alerts. 84 of those, or about two-thirds, have received
funding, and this has reached nearly five million people in 46 countries, and almost
19 million now has been disbursed from the fund. Just very quickly touching on some of the
main Start Fund principles: collaboration, decentralization, and diversity. So I’ll start with collaboration on the
next slide, please. So we very much believe that as a network
we can achieve more together; more together than any single organization acting alone
could accomplish. We provide platforms to enable collaborative
approached. So collaboration in terms of making decisions,
it’s the Start Network members that participate in the allocation and project selection meetings
to make joint decisions. In those allocation meetings a decision is
made on whether to provide funding to an emergency, and in those project selection meetings decisions
are taken on which projects to fund. When the fund is alerted to an emergency,
there is an online survey where every member has the opportunity to indicate whether or
not they support an allocation of funds to an emergency and also the appropriate funding
amount. So they’re all contributing to the decisions
that are made for each emergency. Then very quickly on collaboration to share
information, we have an opportunity for members to discuss and share information over Skype
about possible alerts to be alerted to the fund. In the interest of time, I’ll move on to
the next slide and talk about diversity and decentralization. We recognize that organizations come in different
sizes and types, and we very much view that as an opportunity, not as a barrier. We have a total now of 42 network members
across five continents and that includes several national NGOs working in countries where humanitarian
emergencies take place, such as Palestine, Bangladesh, Mexico, Jordan, and so forth. The Start Fund is managed by a committee that
provides strategic oversight to the fund and we have a coarse representation from outside
of Europe on that committee and I’ll speak to that point a little bit later on in my
presentation. Moving on to decentralization, and our focus
on shifting decision making to the places where emergencies happen. The decisions on which projects to fund are
made in the affected country. The Start Fund has also established standing
decision-making groups, you saw that on the timeline perhaps that I gave earlier, which
is made up of members and partners in-country. In-country is where we have a high number
of alerts, or believe there should be a high number of alerts, that have been trained on
the Start Fund process and that can be quickly mobilized to select projects if an emergency
is raised in that country. We currently have those groups in ten countries. Looking then on some possible areas of improvement;
some of the challenges that we have experienced. First of all, most Start Network members are
still based in Europe, despite that coarse representation on the committee that I mentioned
earlier, and we’re very much exploring ways to involve local and national partners more
in our process and we’re currently undertaking a review on that to help us with it. Second area of improvement I wanted to highlight,
is that we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for the Start Fund, so we’ve had as many
emergencies and been alerted to fund this year as 2014 and 2015 combined. In 2016 so far, there has been an alert, an
emergency, to the Start Fund every 4.9 days on average. The amount awarded per month, this year, is
also up by over a quarter compared to last year. This, of course, requires additional mobilization,
of not just financial resources, but also human resources. Great, so this slide here on how to access
the Start Fund, I’m sure many of you are keen on this particular slide, and I just
wanted to highlight that NGOs don’t need to be a member to access the Start Fund. They can do this through any of the 42 members
of the Start Network as a partner. While the long-term ambition remains to grow
the size of the network, we’re currently holding off on increasing membership for now. This year, we’ve seen the membership increase
very rapidly from 27 members to 42, and we’re at a point of consolidation and ensuring existing
members are fully contributing to the network. And also, trying to mobilize more resources
which can then be spread over more members. There are opportunities, there will be opportunities,
so if you are interested in working with the Start Network or applying for membership potentially
in the future, my colleague Jem would be very happy to hear from you and his email address
is there. Next slide— oh, question. Yes, please. Yes, Deepak. Wanted to ask you some questions we heard,
for example from Rima in Jordan. We’ve just heard a presentation from Fernando
and from Ben about country-based pooled funds managed by UN OCHA, and then we’ve heard
your presentation about the Start Network, which is really driven by NGOs. So Rima in Jordan is asking, could you identify
some of the main differences between pooled funds managed by the UN versus those led by
the NGOs? And secondly, Ian from the UK is asking, you
mentioned a lot about emergency response, is there an ability for NGOs to access funding
to invest in organizational capacity or is it more about the response? Yes, fantastic questions, thank you very much
for those. The Start Fund— I’ll tackle the second
one first, the Start fund is largely focused on providing rapid and early financing to
humanitarian emergencies, but we do have other work streams within the Start Network, which
I didn’t mention, including Start Response, Start Labs, and particularly, Start Engage,
which is a program that tries to unlock new approaches to crisis preparedness and response. That looks to build the capacity of members
and partners to respond to humanitarian emergencies, so it’s very much something that’s covered
within the wider work of the network, but perhaps not necessarily the Start Fund. In terms of the first question, I think that’s
not just a question to me, but for others and members also who have experience perhaps
working with both funds to come in here. I would turn back to the key distinctions
of the Start Fund and how it’s managed and owned by the NGOs themselves. So it’s them who are making the decisions
collectively on whether an emergency should be responded to by the Start Fund and which
projects should be funded. So that ownership is very much with the NGOs
through a trust-based peer review system. I would like to probably highlight that in
the context of the Start Fund and perhaps differences with other approaches. Is that alright in terms of— So this, if I remember correctly, might be
the last slide. So I just wanted to say that if you want any
more information, the Start Network website is a fantastic resource. There you will have a Start Fund page with
a Start Fund induction pack and a practical guide, and also our annual report, as well. Of course, I briefly touched upon our other
work streams, Start Engage, Start Labs, Start Response, more information on those work streams
is available on the website. Specifically on the Start Fund, you can contact
us at that email address [email protected], and again, that’s the email address of Jem,
my colleague, to discuss possibilities to work with the network and to become a member
in the future. That I believe brings me to the end of my
presentation. So thank you very much for listening and I
look forward to answering any questions people may have. Excellent, thank you so much for your presentation,
Deepak, very much appreciated. And indeed, we have a lot of questions and
hope that we will have time at the end here to address a few more of those. I’ll also mention regarding the questions,
since we know that there is a lot of interest, there are a lot of pending, and in some cases
very practical, questions for follow-up. We will not, we already know, be able to get
to all of them during the actual live section today. However, we will be doing our best together
with the help and generosity of our speakers and our experts who are with us today, to
try and follow-up as much as possible on questions in writing so that those can be available
to you as a resource after this session, as well. So now for our final presentation, as Melissa
had mentioned at the start, we have a presentation from Rezaul Chowdhury. He’s not able to be with us actually live
in person, but we are fortunate to have had a chance to record a presentation with him,
so we’ll share that with you now and we have both the audio and a few slides as well
to go along with his presentation. As Melissa mentioned, do feel free as well
if you have questions that you would like us to direct to Rezaul, we’ll be very happy
to do that, and although he won’t be able to answer those now because he’s in another
meeting, we will follow-up with him and ask him to respond in writing afterword. So now we can cue that recording. My name is Rezaul. I’m working for COAST. COAST is an organization working for coastal
poor in Bangladesh. In fact we are part of a pooled fund, which
is managed by an intermediary organization. Most of the funds are coming from the UK and
a small portion from the World Bank, NORAD, and SIDA. This is related to governance, advocacy, raising
voice, and organizing peoples. Also, we are a part of pooled funds being
managed by another intermediary organization in respect of climate adaptation fund, we’ve
been a part for the last 13 years. In the
beginning, [they] selected us in a participatory way, in a rigorous process of assessment on
accounts, number one, and the governance in respective governance this is transparency,
participation, no conflict of interests. Even apart from the bi-monthly visits from
the pooled fund mechanism management, there is a rigorous assessment of accounting, standard
maintenance, governance, also on a quarterly basis you have monitoring of impact level,
every six months there are external evaluations, and annual external evaluations from the intermediary
bodies. Every two years, there are joint evaluations
from donors and intermediary bodies. So my experience with respect to pooled funding
for local and national NGOs, is you have to be acquainted to maintain the accounting standard
in view of the international standard. Number two, you have to integrate accountability,
transparency, participation, no conflict of interest in your governance. Number three, you have to be very creative
in the respect of showing impact in the beneficiary level. These are the three expertise or skill know-hows
to be with the local NGOs if they want to be a part of pooled funding. Because, at the end of the day, who will give
the money, whether it is UK Aid or DANIDA, they have some accountability to their taxpayers
and to their own government systems. These are my experiences in respect to pooled
funding in Bangladesh. In my experience, it was a trial and error
process of developing our accounting standard, number one. It was a trial and error process of developing
a management standard, number two. Sometime we feel that accounting and management
is a static thing. I don’t think so. It’s very dynamic; it’s a matter of creativity
especially in respect of governance, when are you, how are you, reporting, and how you
are accountable. Nowadays accountability is not only to the
upper level, it is also accountability to your peer level, accountability to your beneficiaries;
are you integrating the openings of the poor people, beneficiaries, humanitarian victims
in your decision-making, how you are shifting powers. So this we have learned from our pooled funding
mechanism. It’s a matter of how you are mitigating
conflict of interest, and how you are transparent, and how you are maintaining the international
standard, and how you are keeping your things free from fraudulence and others. These we have learned, and are still learning,
so now one of the tendencies among the NGOs and donors, is they don’t pay the overhead
cost. We are maintaining around 20 projects, but
I can tell you at least in 15 projects the donor doesn’t give money for us overhead,
for such a low fiscal expenditure. But you can ask us, why do you do it? Because this is a matter for our people in
the coastal region in our area, we’ll do it. But maintaining, we are always in tensions. Whether there are flaws in their accounting,
whether there are flaws in their governance. I’m part of a pooled funding mechanism where
I’m getting funding, UK funding, for more than 15 years in the sector of human rights
and governance. There is a separate staff for accounts for
audit for monitoring, very capable staff, highly paid staff, and it’s running well. So for pooled funding there must be other
organization. On one side, I get that an organization has
a proven track record of strong management culture, number one, all you have to for is
separate management. Otherwise, you will face problem. Because it’s true, even if I give money
to my children they have to be accountable to me; the donors who are giving money in
pooled funding, they have their own accountability. Okay, excellent, so we have just been hearing
a recorded presentation from Rezaul Chowdhury, who is the Executive Director of the Coastal
Association for Social Transformation Trust, known as COAST in Bangladesh. So that brings us now to the end of our presentations
for this learning session, so we’ll move right ahead into the Q&A. I’ll be giving the floor to Melissa to pose
a number of the questions that have come through during the presentations and also some in
advance of the sessions, and before doing that just wanted to note for our speakers
who are with us live today, as we draw the event to a close in about 20 minutes from
now, I will go around one more time, if you have any closing thoughts, advice, other points
that you would like to leave with the group. So just a heads up about that, but now I’ll
give the floor over to Melissa for Q&A. Thank you so much. The first round of questions are for Fernando. Fernando, are you ready? First, Sebastian of Belgium is asking, what
is the criteria used to establish a pooled fund in a country location? Second, Gohar in Pakistan asked whether the
pooled funds are based on the Humanitarian Response Plan or the humanitarian needs overview,
so if you could elaborate on the connection to the HRP and the HNOs that would be helpful. And thirdly, Orla of Ireland was mentioning
some experience that NGOs have had when looking at different approaches used at the country
levels for due diligence. For example, in some locations it seems that
organizations can apply for a CBPF and then they complete the due diligence process, while
in other locations it seems the due diligence process has to happen first before you can
apply, and I think that’s what you had mentioned in the guidelines. So the question asked is are the global guidelines
supposed to be applied consistently across all countries and how can we get some more
information on the due diligence procedures that are meant to be applied. So those are the three first questions we
will ask your advice on Fernando, thank you. To first question you were, Melissa, is related
the criteria used to establish a country-based pooled fund in a specific location, indeed
there are some criteria. The most important one probably is that there
is in fact donor interest to pool resources into these kind of mechanisms. So first, that’s a major issue. And also that there has to be an OCHA presence
on location of an OCHA office through which we will be able to really manage the fund. So those are the two main issues that really
drive decisions on how we will be establishing a new CBPF. The other question that you were asking was
related to, coming from Pakistan, I think, the connection to the HRPs, and as part of
the reform that we made with the guidelines two years ago, at the beginning of 2015, was
that the CBPFs are aligned to the HRPs in-country. Ideally, the prioritization process is done
in alignment with the HRP once the location process is discussed and approved at the country
level. It’s very important to remember, I’ve
seen a lot of questions coming also through the window in the chat, that it’s a very
decentralized process and all the decision-making takes place at the country level. Finally, the other question you were raising
was related to some experiences of different approaches to due diligence. No, we have a standard approach to the due
diligence and there’s no way that any NGO can apply before the due diligence has taken
place, even if you try to enter into the GMS, that will not be allowed. Indeed, the global guidelines are the minimal
standards, as I was saying in the presentation, that we have. So there may be additional processes or requirements
that are made at the country level, and this is very context specific. For even the capacity assessment it’s a
standard procedure, what they will change is usually very specific questions related
to the context, but the categories that we have included are the same everywhere. We are really trying to keep a very standardized
process altogether, but there may be slight difference from one country to another, but
these are the minimum standards in the guidelines, so you can go through them. One other thing I think I’ve heard, this
is probably good news, is we will embark next year into a process of revision of the guidelines. For that we will of course be consulting all
our stakeholders and NGOs, of course, are very important for us to hear their concerns
and their experiences so far, and seeing how and what we need to really look into. We will be engaging through the CBPF NGO dialogue
platform to which Ben had referred before, as well, to embark in that process by next
year. Thank you. Thank you so much, Fernando. I’d like to turn now to Deepak from the
Start Network perspective. We’ve seen that one of the key comparative
advantages of the pooled funding that Start Network manages is the issue of speed, that
you can quickly make decisions to allocate in response to emergencies. You even said that every four or so days you
get a new alert. Anita of Uganda was asking, have you done
an analysis on whether the Start Fund has demonstrated any improved response due to
NGOs being able to access funding early in the phase, thank you. Great, fantastic. Thank you for the question. So as I mentioned in the presentation, after
each Start Fund response there is a learning exchange where agencies come together to reflect
on the response. What we’ve repeatedly seen in those meetings
is agencies reflecting that they would not have been able to respond when they did if
it had not been for the Start Fund. We know that the period immediately after
an emergency has occurred is when most lives are saved. That reality does hit home in the conversations
we have with members during those learning exchange meetings and this was seen in particular
for the Burundi regional crisis where that came out. Also, something that I did not mention in
my presentation is that Start Fund projects are meant to be flexible, so they can be adapted
according to rapidly changing circumstance and also in those learning meetings agencies
have really valued that because it’s enabled them to provide the most appropriate response
according to the needs of the affected population on the ground. Just bringing that extra dimension there of
the flexibility of Start Fund projects as well as its timeliness, and that is leading
to more effective humanitarian responses. Thank you very much, Deepak. The next batch of questions I’d like to
hear from Ben and also Fernando and I’m grouping them because they’re very connected
to the grand bargain on humanitarian financing. The grand bargain is trying to accomplish
many things and the first is this issue of trying to support national and local responders
with more direct funding, but also capacity-strengthening. So Mohammed who is writing us in from Somalia,
he is asking are there measures being taken to improve the share, or the proportion of
pooled funding, that goes directly to local and national NGOs, so that there is more of
a balance between funding that goes directly to UN agencies and INGOs? And secondly, he asked about capacity assessments
really locking out local NGOs and wanted to hear more about what can be done to strengthen
capacity? This is one of the commitments in the grand
bargain is to really invest in capacity of national and local frontline responders. The second part of the questions that we received
that really relate to the grand bargain is this whole notion of reducing burdensome donor
conditions. So Frederique of Care is asking about simplifying
and harmonizing agreements. So if the global guidelines on country-based
pooled funds are to be streamlined simplified, as per the grand bargain, so that they are
more accessible, what is being done in that regard? Over to you, would you like to start, Ben? Yeah, sure. Support national and local responders first
of all, I think I got the figures mixed up, but off the top of my head I think OCHA have—I’m
sure Fernando will be able to tell you—but OCHA have a target of how much of the country-based
pooled funds will be going directly to national and local responders. I get the numbers mixed up because they’re
slightly different for the Charter for Change and OCHA’s figure, somewhere between 20
and 25 percent. The year on year increase has shown that it’s
possible to reach that figure, because it is increasing the proportion that goes to
national and local responders. Investing in the capacity of local partners. Already in my presentation I gave you the
examples of Yemen and Syria, where OCHA are proactively going out and seeking to engage
local and national partners and advise them and support them in undertaking and passing
the partner capacity assessment process. As you can tell from example, Syria gave those
local and national partners who perhaps did not have the capacity in the first place an
understanding of what was required and help them build towards that. I’m not saying that happens in every single
OCHA country office, and actually, I’m not a spokesperson for OCHA, but I’ve seen some
poor examples of that in OCHA country offices where the country office actually won’t
support local or don’t encourage local or national NGOs to apply. There’s a mixed bag there, but I think if
we follow the examples of Yemen and Syria in particular, where OCHA is reaching out
and trying to ensure that local and national partners pass the capacity assessment process,
then that’s the best way to go obviously. What was the last one, Melissa? I was also asking about reduced donor conditions. Reduced donor conditions. Gosh. I don’t know if I’ll be able to answer
that one, because that’s going to require the donors to get together, not just… OCHA are—well let’s put it this way. The global guidelines, I think that I’ve
been talking about and Fernando has been talking about a lot, are a great framework, but there’s
flexibility within that framework, which is why we’ve seen some of the questions today
and some of the examples that I’ve given you show that there is a difference in how
those guidelines are applied at country level. Some people see that as inconsistency, but
I think if you look at the guidelines you have to understand that they must, they’re
required, to offer a degree of flexibility for the local context. Each country office has that ability to change
and alter slightly the processes which they undertake. So it’s a difficult juggling act, I think,
to offer that degree of flexibility, but also to harmonize and standardize in the first
place. So I don’t have an answer to that. I want to make sure that everyone’s aware
of the dilemma that is faced by OCHA and other donors. Thank you so much, Ben. Over to you, Fernando, do you have thoughts
you’d like to say in terms of supporting local and national responders, capacity strengthening,
and streamlining the global guidelines? Right, I will begin actually with the last
question and to follow what Ben was just saying, I think we have the guidelines as the minimum
standards, so the flexibility is there, but at least we have to follow the global guidelines
as the minimum. It is indeed a very difficult balance we have
to find here. But part of these simplification and harmonization
agreements are just to let you know—and you might have heard if you participated in
the previous webinar where WFP and UNHCR presented, but they also talked about their simplification
and harmonization process that they have begun, and we’re also trying to get into that process
as well and try to work together with these three agencies, including also UNICEF, and
see how we can really move forward in that. That’s a start, because then, of course,
we’ll have to look into broader issues, and this also relates to the issue of reducing
donor conditions, and that’s a discussion that, yes, we will have to also embark as
part of the commitments they made through the grand bargain. One of the mechanisms we have to engage very
closely with our donors is through other governance mechanisms that we have, which is the pooled
fund working group, which includes all our main donors, and also has the participation
of some UN agencies and also local and international NGOs representatives are in this group. So it’s something that we will need to look
into, and also see how we can move forward. In terms of the capacity assessment and capacity
strengthening, yes, we’re aware of that and I also thank Ben for the examples he has
shown. We are trying to be proactive in trying to
go out to reach out to more local NGOs and to try to provide as much as possible; depending
of course on the office and the context we have where have more dedicated staff to do
this kind of addition capacity strengthening of building whenever possible. Because it is our interest to really as get
as many applications as possible from local NGOs, whenever possible. It is one of our commitments and we hope that
we can really increase that percentage of the amount of allocations that we have so
far. As I was mentioning during the presentation,
right now we are at 18 percent that we have allocated or have given directly to the national
NGOs. We strive to give to the best positioned partner
on the ground to provide the funds. So one very important concern is how we move
forward in this capacity strengthening. Some of the ways we have presented is examples
like in Afghanistan’s training program that Akbar was conducting and also probably shadowing
staff properly to start, but it’s something we are also looking at, we are aware, we have
dedicated some resources this past year and also last year, to try to go more into providing
this support. We have also raised this issues with donors;
the importance really of getting funding for this specific concern that’s there, and
that’s one of the ways to how we can comply with the grand bargain commitments of increasing
access to local NGOs. I think that was a great response. Thank you so much. We are now coming to the end of our session,
so I will, as promised, ask each of our speakers, so first Fernando, then Deepak, then Ben. To go around the virtual room if you have
any closing thoughts that you would like to leave with us, please do. Fernando, first, over to you. Thank you, Angharad. So I’ll just leave the key takeaways from
this session. For those who are not so familiar with country-based
pooled funds, these are multi-donor plans established by the emergency relief coordinator
and they operate under the stewardship of humanitarian coordinators on the ground to
provide a timely, flexible, coordinated, and principled funding to responses to humanitarian
crisis. And also that the CBPF funding is prioritized
and directly allocated to the best positioned partners on the ground through transparent
and inclusive consultation processes, which thereby supports the coordinated delivery
of the humanitarian response plans. Thank you. Thank you and thanks so much for being with
us, and over to you, Deepak. Thanks. I just want to quickly say thank you to ICVA
and PHAP for organizing this excellent learning stream on humanitarian financing and for inviting
the Start Fund to this webinar. And of course to the participants for the
excellent questions and comments, and for anyone who would like to learn more about
how the Start Fund responds to fast and early responses to humanitarian emergencies, please
do get in touch on how you can be a part of it, as well as the other initiatives of the
Start Fund and the Start Network, more widely. Excellent, thanks so much. Incredibly helpful and thank you for being
with us as well. And now to you, Ben. Yeah, thanks PHAP and ICVA for this opportunity. My closing thoughts really are two things. Firstly, country-based pooled funds are getting
better, but we’re seeking your involvement in global processes that will help them improve. So why don’t you join the country-based
pooled fund NGO dialogue platform, I’ve put the email address in the chat box again. If you do seek to include yourself, read through
the guidelines. So two things I already put in my presentation,
but read through the guidelines and join the NGO dialogue platform. That would be my recommendations to you all. Excellent. Very concrete. Thanks so much, Ben. And thanks once again to all of our speakers. A few closing notes then. Go through a few items here. First of all, we have been recording today’s
session so that it can be available as an ongoing resource for you and that recording
will be available in the coming days on the event webpage, you see the link right there. I’ll also mention that we will be preparing
a transcript and translating that so we can have subtitles for the whole session in both
French and Arabic to increase access further. We have a number of resources from past events,
I’ll pass the floor over the Melissa to mention a few of those. If you follow Ben’s advice and you read
the global guidelines and you have any time leftover for reading, you’ll notice that
ICVA is going to put together a briefing paper on the topic that was discussed today. We also are pleased to announce that we’ve
completed our reading package and learning package for topic one, the humanitarian financing
landscape, realities, and emerging trends for NGOs. This package includes not only the whiteboard
explanatory video; it also has audio and video recordings, with not only French, but also
Arabic, subtitles; a compilation of answers for those questions that we weren’t able
to respond to in the webinar; a short informative and easy to read briefing paper; and another
supporting document showing you where you can access further information. Okay, excellent. I’ll also mention another past event for
which the recordings and some resources are also available, and that was the session that
took place on the 12th of October, looking at UN humanitarian funding. So that’s available to you as well. Now if we turn to look ahead, we have two
more events I’d like to announce that are coming up in this series. The next one taking place on the 6th of December. That will be on the subject of bilateral funding. Looking at trends, challenges, and opportunities
for NGOs. We hope you’ll consider joining us for that. You can already register for the event by
clicking right there on your screen. And then we’re already moving into 2017—unbelieveable—the
27th of January, we have another session looking at the topic of private funding. So as seen as a potentially a growing source
becoming a more and more significant source of funding for humanitarian NGOs. We’ll be exploring that topic on the 27th
of January. Again, registrations are already open, so
feel free to register for that. Do also, of course, feel free to share in
your own networks if you believe there are other peers who may be interested in joining
the discussion on these topics. So with that, we will bring things to a close. I’d like to very much thank to the whole
team here both at PHAP and at ICVA. So thanks so much for all of your work, Liz
Arnanz, Markus Forsberg at PHAP, also James Shell with ICVA, and my co-host, Melissa Pitotti,
I’ll give you the floor one more time in case you have any closing thoughts you’d
like to leave with us at this point. Just want to say I’m really grateful to
all of those who have contributed with their knowledge and this is an issue that we are
going to continue to follow, because we’re all really grappling with the need to provide
principled and resourced humanitarian action. Thank you. Excellent, thanks. And last, but not least, thanks to our guest
speakers today, and also to our participants. As mentioned at the beginning, really inspiring
to see so many of you here, and with really practical problems and also suggestions for
each other. So great to see also some of that networking
and exchange taking place in the chat. So with that we’ll sign off from Geneva
and look forward to connecting with you again in a few weeks time. This is Angharad Laing, over and out.

One Reply to “Humanitarian Financing: Pooled funding – how can NGOs engage?”

  1. Good on you! Just wondering if your anywhere near to us for further learning ? We as national NGOs facing mony problems in terms of fundraising and sustainable for our running operations that mainly between pay for your mandatory expediences and project cycle ongoing process if the project in short tear,,,,, my Email ( [email protected] ) for further communication

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