The Five Founding Hubs: What has happened and what comes next?
16 November 2021
In April 2020, five locally led groups of changemakers came together to explore what it takes to launch local hubs as part of Start Network, as envisioned within ‘Start Evolves’. This phase was called a ‘Proof of Concept’ and has resulted in the emergence of Hubs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, India, the Pacific Region and Pakistan.
At the 2021 Assembly, the Hubs ran two LEARN sessions on 'What it takes to build a Hub'. We also discussed how Start Network is supporting a new cohort of Hubs: bringing partnership to the centre of hub incubation.
What it takes to build a Hub
Over the last 18 months, Start Network has been part of an incredible journey of learning: the emergence and incubation of the first five hubs. Together we have taken concrete steps towards realising the ambitious vision the network set for itself in 2017; and through testing, learning and supporting each other we have gathered a wealth of knowledge around the challenges and successes of building hubs. These sessions involved hub leaders from Pakistan, Guatemala, DRC, India and the Pacific as they share their experiences and learning of their journey so far - and their vision for what comes next.
Speakers: Gang Karume Augustin – Technical Advisor, Rebuild Hope for Africa, and member of the Hub Leadership Team of the DRC Hub
Deysee Cotom - Innovation Program Coordinator, ASECSA. ASECSA is the secretariat for the Guatemala Hub
Muhammad Amad - Executive Director, IDEA (Initiative for Development and Empowerment Axis) and member of the National Steering Committee of the Pakistan Hub (called Ready Pakistan)
Chair: Anshu Sharma - Co-Founder of SEEDS, and member of the Moderating Team of the India Humanitarian Hub
Speakers: Joseph Sahayam – Additional Emergency Officer, CASA India and member of the Moderating Team of the India Humanitarian Hub
Akmal Ali - Networking and Capacity Innovation Officer at the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO). PIANGO is the secretariat for the Pacific Hub
Chair: Gang Karume Augustin – Technical Advisor, Rebuild Hope for Africa, and member of the Hub Leadership Team of the DRC Hub
Supporting a new cohort of Hubs: bringing partnership to the centre of hub incubation
This session discussed reflections on what we learnt from supporting the first cohort of Hubs, how we've adapted our partnership approach, and some exciting news in terms of potential hubs that we will be partnering with in the second Hub Cohort.
Tania Cheung – Senior Network Development Advisor, Start Network
Issack - NEXUS Platform Director. Nexus is serving as the secretariat for the emerging Somali Humanitarian Hub
Gloriah Soma - Director of Titi Foundation, and one of the proponents of the emerging South Sudan Hub
Syed Sulaiman – Senior Emergency and DRR Advisor, Concern Worldwide and member of the National Steering Committee of the Pakistan Hub (called Ready Pakistan)
The five founding hubs are still in incubation and plan to become independent by the end of 2022. During the process of incubating the five hubs, we have seen strong indications that hubs are an effective way to drive change and foster greater local leadership within Start Network and beyond. A greater number of hubs will accelerate shifts towards becoming a locally led network.
It has been a time of constant questioning, examination, and learning that has provided foundational insights to guide the founding of future Hubs. It has also highlighted the ways that Start Network needs to evolve and adapt to realise its vision of a decentralised, disbursed and peer-connected Network of Hubs.
As Hubs grow and mature, the next step is for them to exit ‘incubation’ to become independent entities and join the Network in their own right. There are a number of elements that the Hubs and Start Network needs to put in place to enable the transition. This will take place over 2022.