Deliver collective outcomes: transcend humanitarian-development divides
- Commitment Type
- Core Responsibility
SME4H commits to working towards establishing 'SMEs for Humanity' (#SME4H), an initiative to create the world's largest online community of small and medium-sized enterprises to achieve better humanitarian outcomes. This initiative aims to build a diverse multi-stakeholder online community where humanitarian needs can be posted in real time by national governments, international agencies, local communities, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders. Small and medium-sized enterprise can provide support in services or goods when and where it is most needed, or offer this assistance to other organisations in need, with a view to building resilience in these communities to enable them to prepare for and better respond during crises.
- Change People's Lives: From Delivering Aid to Ending Need
What led your organization to make the commitment?
The Scoping Paper of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing exposed an immediate need to more actively engage the private sector in meeting the world’s humanitarian needs, and to improve the operational efficiency of the international community’s humanitarian operations. Therefore, SME4H seeks to trigger positive and impactful change both at the process and policy levels by empowering the most untapped and largest sources of private sector energy, capability and goodwill in the global economy, through connectivity, transparency and innovation.
Achievements at a glance
1. Consultative Dialogue at the Strategic, Tactical and Grassroots Levels: through in-depth discussions with a wide range of stakeholders culminated in the establishment of the SME4H Steering Committee, which comprises a balanced mix of 20 members from small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), NGO, IGO and large corporate communities as well as convening its first session on February 1, 2017.
2. Platform Development: the platform process flows were proposed by SME4H and approved by the Steering Committee. Furthermore, coordination has started with a range of web, AI and data analytics experts and developers to deep dive into the platform web and mobile functionality and capability. SME4H now is working to refine this functionality and receive concrete proposals from technology partners before moving ahead with the creation of the platform to be deployed in a select pilot region.
How is your organization assessing progress
- At the strategic level, progress is monitored through multi-party validation of the need for the platform as well as its proposed functionality. The acceptance and call for immediate deployment of this platform by partners from the global SME networks community, international agencies and the SMEs on the ground confirm the accuracy of strategic direction.
- At the tactical level, progress is measured towards defined milestones for partners and pilot region selection as well as the responding multi-stakeholder platform to connect SMEs with SMEs and SMEs with Aid Agencies and strengthen business continuity if crises hit communities.
Challenges faced in implementation
1. Little investment in readiness at the sector level
2. Poor infrastructure and limited validation systems in most target communities
3. Reactive-based delays in post crisis situational assessment methodologies
4. Fragmented needs assessment and aid procurement systems
5. Rigid buyer requirements, poor connectivity, lack of transparency and language barriers
6. Growing gap between buyers' requirements and local SMEs capacities, which causes local communities exclusion and cripples effective response cost and time
7. Poor utilization of technology to connect need-driven demand with impact-driven supply of aid goods, services and volunteers.
Next step to advance implementation in 2017
1. Continue consultative dialogue by expanding the SME4H Steering Committee membership and holding quarterly meetings
2. Select platform developer as well as AI, Big Data, technology and SMS gateway partners
3. Finalize the platform design
4. Select pilot country and respective strategic partners
5. Conduct scoping mission and engage with aid agencies and SMEs in the pilot region
6. Integrate input from the field into the design of the pilot project
7. Test platform beta version
If you had one message for the annual report on what is most needed to advance the transformation 'Deliver collective outcomes: transcend humanitarian-development divides', what would it be
The daunting and growing humanitarian needs must be addressed at the sector level with transformational urgency by all agencies to simplify and unify their requirements enabling local communities to engage in humanitarian efforts thus unlocking their capacities for better response and more resilient and prosperous markets.
Cross cutting issues
☑Disaster Risk Reduction ☑ Innovation ☑ People-centred approach ☑ Private sector
☑Centre for Humanitarian Data ☑ The Connecting Business Initiative ☑ The Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation
Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations
☑4A - Reinforce, do not replace, national and local systems ☑ 5A - Invest in local capacities ☑ 5E - Diversify the resource base and increase cost-efficiency