The H2H Network consists of approximately 50 organisations that provide services to humanitarian responders. The network’s members offer specialist services, developed and available to all humanitarian responders, that address cross-cutting issues to help the overall response be more effective, of higher quality, and more efficient. The H2H Network is supported by UK aid from the UK government and hosted by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).
In March 2019, the network activated its H2H Fund for Cyclone Idai in Mozambique using an interim process designed to allow activation during the build phase. The H2H Fund was set up to support network members providing specific services in emergency responses. The fund was due to become operational in July 2019, however, given the scale of the Cyclone Idai emergency, the fund used an interim process to deliver a package of services to support the response.
Overall, the activation for Cyclone Idai was considered a success. The fund enabled network members to promptly provide their specialist services and there were indications that collaboration efforts strengthened their activities. This first activation of the fund represented an important learning opportunity for the network and several lessons and recommendations emerged from feedback from service users, funded agencies and the project’s core team.
Key recommendations are:
• Use the fund’s structure and ability to activate quickly to get key services into the field as soon as possible. This may include creating sample packages through a pre-approval process that allows for very fast funding.
• Work outside of response time and activations to establish collective and collaborative approaches within and across service categories.
• Recognize how needs change throughout a response and how services from members match different phases of the response.
• Become the chief advocate for the humanitarian-to-humanitarian concept during a response, including deploying a network team member, in order to help members reach more responders and collectively achieve the intended impact of a more effective and efficient response.