The MERF regional model provides useful insights into the added value of regional and context-or thematic-specific teams
Document lessons learned through an internal consultation process with the MERF team, as partof wider planning processes for decentralised fund management and hub set up. The internal consultation process should include a focus on, at minimum:1. The levels of investment that were made by the MERF team to raise awareness and promote understanding of the MERF as an available funding source amongst members 2.The time and resources required internally to adaptprocesses, templates and procedures to MERF requirements 3.The capacity required to meet inward/outward facing language requirements as performed by the MERF hub 4.The broader roles regional presence can play –in certain contexts –in external coordination structures.
The MERF has allowed the Start Network to test different approaches to managing a regional and crisis-specific contingency fund, including adaptations to the alert cycle process and a reconfiguration of the team to ensure regional presence and contextual understanding. This was informed by learning from MERF 1 and Heloise Ruaudel’s research piece ‘The Migration Emergency Response Fund and Mixed Migration Flows Along the Mediterranean’. The MERF team will capture this learning to ensure that it informs future Start Funds approaches and hub development, particularly around Start Network’s ambitions for decentralisation and growth, while recognising that that application of learningin other geographical contexts should avoida copy and paste approachas they may be quite context-specific.We would note that the working of “MERF hub”in therecommendation is a bitconfusing as it is not considered a hub per Start Network’s definition. Rather the aboveshould be reframed as “MERF decentralised team”.