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COVID-19: Helping NetHope today sets the framework for the future

Posted on May 01, 2020 by NetHope
Everyone recognizes the huge challenges of delivering aid to vulnerable populations. Whether it’s for hurricane survivors in the Bahamas, displaced Venezuelans migrating in Latin America, or those displaced by war or famine and seeking a new life outside their homeland, NetHope’s 57 nonprofit members are helping people around the world cope daily.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented urgency and levels of complexity for our members. It’s having a cascading impact on those who receive aid, those who deliverer it, and modes of aid delivery, as nonprofits are forced to quickly adapt to new ways of working and operating to protect their staff and beneficiaries. Rapid access to unrestricted funds and technology has never been more critical. This is why generous funders like The Patterson Foundation, which aim to catalyze funding from other sources, are so important. Its $100,000 gift—and those from others who follow its lead—will help our members with shared challenges they have identified:
  • Remote working and connectivity. NetHope has assessed members across the globe with regard to the devices, tools, and connectivity required to work remotely. These early assessments have highlighted an immense need in the global south for office equipment and tools to enable staff to work from home and to deliver their programs to beneficiaries remotely.

  • Supply chain management. Coordinated and adaptive action can improve outcomes, smooth fluctuations in the flow of goods, and aggregate demand by geography. NetHope drew upon its existing member network, including its NetHope Working Groups, to conduct a deep dive into common and priority challenges with supply chain and logistics.

  • Information sharing and management. NetHope has established a channel with global health authorities such as the World Health Organization to ensure the most accurate and timely messaging around COVID-19 to the humanitarian sector through its members.
These actions will most effectively work for the short-term to help staunch the spread of the virus and protect both those who benefit from our members’ services—vulnerable and underserved communities—as well as those who are on the frontlines delivering aid.

But on an even larger scale, beginning to make inroads on these challenges will lead to the creation of infrastructure, skills, and relationships that can strengthen fragile health care systems, communication networks, supply chain networks, and other services, giving humanitarian workers the tools they need to do their jobs during times of crisis—even if they can’t be in person. It will also provide beneficiaries more personal empowerment as they begin to get resources and skills that are more equitable, reliable, and sustainable.

Collective Action. Collective Impact

NetHope is fortunate to have funding sources that recognize the axiom of an “ounce of prevention,” helping to create solutions for long-term impact. The Patterson Foundation (TPF), a fully endowed charitable entity based in Florida, has long been a steady partner, offering catalytic funding in the initial stages of previous emergency situations. And it has recognized that our careful methodology of assessing our members’ needs and then deploying solutions is the most responsible and effective way to ensure our members’ success in helping people. With the COVID-19 crisis, TPF has reaffirmed NetHope’s role with a significant financial investment of $100,000. This was followed up by a gift from our tech partner, Facebook, which gave toward connectivity work in relation to COVID-19 issues experienced by nonprofits and beneficiaries.

With TPF’s gift, we began the first phase of our plan and will now start deploying direct help to our members worldwide based on what we have learned through the assessments. Even with TPF’s generosity, the need does not end—we need additional resources to reach members and to help those most at risk from this deadly virus. It is not just institutional funders that can help: our tech partners continue to be critical, connecting the needs of our members to the technological solutions to address them. And individuals can donate funds directly: by giving to NetHope, your gift expands, reaching nearly 60 of the world’s most active nonprofits. That’s impact!

In response to our members’ needs, on April 28, we launched the Global Aid Technology Response and Recovery Fund. Its goal: to raise $60 million to meet the technology needs of our member organizations and provide the tools and funding they will need to recover from gaps created by the COVID-19 crisis.

Help NetHope and our members achieve their work and respond to the crisis in front of us as well as set the framework for future crises.

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