Why We Are a Catalyst Funder of NetHope's Open Humanitarian Initiative

Why We Are a Catalyst Funder of NetHope's Open Humanitarian Initiative

Posted on August 30, 2012 by Michael Corley, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

The future of the effectiveness of disaster response hinges on the ability to capture, distill and share information. Our partner, NetHope has started a sizeable initiative to do just this. The Open Humanitarian Initiative  aims to improve information sharing and information management between humanitarian organizations, affected communities and governments.

This is neither a small nor easy effort to undertake. The team at NetHope anticipates this project will take a collaborative effort of a number of governmental organizations, non governmental organizations, foundations, research organizations, private entities and donors over many years. The anticipated investment to realize this project is $15 million–$20 million.

So how did The Patterson Foundation get involved and why?  TPF has partnered with NetHope for 1.5 years, and throughout this time, we have been continuously impressed with NetHope’s leadership, capacity, willingness, and culture. NetHope operates with the efficiency and effectiveness of a well-oiled machine, and each member willingly seeks opportunities to collaborate and share.

NetHope didn’t begin this initiative in a haphazard manner. When Gisli Olafsson (@gislio), the emergency response director for NetHope, approached TPF about becoming an “angel funder” for the Open Humanitarian Initiative, he presented us with a written business plan outlining expected partners, funding sources, operational approach, etc.  His plan was drafted as a working document, but the content was thorough and informational. TPF committed funding that enabled NetHope to finalize the business plan, develop a working model and embark on a fundraising effort.

The efforts are paying off, and with his recent blog, Gisli informs us of the increasing importance of sharing meaningful information across all constituencies.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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