Loop is an independent charity, whose sole purpose is to provide a safe mechanism for people to raise their voices to improve services at scale.
We want to be the change we hope to see and as such are conscious about the Governance, Systems and Policies that we are setting up in these early years. Loop is trying to build accountability to local people into the bones of Loop, the Charity.
We must not become part of the system we hope to change
We stand by that statement, and to ensure that we remain faithful to it, we have, over the last two years, been listening, learning and exploring new approaches. We now have a Governing Board made up of people who come from affected countries (Uganda, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Syria, Paraguay, Philippines), who represent the main global regions (Asia, America, Middle East and Africa), and who come from diverse professional backgrounds and age groups.
Loop is also supported by a non-decision-making Advisory Board from the more traditional leadership actors such as the Core Humanitarian Standard Alliance, donors, think tanks etc.
We have a dispersed global operations team who all work from home, work flexible hours across multiple time zones: many are consultants that we onboard when we have specific deliverables and funds.
We have a flat structure where everyone is a ‘Lead’ of a specific important area of work. We are trying to be conscious and reflective in our policies, risk register, recruitment and induction processes to imbed this ethos in all we do.
Charitable Franchise Model
How we partner is also a direct reflection of our larger vision and we are learning from our partners as we go. What is emerging is the idea of a Charitable Franchise owned by networks of local actors.
Under this model Loop is a small central service providing the technology and ensuring quality, consistency of service and adherence to international best practice as well as making improvements based on different country level requests and suggestions.
Loop country partners then deliver Loop, moderate feedback and tailor the communications, use, roll out and act as the face of Loop. This enables a trusted, independent, yet integrated service, which people can understand, access, and easily use, thus adding value to the evolving context and needs.
Collectively we permanently strive to reduce barriers to:
closing the feedback loop and
using the resulting data to create positive change
finding sustainable funds to keep it operating
Does the term ‘Charitable Franchise’ express this model adequately?
No 'Cookie Cutter' models
One model that has been used to achieve scale is to have a great idea, test it in a few contexts, share the results and then look to scale it across many contexts with an efficient, centralised system of learning and a clear success story for a donor. This has not often worked longer term in the Humanitarian and Development sector because it creates a monoculture that relies on replication, standardisation and compliance, thus reducing local ownership and relevance. Hence scale is a rare phenomenon in this sector.
What we have experienced so far, is that every context is so different and unique across different groups of people and over time. For example, they each prefer different input channels (Facebook in the Philippines, Voice in Somalia, WhatsApp in Indonesia) but there are smaller communities which prefer other channels within each context (eg: Voice for elderly rural people in the Philippines).
In Zambia the community has expressed a need to be able to safely report their experiences of abuse to an independent, anonymous, safe mechanism, yet there remains apathy that nothing will be done about it, so trust building and communication is the top priority now.
In the Philippines the Super Typhoon Rai, sudden onset crisis was a good first test for how Loop could add value in preparedness, crisis and recovery for people to identify needs collectively, request support, feedback positively (70% of reports) and close the feedback loop directly (80% within one day). Outside of this setting communities speak of using data to influence policies and inform better programming.
The small scale pilot suggested it could also provide Early Warning data points.
Country Partnership Structures:
Each network of actors has also come up with different leadership approaches, as can be seen in the following pages. Every context has an existing ecosystem with different gaps, risks and opportunities that Loop needs to be nested within. Only strategic leaders from within each context can best identify what these are and how to set up a mechanism which will be locally relevant, accepted, 'representative' and trusted.
For example, in Indonesia the structures are very formal, organised and well established so it was perceived as being essential not to set up anything new that doesn't align. As such a Steering Committee has the oversight of Loop nationally and supports Predikt (the Chair of a national network of local actors) to host Loop. The Steering Committee is made up of each of the Co-Chairs of the existing Cluster system, with a strong UN and Govt presence.
In comparison, the Philippines has preferred a model which is very locally owned and is embedded within the diverse and highly active Civil Society networks that already exist. Seven Chairs of existing networks, including Government representatives, which collectively represent 4,000 Civil Society Organisations are on the leadership committee of Loop and meet monthly to evolve a strategy to roll out Loop, but also advocate for the resulting data to influence national policy and international funding decisions.
In Somalia on the other hand, there is a strong UN and INGO presence and these actors hold much of the funding and projects and thus are considered as key stakeholders for Loop to succeed. However project funding tends to be short term and sporadic and there is a high level of expatriate staff turn over. As such the host organisation needs to be a National Actor which is permanent, has activities across the breadth of Somalia and is a trusted and widely engaged national actor both with Government but also National and International Coordination fora.
In Zambia two networks of actors with broadly different roles and reach, came together to champion Loop in Zambia. NGOCC opens up networks and credibility on issues related to Gender Based Violence which has arisen as a major topic of concern in prototyping, and ZGF is a thought leader on local philanthropy and shifting power in the development space.
These leadership structures will likely evolve and learn from each other, but will necessarily be different and unique in each context. Its an exciting process to watch.
In the following sections we outline the structure and use cases for each of the contexts further, to portray the local adaptations taking place in each context and the possibilities to explore further.
Philippines Country Partnership
Loop is led in the Philippines by the Philippines Loop National Coordination Committee (LNCC).
The LNCC is composed of seven people from six large national networks, which together represent 4,000 Civil Society Organisations, including government representatives. This includes:
Bangon Marawi Civil Society Organization Platform (BMCSOP) and ECOWEB.
They all come from different geographical parts of the Philippines and represent different actors in the ecosystem: Government Disaster Response agencies, Civil Society Organisations, Human Rights advocates, Community-Based groups, and Humanitarian and Development institutions.
ECOWEB hosts the Loop staff. The Director of ECOWEB is the Chair of LNCC. The Chair role will be rotating. There is a Loop National Forum made up of 40 member CSOs and growing. In addition they are building a network of Accountability Champions to help share how to use Loop with communities.
In the Philippines SMS and Facebook Messenger are the preferred input channels and they identified the need to include Cebuano as well as Tagalog languages to give greater access.
Loop is being used by NAPC the Government Agency working on Emergency Response.
Zambia Country Partnership
Loop is led in Zambia by the Zambian Governance Foundation (ZGF) and supported by the National Gender Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC).
ZGF, is a philanthropic organisation actively involved in the global Shift The Power movement and working in close partnership with 140 CSOs across Zambia. ZGF has been providing access to grants, capacity development and other resources, to local CSOs and CBOs across Zambia
NGOCC is an umbrella network for Non-Governmental and Community Based Organisations in Zambia active in championing women’s empowerment and gender equity and equality.
They are one of the largest local Non-Government Organisations and have a significant convening power with the Government and other stakeholders in Zambia and a membership of 98 actors working on Gender issues, including from Ministries, legal offices and NGOs.
ZGF hosts moderators and works together with NGOCC and others to roll out Loop nationally.
In Zambia, urban communities are comfortable to feedback via Facebook messenger and in Nyanja and Bemba. In rural areas however SMS is preferred and other languages such as Lozi and Tonga have been added to reach more people.
Radio and TV has been an important means to communicate about Loop with support from the Government.
Somalia Country Partnership
Loop is led in Somalia by the Centre for Peace and Democracy
The NEXUS Somalia Consortium, a Consortium of eight national NGOs funded a Loop pilot in Somalia in 2021. Thereafter they agreed to host Loop in one of the NEXUS founding NGOs: the Centre for Peace and Democracy, a national NGO.
The 2021 pilot was funded through NEXUS as one small part of the larger Localised Humanitarian Action program. The donor was the Dutch Relief Alliance. In 2022 this transitioned to part funding from FCDO as one aspect of their Safe Guarding project. Additional grants directly to CPD are being sought.
In Somalia it is imperative that feedback mechanisms are accessible for people who:
1) do not have a smart phone
2) are not connected to the internet
3) are not comfortable in typing an SMS or are illiterate.
Our new IVRR solution meets these requirements. It has recently been built and is being connected to the main Mobile Operators with reverse charge calling. CPD, NEXUS and other actors will be able to use Loop as one part of a National Framework on Accountability to Affected Populations.
The feedback from the pilot in October 2021, highlighted the water and food shortages which are being responded to as an emergency now in March of 2022: suggesting that Loop could also act as an early warning data point if used at scale.
Indonesia Country Partnership
Loop is now available in Indonesia
On the Humanitarian Coordination Team in Indonesia, there are four main representatives of the Indonesian Civil Society. One of these is the Indonesian Disaster Management Society (MPBI). MPBI is also the Country Sphere Focal Point and members of the Asia Disaster Reduction and Response Network.
The Chair of MPBI is the CEO of PREDIKT. PREDIKT will collaborate with MPBI and other agencies to lead the roll out of Loop in Indonesia. MPBI has established a Steering Committee to oversee the roll out of Loop in Indonesia. The Steering group will provide a strategic advisory function and is made up of key representatives in the national ecosystem. This includes:
Co Chairs of the RCCE working group (UNICEF, IFRC, WHO),
Co Chairs of each of the Protection clusters (UN OCHA, IOM),
Co Chairs of the Community Based DRR network (MPBI),
Co Chairs of the GBV sub cluster (UNFPA),
Chair of the Community Engagement Working Group (PLAN),
Secretariat of the Humanitarian Country Team etc.
Indonesians prefer to use WhatsApp and for now we just have Bahasa Indonesia as the main language.
A lot of time has gone into the set up and getting the right level of buy in and understanding of the process and sensitive reporting mechanism.
Indonesia has over 3000 natural crises every year and it is envisioned that Loop can be a permanent service for reporting and feedback in response settings.
Loop will sit alongside the Government's well established, but closed feedback mechanism and a pool of volunteer moderators is being trained so that they can surge in to help manage feedback when a large scale crisis hits.
Ukraine Response Partnership
Loop is now available in Ukrainian and Polish
Due to the sudden onset crisis, and our friends and colleagues in Poland seeing the influx of people and wanting to offer the Loop service, we had volunteers and added on Polish and Ukrainian in 1 week. We then employed Polish and Ukrainian moderators and have been working to roll out and embed Loop into 1) the Polish context and 2) for Ukrainians anywhere.
Loop can be used by any Ukrainian person inside or outside of Ukraine, in transit, destination or temporary countries.Loop can also be used by host communities in Poland on their behalf.
We are actively mapping the existing response and longer term structure, gaps and needs in terms of Social Accountability, feedback and safe reporting mechanisms in Poland and Ukraine. We are having discussions about longer term hosting of Loop and Steering Committee members, which will evolve over time and as Loop becomes better understood and more widely used.