As humanitarian aid evolves, can the insurance industry factor in?

By Adva Saldinger 30 October 2015

Sean Lowrie, the director of the Start Network sat down with Devex Impact associate editor Adva Saldinger to discuss the changing nature of the humanitarian aid system and the possibility for greater collaboration with the insurance industry.

The humanitarian aid system, which is something like the world’s safety net for disasters, is evolving and as it does there are more opportunities to collaborate with the insurance industry.

The Start Network, a network of international nongovernmental organizations who are working to improve humanitarian response to crises, is working to improve systems and find ways to collaborate with partners to develop a new set of processes and products.

“You put the pieces together, humanitarian aid needs a new business model, the insurance industry wants to expand its reach and the market wants different invests that aren’t correlated to U.S. housing,” Sean Lowrie, the Start Network’s director told Devex in a video interview. “And you have a really fantastic opportunity for us to generate new sources of financing that are not tied to traditional media headlines and political will, but are tied to objective scientific indicators.”

It’s not easy to accomplish, both because of cultural challenges and building capacity in the sector to engage with these complex models, he said.

To learn more about how Start Network NGOs are thinking about their changing roles and how insurance can play a greater role in humanitarian response watch the video above.

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About the author

Adva Saldinger@AdvaSal

As a Devex Impact associate editor, Adva leads coverage of the intersection of business and international development. From partnerships to trade and social entrepreneurship to impact investing, she enjoys exploring the role the private sector and private capital play in development. Previously, she has worked as a reporter at newspapers in both the U.S. and South Africa. Most recently, she has been ghostwriting a memoir for a former child slave and NGO founder in Ghana.

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