If there is one major lesson we have learnt from the Covid-19-related lockdown, it is how woefully unprepared we were as a community to support each other. While help was available — Malaysians have never hesitated to support one another in times of need — channelling it was a problem, especially when our movements were strictly curtailed. Individual non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operated in silos and did what they could, but there were countless individuals who wanted to do more but did not know how to. Worse still, there were scores of people who needed help and were not able to access it.
Going forward — we should know better than to think something like this will never happen again — a solution has been implemented to ensure those who want to help and those who need it can connect on a transparent and easily accessed platform.
Founded as an immediate response to Covid-19 with a long-term vision of strengthening the nation’s humanitarian crisis preparedness and resilience, The Malaysian Coordination and Action Hub — or Match — is the first national-level collaboration hub aimed at streamlining humanitarian aid delivery.
Despite its simple premise, a platform like Match did not already exist in Malaysia and is rare in other parts of the world. Rather than a mere marketplace to connect donors and recipients, Match is a powerful data-driven initiative to facilitate collaboration between civil society organisations, the public sector and private sector organisations to make aid delivery more efficient; to enable coordination between these parties to share and combine efforts to match supply and demand; and to assist civil society organisations in connecting with the public with transparency and an open sharing of information.
Backing these noble goals are Match’s seven founding members with expertise in humanitarian crisis management, aid delivery, funding management, strategy, data and technology. They are the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Yayasan Hasanah, Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Mercy Malaysia, Majlis Keselamatan Negara and Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, who is Match’s special advisor. Jemilah, founder of Mercy Malaysia and one of the world’s most respected leaders in disaster management, is currently also the special advisor on matters of public health to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Options met with Jemilah and Match’s co-chairs Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz Sultan Abdul Halim and Shahira Ahmed Bazari — who are also the national chairman of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society and managing director of Yayasan Hasanah respectively — one rainy afternoon just as Malaysians were beginning to stretch their legs in the Recovery Movement Control Order period. We were later joined by Ong Ching-Fong, managing director and senior partner of BCG and the SEA leader of DigitalBCG.
For the full story, pick up a copy of The Edge Malaysia (Aug 31, 2020) at your nearest news stand. Save by subscribing to us for your print and/or digital copy.