Founder and Co-Director
Smruti is the founder of Global Mentoring Initiative (GMI). She has been working in and on humanitarian action since 1995. She was one of the evaluators and authors of the Tsunami Evaluation Consortium's study on the impact of international relief response on local capacities.
She was been leading the engagement of local and national NGOs in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to create a global network to raise the profile of their role in humanitarian and development work, and demand an equal voice in the global policy debates and increased funding. She was appointed as Interim Executive Director of the network (NEAR), which was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016.
She is now leading the Global Mentoring Initiative based in Geneva. GMI's focus is on creating a mentoring platform to accompany organisational capacity strengthening of local and national NGOs.
Koenraad Van Brabant
Co-Director and Principle Consultant for Navigation 360
Koenraad brings extensive programmatic and organisational management experience, drawing on 25+ years of work in and on volatile environments, where humanitarian action, violence reduction, peace work & governance improvements take place.
He has dealt with situations of rapid growth and rapid scaling down, and periods of organisational restructuring, decentralisation or re-centralisation. This includes situations of financial and trust crises and recovery therefrom. He has been part of or facilitated many strategic analysis and planning exercises.
For years he was co-director of a ‘Leadership’ training course. He has also led the development of an innovative course on ‘Effective Advising’, covering the complementary skills that thematic experts need: interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, understanding the functioning of organisations in a wider socio-political and economic context, organisational capacity-strengthening, and change management.
He has often been focal point for or informal driver of collaborative work within organisations across units and silos, and between organisations in coordination platforms, networks, coalitions and partnerships, or less formalised multi-stakeholder processes.
He has a strong ability to ‘zoom in & zoom out’: seeing the relevant detail, while maintaining a holistic perspective on the organisation and seeing it within a wider, evolving, landscape.
He uses a diversity of techniques and approaches from facilitation, coaching, partnership brokering, adult learning, organisational development & change management, to enable inclusion, participation, trust building and convergence towards agreement, underpinned by critical thinking and results-orientation.
Bhavesh S Patel
Advisor and Mentor
I design and facilitate learning and development for people, organisations, and networks. My methods are drawn from an eclectic mix of complexity science, participation, dialogue, coaching, cognitive science, etc. I believe that in an increasingly uncertain world, there are no off-the-shelf pre-defined ideal solutions. Instead organisations can find their evolutionary capacity through engaging the hearts and minds of their own people. I also work as a trainer delivering workshops that explore skills in self-management, communication, coaching, designing and delivering training and facilitation. My clients are a mix of social and corporate, from Deutsche Bank to WWF.
Jonathan Potter has worked in the humanitarian and development sector since 1991, most recently as the Executive Director of Qatar Charity UK and, before that, of People In Aid, a global network of NGOs. Under his leadership People In Aid grew into the largest transnational network in the sector, focussing agencies’ and individuals’ attention on quality and accountability on a range of issues such as good management, staff security, local staff development, coaching and competencies – and much more. People In Aid pioneered organisational certification for the humanitarian sector.
In his last years at People In Aid Jonathan co-led the development of the Core Humanitarian Standard for the sector and also the establishment of the CHS Alliance. He has been part of many interagency collaborations, chairing, for example, ELRHA, the START Network’s Surge Capacity Project and the Emergency Personnel Network. He has undertaken consultancies for major actors in the sector, for example researching the capacity of local NGOs for ECHO in 2012. He has been directly involved, and has managed colleagues in all aspects of running a non-profit: governance, HR, communications, fundraising, finance and projects. He is currently a strategic advisor with Muslim Aid, supporting the CEO on governance, organisational development and internal systems.