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A new era of humanitarian action

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Start Fund: Tropical storm response, Somalia, 2018

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About us

A new era of humanitarian action


Start Network is made up of more than 40 aid agencies across five continents, ranging from large international organisations to national NGOs. Together, our aim is to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and localisation.
We're tackling what we believe are the biggest systemic problems that the sector faces - problems including slow and reactive funding, centralised decision-making, and an aversion to change, means that people affected by crises around the world, do not receive the best help fast enough, and needless suffering results.
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Localisation


We believe that a more balanced international aid system, which shifts power to those closest to the front-line, will generate more effective and appropriate responses for people affected by crises.

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New froms of financing

New forms of financing


Our pooled funds enable fast and early action to tackle the kind of crises that are often overlooked by other funding mechanisms. Our risk financing pilots are introducing new ways of working that can save even more lives.

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Collective innovation


New ways of working are needed to tackle the challenges we face. By innovating collectively we can share expertise, insights and perspectives to shape a more effective humanitarian system.

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An international network

Today the Start Network extends to over 40 members and their 7000 partner organisations, employing more than a quarter of a million people across 200 countries and territories.
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Latest news

Press release

Davos call to global leaders: Partner now to save the world

The Sustainable Impact Hub (SIH) is bringing together stakeholders from international development and humanitarian organisations in Davos from 21–24 January 2020 to showcase the power of cross-sector collaboration. For the third consecutive year, 17 organisations have come together under Sustainable Development Goal 17 to ‘Accelerate cross-sector collaboration for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’.

20Jan20

Blog Post

The Start Fund Bangladesh makes progress in localisation

In the few years since the Grand Bargain commitments on localisation in 2016 there has been little tangible progress at scale. A detailed review of global funding streams suggests that direct funding to local and national Civil Society Organisations remains relatively unchanged, standing at less than 0.2% of all humanitarian assistance in 2018 – a far cry from the aggregated target of at least 25% by 2020.

14Jan20

News Article

Start Network to support five ‘founding hubs’ to drive localisation of aid

Start Network has announced five founding hubs to be based in countries and regions affected by crises, localising resources and decision-making to improve the quality of humanitarian aid.

14Jan20

Blog Post

An end of year message from Christina Bennett, CEO of Start Network

19Dec19

Latest resources

Resource

Monthly Risk Briefing: January 2020

The monthly risk briefing reports on new, emerging or deteriorating situations; therefore, ongoing events that are considered to be unchanged are not featured and risks that are beyond the scope and scale of the Start Fund are also not featured. It is collated by the Start Network Anticipation team using information from academia and research institutes, government departments, ACAPS, global risk indexes, risk information provided by Start Members and their partners, and the media. Key risks are shared and collated each month with FOREWARN input.

14Jan20

Resource

Learning from Dhaka: Insights from grassroots innovations

The Disasters Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) Innovation Labs are composed of national and international humanitarian organisations under the Start Network and CDAC that support innovation emerging from communities in times of crisis. The Bangladesh DEPP lab is one of four labs recently supported by UK Aid for a two year period (2017-2019). This network of labs also extends to Jordan, the Philippines and Kenya. While each lab followed the core principles of lean innovation each adopted their own approach to applying this methodology.

13Jan20

Resource

Monthly Risk Briefing: December 2019

The monthly risk briefing provides information on global weather, human and health events where members may consider using the Start Fund Anticipation process.

02Jan20

Resource

ANALYSING THE START FUND CASELOAD

The Start Fund is a collective mechanism, allowing Start Network members to access rapid financing for crisis anticipation and response. Its focus is on underfunded small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian emergencies, and forecasts and early action / anticipation for impending crises (Start Network, 2019b). Between its inception in 2014 and mid-March 2019, the Start Fund was alerted 311 times. Out of these, 209 alerts were successfully activated, resulting in a total of US$ 65.6 million awarded for anticipation and response in 60 countries. Building on a global mapping of humanitarian and disaster-related financial flows, this paper analyses past Start Fund alerts and allocations considering the predictability, severity and timing of the Start Fund caseload.

19Dec19

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Start Network members