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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

Blog Post

Three key lessons to improve risk-based decision-making

In 2019, we commissioned our first evaluation of crisis anticipation at the Start Network. We were keen to reflect on our risk-taking, look at which hazards we needed to invest in to improve our skill, and learn how to better measure the quality of anticipation alert notes submitted to the Start Fund. A key element of this was to look back across anticipation alerts and see where our forecasted emergencies had happened as expected and what kind of differences we had seen.

28May20

Blog Post

Shining a spotlight on mental health in the humanitarian sector during COVID-19

Mental Health Awareness Week in 2020 has taken on a more pressing and immediate priority in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, given the implications for the mental and physical wellbeing of billions across the globe.

19May20

News Article

Going virtual: 2020 Assembly & 10-year anniversary

Start Network has decided to move it's annual Assembly meeting and 10-year anniversary celebrations to a virtual format.

13May20

News Article

Reversing the inequity - Opportunity knocks again or missed opportunity again?

The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to prioritise locally led responses and reverse existing inequities within the humanitarian sector. The Alliance for Empowering Partnership (A4EP) shares 10 recommendations from frontline responders to ensure that we live up to the Grand Bargain.

12May20

Latest resources

Resource

Start Fund: Evaluation of Crisis Anticipation

In 2019, we commissioned our first evaluation of crisis anticipation at the Start Network. We were keen to reflect on our risk-taking, look at which hazards we needed to invest in to improve our skill, and learn how to better measure the quality of anticipation alert notes submitted to the Start Fund. A key element of this was to look back across anticipation alerts and see where our forecasted emergencies had happened as expected and what kind of differences we had seen. The evaluation looked at fourteen anticipatory projects from thirteen different forecasted crises. It concluded that half of them had not occurred, which prompted a wider review of all the projects where data was available to determine whether their forecasts were correct. To do this, we used information submitted by implementing agencies when their project has finished. We looked at data from 37 projects, which were implemented across 24 different forecasted emergencies. Thirty-six percent of forecasted emergencies took place as predicted or with a more significant impact, meaning 64% either did not occur or occurred with less intensity. While the Start Network saw a few ‘false alarms’ as a characteristic of a healthily risk-taking humanitarian system, the number of near misses seemed high. Looking into the data, we learned three key points which will inform our approach moving forward.

28May20

Resource

Using Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) for Humanitarian Responses During a Pandemic

Start Fund Bangladesh developed standing operating procedures (SOP) after taking stock of current happenings and in-depth discussion with donors and humanitarian leaders. The SOP targeted safety measures at multiple levels to ensure the ultimate prevention of transmission at the community level. Some of these included: Tracking physical health of staff and volunteers throughout the project period; In addition, all personnel involved in the project needed access to personal protective gear (masks and sanitizers) Adopting new practices at the organisational level: providing accommodation facilities to staff and volunteers if needed; giving compensatory allowances to those working in direct response; increasing organisational cleanliness as per WHO standards Following strict guidelines during response and: distributing relief items through door-to-door delivery and drawing distant circles.

27May20

Resource

Monthly Risk Briefing: May 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 and Risk Financing 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.

12May20

Resource

Basis risk in disaster risk financing for humanitarian action

This paper offers a number of potential technical solutions to assessing, managing and reducing basis risk. It acknowledges that, in order to be effective, these need to be accompanied by political and coordination efforts, and a wider look at DRF operational systems that are fit for crisis settings. The authors invite further ideas and discussion on this topic, including any opportunities to test and innovate new operational designs.

21Apr20

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