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A new era of humanitarian action

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Start Fund Bangladesh COVID-19 response 2020, Jago Nari

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About us

A new era of humanitarian action


Start Network is made up of more than 50 humanitarian 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 locally led action.

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, which 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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Locally-led action


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 more than 50 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

News Article

Start Network COP26 Events

Start Network participating at four events during COP26 read on to see how you can join us.

26Oct21

News Article

Start Network at COP26

Start Network is calling on world leaders at COP26 to help ensure the humanitarian sector is better prepared to deal with more intense and severe climate crises.

26Oct21

Blog Post

Start Network welcomes new Treasurer

Start Network is pleased to welcome Glyn Isherwood as its new Treasurer and independent trustee. Glyn is currently the Chief Financial Officer at the BBC. He is an experienced finance director and has provided long-term financial strategy and ensured business performance of many creative and digital organisations. He trained as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG where he specialised in audits and has previously occupied a number of trustee roles in the humanitarian sector as Treasurer of Amnesty International UK and as a Trustee for UNICEF UK and BBC’s Children in Need. 

21Oct21

News Article

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Becomes First US Donor to Innovative Humanitarian Relief Fund

The Start Fund has been awarded US $2.5 million from its first US-based donor, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The $2.5 million grant will enable the Start Fund to continue providing its lifesaving support, in addition to exploring adaptations that enable greater access to the Start Fund.

21Oct21

Latest resources

Resource

Gender Inclusive Disaster Risk Financing - Executive Summary

In 2021, Start Network commissioned a piece of research to analyse issues around gender for Disaster Risk Finance programming, in order to make recommendations to help us ensure the DRF systems we build and support are fully gender-sensitive, and to ensure that our programmes adequately account for gender differences at different points of the project cycle. Based on the ‘Missing Voices’ methodology developed by Practical Action, the research sought to hear from those individuals who are most marginalised, to gain insight into their experiences in order to design more inclusive approaches to disaster risk management. The research included a deep dive into two case studies - Bangladesh and the Philippines - to illustrate the gendered dimensions of DRF programming with real-life experiences.

28Oct21

Resource

The Start Fund: Value and Uniqueness in a Shifting Humanitarian Funding Environment

The Start Fund is the first multi-donor pooled humanitarian funding mechanism, managed exclusively by international and national non-governmental organisations (INGOs/NNGOs). As its membership has expanded, the frequency of alerts has risen, tools and systems have improved, governance has been restructured, and evidence and learning pro-cesses have been strengthened. In its sixth year of operation, by August 2020 the Start Fund had awarded over £71m and demand was seen to be at an all-time high. Past independent evaluations of the Start Fund and its performance have concluded that it is a successful and unique funding mechanism that has added significant value to, and has great potential to reform, the humanitarian financing system.

15Oct21

Resource

Local Organisations’ Reflections on Partnerships with Start Network

In 2020, Start Network conducted a survey of 98 local and national organisations (75 men and 23 women from 32 countries) that had previously partnered with Start Network or a Start Network member. The objective of the survey was to better understand the ways in which the partnerships were working. The survey aimed to identify the challenges and opportunities for collaborative and equal partnerships between Start Network and Start Network members with local partners. This research and its recommendations will be beneficial to people and organisations working with or developing partnerships with local organisations in the humanitarian sector. It also highlights specific areas of learning for Start Network to work on internally. Ninety-four percent of local partners felt the interaction was either ‘very positive’ or ‘positive’, however, the majority (86%) also felt there was more Start Network or Start Network members should be doing to build a stronger relationship. Read the Executive Summary in Bangla, French, Indonesian, Spanish, and Urdu

15Oct21

Resource

موجز التعلم ربـع السنوي لألدلة والتعلم يوليو – سبتم

موجز التعلم ربــع السنوي للأدلة والتعلم The brief is provided in Arabic, Bangla, English, French and Spanish.

14Oct21

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The Network

Start Network members