10 years of Start Network driving change in humanitarian aid

Start Network was formed in 2010, then known as the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies (CBHA). In 2020 we are proud to celebrate the change our network has delivered in the past 10 years.


Read more about the history of Start Network.

2020 Assembly and 10-year anniversary



The Assembly affords the unique opportunity to the network's members and stakeholders to come together, take stock of our learning and progress, and propel us forward in our collective vision.


It has three distinct components:


  • exchanging information and exploring how we have made progress (LEARN);
  • generating solutions to strategic challenges (BUILD),
  • and the annual general meeting of the members to make key governance decisions (DECIDE).


This year we will hold our first ever fully virtual Assembly meeting. We will also use the opportunity to celebrate Start Network's 10-year anniversary, and the change-makers that have made the network what it is today.


Week schedule

We are planning a series of virtual sessions and events over a 4-day period. In addition to the usual sessions and AGM, there will also be events relating to Start Network's 10-year anniversary, announcing and celebrating change-makers from across the network.  



We are planning the following topics for the BUILD workshops on Wednesday and Thursday - more may be added soon: 

  • The Start Fund niche and the gaps in humanitarian financing: Start Fund’s niche fills a structural gap within the humanitarian system, by responding to under-the-radar small to medium scale emergencies, spikes in larger emergencies, and in anticipation of crises. How should we be evolving the Start Fund to respond to the changing realities of the humanitarian global context and the evolving humanitarian financing landscape?
  • Realising the Start Financing Facility: Simulation of a drought scenario to demonstrate how the Start Financing Facility would be operationalised at country-level, with particular focus on ‘user’ experience - including identification of barriers and challenges, and testing how accessible the facility would be for small local NGOs.
  • Community influence in hub decision making: How do we go the last mile to consider communities in hub planning? How can hubs engage with communities to ensure their concerns are listened to? What can Start Network (and members) do to enable that? What infrastructure changes (e.g. micro-grants) and power decision points can be shifted to facilitate more community involvement? (Hubs to work together to refine this further, consider how to ensure it is grounded in community views and plan the session)
  • Accelerating support for the hubs: What does the first phase of the proof of concept tell us about how members have engaged in the hub process? What are the enablers and barriers that we can address to ensure members are able to fully participate, and how can we maximise their leadership in line with goals around localisation?
  • Governance in the network of networks: What would the governance model of a truly distributed network look like? Explore how well the proposed design of future governance responds to the principles and needs of a network of networks.
  • Equipping members to develop, test, adopt and scale innovation: What are the barriers for members to adopt new solutions in their programmes, form new partnerships with start-ups, and adopt community innovations? What can Start do to support members to overcome those barriers?
  • Rapid Innovation Fund: Explore the demand for a rapid innovation fund mentioned in the hubs call to action, thinking through what the use cases and design parameters for such a fund would be.
  • What makes a ‘strong institution’? Help us create an organisational development framework that looks beyond compliance and enables members to achieve systemic change
  • Facilitating learning across the network: Start Network is uniquely placed to support our members to learn from one another. How can the Start Network team better facilitate real-time learning between Start Network members, to help us realise our full potential in terms of rapid learning and improvement?
  • Towards decentralised and diverse fundraising: How can we engage successfully with local donors when fundraising with and for the hubs and national-level programmes such as Start Fund Bangladesh? Sharing lessons and successes



For more information, please contact info@startnetwork.org.

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