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A new era of humanitarian action

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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

Shifting the power: Start Fund Bangladesh in action

“It's a great example of localisation, the local NGOs have access to funds, mutual learning opportunity and ensured collective efforts for national and international organisations”

24Jan20

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

Start Fund Bangladesh is demonstrating how localisation makes aid more effective and efficient. People in need are receiving help 10 days faster and operational costs have been halved. 

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

Latest resources

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

Resource

ANALYSING GAPS IN THE HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RISK FINANCING LANDSCAPE

A global mapping of humanitarian and disaster-related financing in the preceding paper has highlighted the range of flows received by countries experiencing crisis. Whilst this has demonstrated a varied landscape of financing mechanisms, further analysis has also drawn attention to the potential gaps in the current humanitarian system. The following paper explores such gaps between the global humanitarian caseload and existing financing flows along the dimensions of predictability, severity and timing, in order to understand the potential for a new risk finance facility for NGOs.

19Dec19

Resource

MAPPING FINANCIAL FLOWS TO HUMANITARIAN CRISES

This paper provides a summary mapping of the disaster risk financing, humanitarian and wider funding streams that may be relevant to the implementation of an NGO risk financing facility (the Start Financing Facility). The vision for the Start Financing Facility is to provide a financial infrastructure to the Start Network which will allow members to deploy ‘donor money at scale, in timely, predictable and efficient ways’ to support them in protecting communities at risk (Start Network, 2019). This paper analyses how funding currently flows within the humanitarian sector, to what contexts and disasters, from what sources and to which actors, for what kind of sectoral interventions.  

19Dec19

Resource

FINANCIAL FLOWS MAPPING INTRODUCTION: THE POTENTIAL FOR A RISK FINANCE FACILITY FOR CIVIL SOCIETY

The Start Network is embarking on an ambitious design process for the Start Financing Facility (SFF); envisaged as the future financial infrastructure for the network. The long-term goal is for the SFF to incorporate existing Start Network funding mechanisms as well as new national and global instruments to provide a continuum of funding that will enable frontline humanitarian actors to better support communities at risk. This paper provides some initial quantification of the challenges with the humanitarian financing system that the SFF seeks to address. It highlights important gaps in the financing landscape, indicating that funding is reactive and not pre-planned, dominated by post-event response, and not sufficiently meeting the needs of people affected by under the radar crises. These gaps could be addressed by the Start Network, through the SFF and this analysis could eventually serve as a baseline against which to measure progress against the SFF once we enter the implementation phase.  

19Dec19

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The Network

Start Network members