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Annual Report / Evaluation

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

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

5 Key Insights from Tackling COVID-19 in Cameroon

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, Cameroon has been afflicted with one of the highest numbers of confirmed cases in sub-Saharan African. The Start Network’s Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF) funded one of the first projects in the country to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and work to complement existing responses.

01Jun20

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

Latest resources

Resource

COVID19 Learning from four disease outbreak responses

At Start Network we always aim to learn from experience. So, we have endeavoured to analyse the data and information from past Start Fund responses in order to present a set of lessons for COVID-19 projects.

16Apr20

Resource

Do it yourself assessment of the impact and value for money, for a forecast-based project in Bangladesh

This learning paper documents the process and learning from an impact assessment of a forecast-based project in Bangladesh. It is useful for anyone looking at impact measurement of forecast-based action.

31Mar20

Resource

Sector wide review of monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning methodologies for forecast-based action

This document summarises approaches used to evaluate the impact of forecast-based action to date from across the humanitarian sector. It is a useful reference for anyone setting up impact assessments of forecast-based action.

31Mar20

Resource

A management response to: An External Evaluation of the Start Fund Preparedness to Scale-Up 2018/9

The Start Fund has an established practice of providing management response to its external, independent evaluations. Developed through a participatory process, the management response helps to ensure that the evaluations are used, contributing to the Start Funds’ effectiveness, learning, and accountability.   Start Fund constituted an Evaluation Management Response Drafting Committee, comprising of: Three representatives from the Start Fund Strategic Committee: John Birchenough from Catholic international development charity, CAFOD; Jonathan Brooker from Solidarites International UK; and Saba Mahmood from Islamic Relief Worldwide and Start Funds, Head of Funds, Lucile Brethes Start Fund Manager, Lucretia Puentes Start Funds MEAL Manager, Chaitali Chattopadhyay     The drafting committee members carried out a wide-range consultation with the broader Start Fund committee members, Start Network Leadership Team and the Board members to develop a comprehensive management response to the evaluation. The document can be accessed here.  The progress against the management response will be presented to the Start Fund Strategic Committee on a regular basis to ensure compliance and accountability towards the committed actions.

25Mar20

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