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A new era of humanitarian action


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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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

Looking back at the DEPP two years on

The DEPP closed two years ago this month. Many articles were published on its achievements and the independent evaluation by Harvard Humanitarian Initiative drew attention to these as well as some of the challenges including its sustainability. As part of our 10-year celebrations, the Evidence and Learning team of the Start Network have been finding out “what happened next” following the close of the DEPP by speaking to some of member organisations and other stakeholders who were involved in the programme.


Blog Post

How the National Humanitarian Network in Pakistan continues the work of Start Network in strengthening local capacity

Here we talk with Sana Zulfiqar who told us about the continuation of the work of the DEPP and how it has led to new initiatives in Pakistan and the wider region. Sana has been able to push forward many of the Start Networks initiatives in localisation and “shifting the power”.


Blog Post

The legacy of strengthening local capacity in Pakistan through Start Network’s DEPP programme

Here Saeed Ullah Khan shares some of his reflections on the achievements and challenges of Start Network’s Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) in Pakistan, his observations on its continuing legacy and his suggestions on how these efforts could be further improved.


News Article

Twelve local and national organisations become members of Start Network

Start Network is pleased to announce that 12 new local and national aid agencies, based in India, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have joined the network. The new members have joined as part of Start Network’s plans to build a more balanced network made up of more local and national actors.


Latest resources


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.



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.



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.



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.



The Network

Start Network members