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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

Four years of successful anticipatory action

In 2016, the Start Network launched the Start Fund Anticipation Window in Bonn. We set out to link Start Network members with forecasts of impending crises and to facilitate country-level collaborative risk analysis, to release funds before a disaster strikes. Twenty-five Start Network members have since led innovative anticipatory projects, in twenty-four crisis-prone countries.


Blog Post

Acting early to save lives

As extreme weather patterns are becoming every-day news, a mounting body of evidence paints an increasingly dire picture of the present and future impacts of climate change. As a result, governments, NGOs, businesses and citizens are increasingly relying on data to foresee the loss and damage climate change can cause.


Blog Post

Cold weather snaps in Mexico

This year’s harsh winter cold fronts created a potential humanitarian crisis in Mexico, especially in light of the country’s weak infrastructure and high rates of poverty. Start Network member, CADENA, submitted an alert to Start Fund in early November in anticipation of this crisis.


Blog Post

Sri Lanka Alert 282

The Start Fund alerts responding to climate-related disasters are increasing year-on-year. Start Network’s anticipatory action provides NGOs with the coordination and funding to better respond to crises that are undoubtedly associated with climate change. An anticipatory response to predicted flooding in Sri Lanka was initiated in the second half of 2018 through Alert 282. It is 1 of 9 flood-related alerts that have been raised in this country in the past four years to the Start Fund.


Latest resources


Monthly Risk Briefing: January 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 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.



Learning from Dhaka: Insights from grassroots innovations

The Disasters Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) Innovation Labs are composed of national and international humanitarian organisations under the Start Network and CDAC that support innovation emerging from communities in times of crisis. The Bangladesh DEPP lab is one of four labs recently supported by UK Aid for a two year period (2017-2019). This network of labs also extends to Jordan, the Philippines and Kenya. While each lab followed the core principles of lean innovation each adopted their own approach to applying this methodology.



Monthly Risk Briefing: December 2019

The monthly risk briefing provides information on global weather, human and health events where members may consider using the Start Fund Anticipation process.




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.



The Network

Start Network members