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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

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, with approximately 6,143 cases confirmed and 197 deaths. The outbreak poses many challenges, particularly in the country’s many refugee camps, which were largely excluded from the government response plan due to limited resources. 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. In expectation of the fact that over 140,000 refugees and nearby communities would likely require support, given the increased vulnerability of refugees living in overcrowded camps with limited access to health services, Start Network members took an anticipatory approach to respond to the situation.


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.


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.


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.


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The Network

Start Network members