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A new era of humanitarian action

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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 50 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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Locally-led action


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

Cholera: Management or Mitigation?

The quarterly FOREWARN meeting in May 2021 focussed on epidemics in a deliberate effort to share recently-acquired learning on anticipating disease outbreaks and to apply them beyond the current pandemic. When considering which disease outbreak or epidemic the Start Fund could represent, cholera was the obvious choice for a few reasons.

08Jul21

Blog Post

Start Network welcomes new board chair and new independent trustee

Start Network is pleased to welcome Sanjayan Srikanthan, CEO of Shelterbox, as the new chair of the board of trustees. Sanj previously worked for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) during which time he served as Senior Vice President IRC Europe and Executive Director of IRC UK. As part of his role at IRC, Sanj served as an assembly representative and as the chair of the Start Fund Committee.

29Jun21

Blog Post

Opportunities to change the way we evaluate humanitarian responses

In 2020, Start Network undertook a number of consultations with communities that were supported by its funding. This included a large household survey in Senegal evaluating the quality and impact of assistance in anticipation of drought through ARC Replica, as well as the perceptions of people assited in Pakistan, India and DRC as part of our due diligence pilot. Central to the planning of these evaluations was an intention to be as inclusive as possible by amplifying marginalised voices, and to ensure that the people interviewed were able to express themselves in their local language by hiring local consultants to conduct interviews.

23Jun21

Blog Post

CASE STUDY: How Start Fund Bangladesh supported a local NGO's growth and sustainability

In 2020, Start Fund Bangladesh (SFB) conducted an Organisational System Strengthening Initiative (OSSI) facilitated by an external consultant. This initiative took a participatory approach in assisting six of SFB’s local members to identify gaps in the operating functions of their respective organisations. Bolipara Nari Kalyan Somity (BNKS) was one of these organisations. It is a women-led organisation that has been operating in Chittagong Hill Tracks of southeastern Bangladesh since 1991.  

21Jun21

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The Network

Start Network members