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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 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

News Article

New research explores the opportunities and challenges of a migration-specific rapid response fund

The Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF), funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), was established in January 2017. The MERF’s aim is to address the unpredictable nature of the mixed migration context across the Mediterranean and rapidly respond to new or emerging needs. It built on the Start Network’s experience of collaboratively responding to the needs of migrants and refugees through its two European Refugee Responses (ERR) in 2015-2016.

06Aug20

Blog Post

Interview with Manu Gupta and Varghese Antony

In June four humanitarian organisations from India joined the Start Network, and one of these is SEEDS. We spoke with Manu Gupta and Varghese Antony about their previous interactions with the Start Network and their motivations for joining.

05Aug20

News Article

Eight organisations take part in localised fund for COVID-19 response

As part of Start Network’s commitment to supporting local actors, eight national and local members have so far been selected to participate in a localised fund for COVID-19 response. This fund will allow these organisations to access funding of up to £30,000 to respond to COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India and Pakistan.

04Aug20

Blog Post

Alert 417: Cyclone Harold in Vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone Harold, which slammed into Vanuatu’s northern provinces on 6 April 2020, proved to be almost as devastating. Hitting in the middle of a national state of emergency to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19, the response was even more challenging.

31Jul20

Latest resources

Resource

Start Fund COVID-19 Update - 1st Edition

This document shares updates from Start Fund COVID-19 projects. This first edition includes short case studies from COVID-19 response projects in Timor Leste, Haiti, Lebanon, Peru, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

29Jun20

Resource

Start Fund handbook

This handbook details the procedures which govern the use and allocation of the Start Fund

24Jun20

Resource

June 2020 Risk Brief

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.

10Jun20

Resource

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

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The Network

Start Network members