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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

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.

14Jan20

Resource

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.

13Jan20

Resource

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.

02Jan20

Resource

ANALYSING THE START FUND CASELOAD

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.

19Dec19

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Start Network members