Hpa-An flood response in Myanmar
© HelpAge International. A flood response in Myanmar.

Mission, vision and values

Start Network’s vision is for a locally led humanitarian system that is accountable to people affected by and at risk of crises.

We aim to achieve our vision by making system-level shifts in the way humanitarian support is approached and delivered.

The problems

  • Decision making is centralised, meaning that donors’ and aid agencies’ priorities are disconnected from the communities who are actually at risk or affected by crises.
  • The current system is reactive, fragmented and inefficient.
  • The sector’s incentives and ways of working are outdated, inflexible and resistant to change.

Our solutions

  • We are shifting power, resources and decision making to locally led networks and organisations.
  • We are creating a global humanitarian financing system that is focused on reducing risk, and on anticipating and acting ahead of predictable crises.
  • We support communities in developing innovative solutions to humanitarian problems – solutions that we can all learn from.


To track our progress against our organisational goals, we have developed five interlinked keys which we can use to focus our work and assess our achievements.

We are looking for a change in power dynamics, which means that decision-making, ways of working and priorities are decided by local and national organisations in support of community priorities.

We have a new purpose around a truly locally-led humanitarian system that is accountable to people affected by and at risk of crises.

We design and carry out our activities, programmes, procedures and behaviours in a way that makes them accountable to the people and communities we work with.

Our new system is based on equitable and sustainable relationships with a diverse range of people and organisations.

Our resources (money, technology, knowledge) are flexible so that they flow easily to local and national organisations. They can then be managed directly by these organisations themselves.


WE PUT PEOPLE FIRST: communities come first in our decision-making and programming.

WE ARE BRAVE: we have great ambition and are willing to explore new things and take risks to achieve it.

WE OPERATE COLLECTIVELY: we leverage the value of working as a network, sharing risk and resources, and learning together.

WE ARE INCLUSIVE: we see the value in diverse perspectives and work to remove the barriers that prevent voices from being heard.

WE ARE OPEN: we work transparently and with integrity, building mutual trust in all levels of our work, from governance to programming.

WE ARE ETHICAL: we behave and operate based on key principles of anti-racism, non-discrimination, and anti-colonialism. This is a work in progress.


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