Anticipation & Risk Financing


 

Start Network supports agencies to analyse the risk of crises, and create a suite of timely, and reliable funding options, to disburse for different types of crises. This will enable NGOs to forecast crises, and access timely funding to reduce the impact of those disasters on communities. 

Sorce and her son Abdallah in the drought-stricken Oromia region of Ethiopia. Credit: UNOCHA/Charlotte Cans

Timely funding for predictable crises


Climate change, inequality, increased urban densities and the nature of today’s conflicts are generating humanitarian crises of increasing complexity and frequency. Despite improvements in our ability to predict the likelihood of disasters, the humanitarian system continues to react as though they are unexpected surprises, responding only after they occur, and then often slowly. 

 

Anticipation & Risk Financing allows humanitarians to be better prepared in advance of humanitarian events by quantifying risks in advance of crises or disasters, pre-positioning funds, and releasing them according to pre-agreed protocols.

 

We are developing new funding instruments that enable humanitarians to mobilise collaboratively, predictably, to manage risks rather than react to crises. These mechanisms are based on:

 

  1. The use of science and data to model and quantify risks in advance in the areas in which we operate;
  2. Working together to pre-plan and pre-cost different crisis response activities needed to support communities;
  3. Pre-positioning funds according to pre-agreed protocols for release, so that when the conditions are met, funding is rapidly released.

 

Programmes

How do we work


  • Our anticipatory funding is disbursed through the Start Fund for small to medium crises, based on dynamic decision-making, meaning that NGOs can act early when they see crises coming.
  • We are using financial tools such as insurance to leverage funding for NGOs, allowing them to protect against the risk of large-scale drought. This involves quantifying risks, planning humanitarian operations, and disbursing funding according to pre-agreed triggers, in a timely and predictable manner.
  • We will be using the learning from these early action innovations to scale and layer a suite of disaster risk financing tools for different types of crises, to ensure that funding can quickly and efficiently be channelled to frontline humanitarian actors.

CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT


Our anticipatory funding is disbursed through the Start Fund for small to medium crises, based on dynamic decision-making, meaning that NGOs can act early when they see crises coming.

Latest


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.

28May20

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

Event

Ask the Expert with IKEA Foundation

Can early action prevent the spread of COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities? Given the scale of the challenge, what is the most effective way to respond?

30Apr20

Blog Post

The Domino Effect: Acting in advance of crises

We have helped to mitigate the damage of impending disasters and, in some cases, managed to stop crises from forming altogether as a result of well-timed, pre-emptive action. Through these experiences, we have built a strong body of evidence that points to the value of early interventions to save time, money, and lives.

08Apr20

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Further Information

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