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.



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.


Blog Post

Mainstreaming Early Action

Every year, numerous predictable risks turn into humanitarian disasters. Whether it’s foreseen pre-election violence, disease outbreaks following floods, or landslides following heavy rains, a lot can be done to mitigate the damage of such threats by acting early.


News Article

Start Network signs ‘game-changing’ drought insurance policy for early humanitarian response in Senegal

The Start Network has signed a ‘game-changing’ insurance policy, intended to pay out if a drought hits Senegal, enabling aid agencies to offer live-saving help before a famine threatens to take people’s lives.



Crisis Anticipation: Biannual FOREWARN meeting

The Start Fund will be hosting the bi-annual FOREWARN community meeting which will take place on the 12th & 13th September 2018, in greater London. During this event we will reflect on the achievements of the Crisis Anticipation Window over the past two years, focussing on practical examples as well as policy shifts towards early action in the sector.  The second half of the event will be about the direction that FOREWARN will take over the next few years – growing and devolving through the formation of national groups, specialised thematic subgroups and strategic partnerships. The full Agenda is listed below, some timings and sections may be subject to change. If you working in anticipation, early action, risk financing or otherwise, and would like to attend, please click here to get in touch with the team.


Blog Post

Analysis for Action assessment completed in The Democratic Republic of Congo for anticipated volcano eruption

What is the actual level of preparedness for future volcanic eruptions? An Analysis for Action assessment was carried out on the communities surrounding the Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).