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

8 non-analytical things I learnt at analysis training

Start Network's Leonie Le Borgne reflects on a workshop she attended with the Inter-agency Regional Analysts Network (IARAN) and discussed how each of us, in our separate organisations can bring change to the humanitarian sector, for the better.


Blog Post

Let's change the way we think about risk management

For lot of us, the idea of ‘risk management’ stirs up negative images- spreadsheets, risk registers, bureaucrats, dry software packages (shudder), or flustered efforts to address live risks spreading across media headlines. And that’s about it, right? Wrong.


Blog Post

Getting ahead of deadly heat

In May this year, members in Pakistan raised a Start Fund alert for a heatwave, the alert was activated. Members had collectively analysed weather forecasts and had raised the alert before temperatures reached deadly levels. Start Network's Sarah Klassen discusses the challenges of forecasting heatwaves, and why a similar alert in 2017 was not activated.



Anticipating crisis: Forewarn community meeting

Date: 25th May 2018  Registration: Please email Leonie Le Borgne if you wish to attend. Time: 12:00pm-4:30pm (optional lunch starting at 12, meeting starts at 1pm) Location: Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA. You can also join this meeting virtually, please click here.