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.


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.



Putting People at the Centre of Early Action

A new report into Start Network's anticipation tool advises that going forward, enabling communities to act ahead of a potential disaster will require a focus on localisation, putting at-risk people at the centre of the process to mainstream of early humanitarian action.


News Article

National FOREWARN launches in Bangladesh and the Philippines

National FOREWARN group launches in Bangaldesh and the Philippines enabling them to use local expertise, forecasts and resources to act before a predictable crisis hits within country.


Blog Post

Acting in anticipation of a volcanic hazard in the Philippines

Read how a consortium of Start Network members completed the first anticipation activation in the Philippines helping communities to 'Andam Lahar' or 'Prepare for Lahar.'



7th Global Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

The conference will take place at the Kalkscheune, Berlin, Germany from 12 – 14 November 2019. It will be an opportunity for engaging in fruitful discussions, exchanging innovative ideas and learning more about the different FbF projects and relevant humanitarian anticipation initiatives that are on-going and beginning worldwide this year. Start Network will be facilitating and participating in a number of sessions during the conference. See more details below: Early Action for Human-induced Disasters Anticipatory Humanitarian Action for drought and food security risk Localising anticipation – Early action at "the last mile" Collaboration, Coherence & Communication: working together at the country level   See the full agenda here.



Further Information

Find out more