Collective innovation

We can share learning and insights to shape a more effective humanitarian system.


We are implementing experiments in early action, locally created innovations in disaster preparedness, and technology platforms to make humanitarian finance more efficient and transparent.

In future we will create a platform to share services and expertise, and to support the scaling of local innovation, so the system continues to adapt to the needs of those affected by crises.

Fatuma Bakari, M&E Officer, guides innovators through various tracking tools during the innovation process. Image: Adeso Africa

The Start Network is uniquely positioned to drive innovation as a tool to change the global aid system.

 

Since the outset, Start Network members have been innovating together; introducing initiatives such as the Start Fund and the Anticipation Window. We’re building a more strategic approach – selecting the innovations we work on and using the depth of the network to provide a route to scale initiatives with the best potential for impact.

We believe that people facing the problems are better placed to solve what’s in front of them. So, we aim to foster innovation and support people to develop innovation at a local level. Our approach to innovation involves forging partnerships across the private sector and civil society too, as they can bring ideas well-tested in other situations.

We also aim to work on innovations that aim to improve the global humanitarian system, to tackle challenges that no single organisation can solve on their own. We believe that pooling and sharing innovation capacity collectively is crucially important when there is so little availability of funds for experimentation in this sector. 

 

Our current innovation focus includes:

- Shifting to a risk financing approach to ensure predictable and early funding to mitigate the impact of crises and save lives. Our risk financing approaches - ARC Replica and the Drought Financing Facility - are being tested, before being taken to scale across the network.

- Providing local level support mechanisms to support local innovations in disaster preparedness. Our DEPP Innovations Labs are one such example of this.

- Supporting emergent innovation in how the network develops, collaborates and learns together. This includes creating and testing a more efficient due diligence system, to enable greater diversity of organisations accessing aid funding.

- Investing in technology where it can have the greatest impact on the system; transparency and collaboration are two such areas. Transparency through technology allows us to share and use data openly, to help make better decisions, while enabling stakeholders to see how funding is being spent. 

 

 

Our current programmes include

News, blog and opinion


Blog Post

How blockchain can create a more humane process for refugees

Blockchain technology has been making waves in many industries with its transparency and security-oriented technology. From tracking funding to offering refugees financial services and even improving the processing of asylum requests, blockchain is revolutionising the way the world welcomes refugees.

14Aug18

Resource

Geoff Mulgan wants us to rethink how to use AI technology

Start Network has been looking into digital capacity, and blockchain solutions as part of its potential to solve structural problems within the humanitarian sector. Currently the system is overly centralised, funding is often slow and reactive, and the capacity to change is limited due to risk averse operating models. Start Network is embracing new ways of working that are locally driven, proactive and innovative. More recently the Network recently completed a series of pilots with Fintech startup Disberse and looked at using a blockchain based platform to make aid flows fully traceable, non-corruptible, fast and cost-effective. Read more about the learning from the first pilot, that was driven by Start Network member Dorcas.     

09Aug18

Blog Post

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step... Does the proverb ring a bell?

The proverb sure does ring a bell for the Maarifa Kona Innovation Lab team in Kenya as each month provides new insights and it also shapes our outlook on this innovation path shuttled by the DEPP Labs programme.

26Jul18

News Article

Maarifa kona making strides

Start Network's innovation lab in Kenya, part of the four national Disaster and Emergencies Preparedness Innovation Labs (DEPP Labs) programme, reflects on progress made so far.

10Jul18

Collective innovation in action


Resource

Geoff Mulgan wants us to rethink how to use AI technology

Start Network has been looking into digital capacity, and blockchain solutions as part of its potential to solve structural problems within the humanitarian sector. Currently the system is overly centralised, funding is often slow and reactive, and the capacity to change is limited due to risk averse operating models. Start Network is embracing new ways of working that are locally driven, proactive and innovative. More recently the Network recently completed a series of pilots with Fintech startup Disberse and looked at using a blockchain based platform to make aid flows fully traceable, non-corruptible, fast and cost-effective. Read more about the learning from the first pilot, that was driven by Start Network member Dorcas.     

09Aug18

Resource

How to assess the impact of a Drought Risk Financing facility: A guide

This guide outlines some of the conceptual questions, and practical tools, that can be used to evaluate drought risk financing (DRF) initiatives. It offers a framework for thinking about the impact of drought risk financing, along with risk financing more broadly and the wider general issue of the added value of earlier humanitarian response.

14Nov17

Resource

Drought Financing Facility summary

The purpose of this report is to give an overview of the way the Drought Financing Facility is designed, including two proposed pilots in Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

07Nov17

Resource

Start Evolves Video: Emily Montier on the Family of Financing Facilities

The Start Network’s vision is a humanitarian system in which funding will be dependable and predictable, responses are based on humanitarian need and context-appropriate. For this to become reality, the Start Network needs to evolve into a global, decentralised 'network of networks'.

20Jul17

Resource

Start Evolves Webinar: Dan McClure on feedback loops for complex systems

The Start Network’s vision is a humanitarian system in which funding will be dependable and predictable, responses are based on humanitarian need and context-appropriate. For this to become reality, the Start Network needs to evolve into a global, decentralised 'network of networks'.

07Jul17

Find out more about how you can work with us


info@startnetwork.org