Strategy 2024-2026


We are excited to launch our organisational strategy for 2024-2026. This focus for the next three years reaffirms our commitment to humanitarian system change, modelled through practical action. We will focus on our key strengths and value offer as a networker, funder, innovator and influencer to help transform the sector into a more equitable, ethical and pro-active in protecting communities.

The aim of our 2021-2023 strategy was to shift power, decision-making, resources and voice to local organisations and local leaders by building a diverse ‘network of networks’ fuelled by a ‘family of funds’ and supported by a culture of innovation and learning.

Looking back over the past three years, it is clear we made considerable progress:

  • We increased the Network’s reach by expanding membership to close to 100 local, national and international organisations working across six continents. Our membership is now 70% local.
  • We shifted Network power to local and national organisations by supporting 10 locally led hubs – coalitions of local, national and international civil society organisations working together to improve humanitarian action.
  • We shifted Network resources directly to local and national organisations for small-to-medium-sized and neglected crises. Across its 10 years of operation, the Global Start Fund disbursed £127 million in rapid response funding, assisting more than 25 million people in 78 countries. More than £4 million has gone to local organisations directly. In 2023, 21% of those funds were allocated in anticipation of crises.
  • We moved from assisting people in need to protecting people at risk by making Network resources available ahead of crises through Start Ready, a leading-edge anticipatory financing facility and risk pool of £5 million.
  • We improved Network practice and behaviour to be flexible, risk-willing, inclusive, anti-colonial and driven by community priorities. We supported home-grown solutions to recurrent crises through our Community-Led Innovation Programme and provided platforms and opportunities to amplify community impact on a global scale. We brought equity and ethics to our programmes and operations through a decolonisation framework, a new suite of partnership agreements and a tiered due diligence processes.
  • We influenced the global ‘localisation’ and anticipatory action policy agendas through our practice, evidence and experience.

But that is not to say the journey of the last three years has been easy. Positioning ourselves as a catalyst for change in an entrenched and century-old system has come with tensions, trade-offs and fundamental questions about our ability to bring about transformational shifts. Going forward, we know that system change requires a clear vision, the time and space to innovate, iterate and improve, a laser focus on our core strengths and value offer, a committed alliance of staff, stakeholders and supporters, and sufficient resources. Our new strategy 2024-2026 aims to put this learning into practice, positioning Start Network as a change agent that will help to remake the humanitarian aid system through practical action.