Start Network

Learning & Evidence


Latest learning materials

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Using Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) for Humanitarian Responses During a Pandemic

Start Fund Bangladesh developed standing operating procedures (SOP) after taking stock of current happenings and in-depth discussion with donors and humanitarian leaders. The SOP targeted safety measures at multiple levels to ensure the ultimate prevention of transmission at the community level. Some of these included: Tracking physical health of staff and volunteers throughout the project period; In addition, all personnel involved in the project needed access to personal protective gear (masks and sanitizers) Adopting new practices at the organisational level: providing accommodation facilities to staff and volunteers if needed; giving compensatory allowances to those working in direct response; increasing organisational cleanliness as per WHO standards Following strict guidelines during response and: distributing relief items through door-to-door delivery and drawing distant circles.

27May20

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Monthly Risk Briefing: May 2020

The monthly risk briefing reports on new, emerging or deteriorating situations; therefore, ongoing events that are considered to be unchanged are not featured and risks that are beyond the scope and scale of the Start Fund are also not featured. It is collated by the Start Network Anticipation and Risk Financing team using information from academia and research institutes, government departments, ACAPS, global risk indexes, risk information provided by Start Members and their partners, and the media. Key risks are shared and collated each month with FOREWARN input.

12May20

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Basis risk in disaster risk financing for humanitarian action

This paper offers a number of potential technical solutions to assessing, managing and reducing basis risk. It acknowledges that, in order to be effective, these need to be accompanied by political and coordination efforts, and a wider look at DRF operational systems that are fit for crisis settings. The authors invite further ideas and discussion on this topic, including any opportunities to test and innovate new operational designs.

21Apr20

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COVID19 Learning from four disease outbreak responses

At Start Network we always aim to learn from experience. So, we have endeavoured to analyse the data and information from past Start Fund responses in order to present a set of lessons for COVID-19 projects.

16Apr20

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Start Fund: Evaluation of Crisis Anticipation

In 2019, we commissioned our first evaluation of crisis anticipation at the Start Network. We were keen to reflect on our risk-taking, look at which hazards we needed to invest in to improve our skill, and learn how to better measure the quality of anticipation alert notes submitted to the Start Fund. A key element of this was to look back across anticipation alerts and see where our forecasted emergencies had happened as expected and what kind of differences we had seen. The evaluation looked at fourteen anticipatory projects from thirteen different forecasted crises. It concluded that half of them had not occurred, which prompted a wider review of all the projects where data was available to determine whether their forecasts were correct. To do this, we used information submitted by implementing agencies when their project has finished. We looked at data from 37 projects, which were implemented across 24 different forecasted emergencies. Thirty-six percent of forecasted emergencies took place as predicted or with a more significant impact, meaning 64% either did not occur or occurred with less intensity. While the Start Network saw a few ‘false alarms’ as a characteristic of a healthily risk-taking humanitarian system, the number of near misses seemed high. Looking into the data, we learned three key points which will inform our approach moving forward.

28May20

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Sector wide review of monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning methodologies for forecast-based action

This document summarises approaches used to evaluate the impact of forecast-based action to date from across the humanitarian sector. It is a useful reference for anyone setting up impact assessments of forecast-based action.

31Mar20

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Do it yourself assessment of the impact and value for money, for a forecast-based project in Bangladesh

This learning paper documents the process and learning from an impact assessment of a forecast-based project in Bangladesh. It is useful for anyone looking at impact measurement of forecast-based action.

31Mar20

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A management response to: An External Evaluation of the Start Fund Preparedness to Scale-Up 2018/9

The Start Fund has an established practice of providing management response to its external, independent evaluations. Developed through a participatory process, the management response helps to ensure that the evaluations are used, contributing to the Start Funds’ effectiveness, learning, and accountability.   Start Fund constituted an Evaluation Management Response Drafting Committee, comprising of: Three representatives from the Start Fund Strategic Committee: John Birchenough from Catholic international development charity, CAFOD; Jonathan Brooker from Solidarites International UK; and Saba Mahmood from Islamic Relief Worldwide and Start Funds, Head of Funds, Lucile Brethes Start Fund Manager, Lucretia Puentes Start Funds MEAL Manager, Chaitali Chattopadhyay     The drafting committee members carried out a wide-range consultation with the broader Start Fund committee members, Start Network Leadership Team and the Board members to develop a comprehensive management response to the evaluation. The document can be accessed here.  The progress against the management response will be presented to the Start Fund Strategic Committee on a regular basis to ensure compliance and accountability towards the committed actions.

25Mar20

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EXTERNAL EVALUATION OF THE START FUND PREPAREDNESS TO SCALE-UP

This external evaluation was commissioned to ‘assess the preparedness of Start Fund to scale-up its operations and suggest future growth rate scenarios’. The overarching purpose of the evaluation is stated as two-fold:  Assess the preparedness of the Start Fund to scale up its operation;  Inform the Start Fund of the appropriate scale-up considerations (including the size and growth rate scenarios).

25Mar20

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Mongolia: anticipation of harsh winter

Mongolia is unique. 30% of the population earn their livelihoods from herding livestock, leading a traditional nomadic life to enable their animals to access pasture throughout the year. Weather conditions can be extremely harsh, with long, stormy winters where temperatures can drop as low as -40C or -50C. Herders, and therefore the wider Mongolia economy, are vulnerable to the impacts of extreme winter weather. Dry summers can mean livestock do not gain the weight needed to survive winter, combined with harsh conditions this can cause mass livestock mortality known as ‘dzud’.

11Feb20

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Monthly Risk Briefing: February 2020

The monthly risk briefing reports on new, emerging or deteriorating situations; therefore, ongoing events that are considered to be unchanged are not featured and risks that are beyond the scope and scale of the Start Fund are also not featured. It is collated by the Start Network Anticipation team using information from academia and research institutes, government departments, ACAPS, global risk indexes, risk information provided by Start Members and their partners, and the media. Key risks are shared and collated each month with FOREWARN input.

10Feb20

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MIGRATION EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND HANDBOOK

This handbook is for MERF members, from headquarters to in-country staff. The handbook is a guide to the most up-to-date processes, systems, and governance mechanisms which enable the MERF to operate. It is a live document and will be continuously updated based on experience and feedback.

07Feb20

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