Locally led action

We're aiming to build a more balanced international aid system


Start Network’s vision is for a locally-led humanitarian system that is accountable to people affected by and at-risk of crises.

We aim to achieve this vision by making systemic-level shifts in the way humanitarian aid is approached and delivered by shifting power and decentralising decision making to locally-led networks and organisations;

POWEO Director, Leah Psiya. Photo credit: Jeremy Riggall/ Start Network

Start Network & locally led action


A network of networks

Start Network will catalyse a locally-led humanitarian system by enabling a diverse ‘network of networks’ that ensures equity in power and decision-making, access to resources and voice and visibility for its local members.

 

We will achieve this by catalysing and incubating locally-led, self-governing, national and regional hubs that are supported to bring on their own national and local members.

 

The problem

 

The humanitarian system’s current concentration of power, influence and resources within the global North has led to the exclusion and disempowerment of local and national actors, organisations that are deeply rooted in the communities that they support and which are responsible for the vast majority of humanitarian responses.

 

This imbalance of power is maintained through a highly risk-averse and compliance-heavy operating culture that prevents local organisations from taking leading roles and accessing direct funding. 

 

Tackling this problem requires moving towards a system that is accountable to affected and at-risk communities through the leadership of local organisations and through a change in mindset by traditional power holders that allows them to cede power and control.

 

It requires a radical shift away from the current centralised, compliance-focused approach to one that pools and shares risk between larger and smaller actors, and reflects the value that different organisations bring.

 

Our approach

 

By transforming into a diverse and locally-led network of networks, Start Network can demonstrate a powerful and positive alternative to the current system.

 

In doing so, we can demonstrate the positive impact on communities at risk of or facing crises, and model a different approach that can ultimately drive wider reform.

 

In 2021-2023, Start Network will:

  • incubate and support a network of locally-led, self-governing, national and regional hubs and achieve a diverse and majority-local membership, by supporting hubs to bring on local and national members;
  • decentralise and distribute governance and decision making to hubs, with a view to ensuring accountability to communities and to transitioning the Start Network team to a secretariat and service provider role; and
  • support local actors to exercise power within the humanitarian ecosystem and drive their vision for reform, working with others to address structural, political and operational challenges.

 

Examples of locally led action

Many of the Start Network programmes have actively sought to learn how we can improve localisation.

 

Start Network Hubs have been created to move the network to a more balanced and distributed network, with power and decision making in the hands of organisations on the front line of crises. Hubs are collectives of local, national and international organisations operating in the same country or region. They will control their own resources and define their own responses to crises affecting their communities, united by a shared purpose and common standards, and supported by a global Start Network platform.

 

The Disasters & Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP), worked alongside local, national and international actors to strengthen capacity and better prepare for disasters. It also provided flexible funding for national NGOs, helped them to access international coordination platforms, and also helped partners join existing or establish their own new national networks.

 

The DEPP Innovation Labs has built on this to create national innovation labs, which are identifying and supporting local innovators and their solutions to humanitarian challenges.

 

The Start Fund uses local decision making to select projects based on contextual knowledge. While the Start Fund Bangladesh is working to actively include local organizations as part of the management of the fund.

 

The Start Fund Localisation Review (August 2017) suggested ‘Seven Dimensions of Localisation’ which are helping us improve and embed localisation further. The DEPP Localisation Action Research (in progress) where several DEPP projects have a wider scope of learning on localisation.

 

Start Network has also developed a tiered due diligence framework to enable the network to bring in more local organisations as members.  Members gain access to varying portfolios of Start Network products and services depending on their tier. This enables Start Network to bring in new members across a diverse spectrum of humanitarian actors while appropriately managing our risk.  

 

A framework for locally led action

Locally led action


Resource

HNPW Key Takeaways ICR Session

HNPW Session: Recovering costs sharing: An important step in rebalancing power and creating a more inclusive system This panel session explored indirect recovery costs (ICR) and how they are shared with local and national actors. It is important that these power inequalities are addressed as ICR sharing is a tangible step to have a better share of power and push toward a locally-led humanitarian system

24May22

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HNPW Key Takeaways Due Diligence Session

HNPW Session: Building an inclusive compliance landscape: Modular due diligence and a global digital repository Current due diligence frameworks are resource-heavy undertakings designed with large Western multinational organisations in mind, making it challenging for small local and national actors to meet and maintain the compliance infrastructure required. 

24May22

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Pakistan Drought Model

Since 2017, Start Network members in Pakistan, have been developing Disaster Risk Financing (DRF) Systems that allows civil society actors in-country to pro-actively manage disaster risks (such as droughts, heatwaves, and floods). Reducing the impacts of weather extremes and disasters is a fundamental part of building longer-term climate resilience. By quantifying risks in advance of disasters, pre-positioning funds, and releasing them according to pre-agreed plans, enable earlier action and reduce the costs of disasters considerably ensuring that the right assistance reaches the right people at the right time. This is all done through the scientific modelling of hazards, collaborative development of contingency plans and the establishment of pre-positioned financing to enable earlier, more predictable, and better-coordinated assistance to communities affected by predictable disasters.

11May22

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MONTHLY RISK BULLETIN ISSUED: MAY 2022

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.

03May22

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Start Fund Nepal Pilot Phase Alerts

This provides the quick glimpse of the each Alert, its location, population reached, project period and the support provided in each alert.

19Apr22

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What is Start Fund Nepal?

The Start Fund Nepal Pilot is a £445,784 rapid emergency response fund created by Start Network in 2021 with support from UKAID and hosted by Save the Children.

22Feb22

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Start Fund Nepal One-Pager

A new contingency fund that enables NGOs to respond rapidly to, and in anticipation of, small to medium scale crises in Nepal, with support from UK Aid.

22Feb22

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Start Network Quarterly Learning Brief - Q4 (BN)

স্ার্ট ননরওয়াল্্টর ২০২১ সালের নশষ তরিমারসল্র (র্উ৪) প্রধান প্রধান রশষোগুলোর সংরষেপ্ত রিিরণ এই তরিমারস্ রশখন সারসংলষেলপ (ন্ায়ার্টাররে োরন্টং ররেফ – র্উএেরি) ত়ুলে ধরা হয়। সারা িের জ়ুলড নশয়ার ্রা রশষোসমূহ এরালত সং্রেত ্রা হয় এিং প্রেম, রবিতীয় ও তৃতীয় তরিমারসল্ (এখালন র্উ১’র্ রশখন সারসংলষেপ পড়ুন) (এখালন র্উ২’র্ রশখন সারসংলষেপ পড়ুন) (এখালন র্উ৩’র্ রশখন সারসংলষেপ পড়ুন) এরা সরিরাহ ্রা হয়।

31Jan22

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Start Network Quarterly Learning Brief - Q4 (FR)

Cette note trimestrielle d'apprentissage (QLB) résume certains des principaux apprentissages du Start Network au cours du dernier trimestre (Q4) de 2021. Il complète l'apprentissage partagé tout au long de l'année et fourni aux T1, T2 et T3.

27Jan22

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Start Network Quarterly Learning Brief - Q4 (ES)

Este informe de aprendizaje trimestral (QLB) resume algunos de los aprendizajes clave de la Red Start del último trimestre (Q4) de 2021. Completa el aprendizaje compartido a lo largo del año y proporcionado en el primer, segundo y tercer trimestre.

27Jan22

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Start Network Assembly 2021: Decolonising evidence: locally-led defined approaches of measuring programmes success

Takeaways from the 2021 Start Network Assembly Explore session: Decolonising evidence: Locally-led approaches of measuring programme success This panel session aimed to explore what alternative approaches to collecting data and measuring success could look like from the perspective of local communities and non-western lenses. It was facilitated by Sanjukta Moorthy (a planning and MEL consultant) who has a special interest in championing diverse perspectives and decolonised frameworks. The three panellists were Saeed Ullah Khan (GLOW consultants, Pakistan) who brings extensive multi sectoral experience especially in large scale survey handling; Anuarite Kabuo (MIDEFEHOPS asbl, DRC) who works for an NGO passionate about contributing effectively to the development of vulnerable communities, children, women, victims of situations of armed conflict; and Pradytia Pertiwi (Rooted Impact, Indonesia) whose work focuses on research and development practice at the intersection of psychology, disasters, development and inclusion, seeking to co-create knowledge with communities.

21Dec21

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Start Network Assembly 2021: Quality partnerships from the perspectives of local and national actors

Takeaways from the 2021 Start Network Assembly Explore session: Quality partnerships from the perspectives of local and national actors This interactive session explored what quality partnerships could look like between Start Network members and local partners. It explored what local partners perceive to be important values, and how to achieve these, especially trust, flexibility, and transparency. The session included a presentation of main findings from the survey, a panel discussion, and breakout rooms with participating INGOs and L/NNGOs. The panellists were local partners: Nanette Antequisa (ECOWEB, the Philippines) Muleneh Tesfaye (Caritas Ethiopia) and Lynn Walker (Tree of Life, Zimbabwe). The session was facilitated by Lola Gostelow (an independent humanitarian and associate of the Partnership Brokers Association). The session was based on a survey of 98 local organisations and their experiences working with Start Network members, or directly with Start Network.

21Dec21

News, blog and opinion


News Article

Start Ready goes live and confirms support for six countries

Start Network is delighted to announce that Start Ready has officially gone live, protecting people in six countries against predictable climate shocks.

24May22

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HNPW Key Takeaways Due Diligence Session

HNPW Session: Building an inclusive compliance landscape: Modular due diligence and a global digital repository Current due diligence frameworks are resource-heavy undertakings designed with large Western multinational organisations in mind, making it challenging for small local and national actors to meet and maintain the compliance infrastructure required. 

24May22

Resource

HNPW Key Takeaways ICR Session

HNPW Session: Recovering costs sharing: An important step in rebalancing power and creating a more inclusive system This panel session explored indirect recovery costs (ICR) and how they are shared with local and national actors. It is important that these power inequalities are addressed as ICR sharing is a tangible step to have a better share of power and push toward a locally-led humanitarian system

24May22

Blog Post

Dealing with exclusion – recognising systemic power imbalances and identifying ways to overcome them

The humanitarian sector aims to be locally led and therefore, it is important that the humanitarian sector listens to organisations acting at the local scale, so we can learn from their experiences and adapt to meet their needs. Over recent years, Start Network has engaged local and national non-governmental organisations through interviews and surveys to determine ways in which humanitarian structures can do better to support them. Gathering perceptions from non-governmental organisations has led to some pertinent findings related to exclusionary practices that some organisations acting at the local scale experience and led to some key recommendations that humanitarian actors can begin to implement in order to build equitable partnerships. While more in-depth research on these systemic issues continues to be conducted by Start Network and other organisations, we hope that this overview can assist international actors to begin positively disrupting the traditional systems that create barriers to equity within crisis response.

29Mar22