New forms of financing

shifting from reactive to proactive financing


We believe that by providing funding fast, early, in a collaborative way – and by providing it based on need and not on media headlines or political will - we can help responders and communities to become better prepared to act in a crisis. In short, fast funds in the right place at the right time, saves lives.

Photo credit: Delgermaa Altangerel/Save the Children Mongolia

There is increasing momentum to move beyond the ‘begging bowl’ model of humanitarian funding that simply reacts to crises after they happen.

Initiatives such as the InsuResilience global agenda, the DFID Global Centre for Disaster Protection and the World Humanitarian Summit Grand Bargain have highlighted the need for a more anticipatory, pre-organised system of humanitarian financing.

By being financially prepared in advance of crises, we can ensure that the right money gets there at the right time. This is more efficient and effective; it can prevent unnecessary loss and save more lives.

 

Our new funding mechanisms  get money to where it’s needed when it’s needed

We enable fast and early action through our pooled funds to tackle the kind of crises that are often overlooked by other funding mechanisms, while our risk financing pilots are introducing humanitarians to a new way of working.

 

Any Start Network member (often with their local partners) can alert the Start Network funds to a crisis anywhere in the world, irrespective of how high it is on political or media agendas. Organisations work together to highlight the needs of people on the ground and to decide on how to help. Only by responders working together and with communities will we be able to assist greater numbers of those in need and in time-saving ways.

 

Risk financing aims to ensure predictable and early funding to reducing the impact of disasters even before they hit. Such planning saves more lives. Our approach to disaster risk financing brings together the prediction of risks through scientific models, collaborative contingency planning to identify activities to be delivered ahead of time, and pre-positioned financing through a broad set of financial instruments (including contingency funds, parametric insurance, or other tools).

 

In 2017:

- We disbursed £9,999,293 from the global Start Fund, reaching almost 2.5 million people, across 34 countries.

- The Start Fund’s Anticipation Window saw seven anticipatory alerts, three of which were funded.

- The Start Network became the official Replica Partner for the African Risk Capacity (ARC) in Senegal

- Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) announced it would join Start Network’s partnership to test our Drought Financing Facility

- The Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF) was launched in January 2017. 

In 2018 and beyond we are developing a financial architecture that connects these initiatives together, offering fast and efficient channelling of pre-positioned funds at scale to frontline actors in any crisis in the world. 

 

 

Some examples of our programmes

 

New financing in action


Resource

Knowledge, attitude and practice around heatwaves in Karachi, following a forecast-based heatwave messaging project.

The humanitarian impact of extreme heat is an increasing concern, especially in low-income countries with limited access to quality healthcare and informal dwellings which can trap heat. This report analyses the knowledge, attitude and practice of Karachi residents in relation to managing extreme heat. It was conducted in 2020 following a messaging campaign led by HANDS related to extreme heat. The project was triggered through a disaster risk financing approach, using a heatwave model to trigger funding automatically when extreme heat was forecast.

04Jan21

Resource

Start Financing Facility: Quantitative analysis of risk pooling

Start Network is working to provide more effective and efficient financing models for humanitarian aid. Specifically, to enable a predictable continuum of funding for when risks of different scale and severity start to materialise. This report, commissioned from the UK Government Actuary Department, provides technical advice around the funding of the Start Financing Facility (SFF). In particular, by providing a theoretical illustration of the financial implications of pooling a number of risks into a central risk pool. The paper investigates how the number, frequency and size of the risks will affect the demands on the central risk pool, and highlights options for the financial management of the pool.

07Dec20

Resource

LEARN about Start Financing Facility

Start Network’s first virtual Assembly meeting took take place from Monday 12 to Thursday 15 October 2020, alongside our 10-year anniversary celebrations. At the Assembly, we updated members on the development progress of Start Financing Facility.

20Oct20

Resource

Blockchain pilot II: summary of lessons

In 2016, a €50,000 grant to Start Network from the government of Estonia, which is leading the world in its drive to adopt the new technology, enabled us to pilot blockchain for humanitarian financing. So, in 2017 Start Network formed a partnership with a start-up social enterprise Disberse to push forward our plan to test blockchain in the delivery of humanitarian finance. Using the Disberse platform, we set out to test blockchain in a series of small disbursements. The pilot involved the creation of digital wallets on the blockchain that donors could use the transfer funding to NGOs, the NGO could then use its digital wallet to transfer the funding onto country teams. Through the pilot, we aimed to prove that blockchain could potentially be used to speed up the distribution of aid funding and trace exactly how it is spent. In this 'Blockchain Pilot II: summary of lessons' piece the Start Network, Disberse, Trócaire Ireland, Trócaire Rwanda and Caritas Rwanda review the lessons learnt during the implementation of the pilot analyse whether blockchain helped to make the delivery of humanitarian aid more effective, transparent and accountable

26Nov18

Resource

Increasing resilience to natural disasters with cash-based interventions

This report from Catholic Relief Services funded through the Start Fund learning grant, identifies best practices and highlights the lessons learnt following the completion of projects within Alert 195 Vietnam (Typhoon Damrey). 

10Jul18

Resource

Lessons from a 45-day intervention in eastern DRC

This 'value for money' report from Solidarites International identifies several lessons learnt from the completion of ‘Alert 194 DRC (Cholera)’ and highlights the fundamental value about the impact of the Start Fund for the response.

09Jul18

Resource

Start Fund Annual Report 2018

Now moving into its fifth year of operation, the Start Fund is the fastest collectively-owned funding mechanism in the world. It is a leading enabler of rapid, needs-driven humanitarian response for overlooked crises. Filling a critical gap in humanitarian financing, it pools funding from donors for immediate release for crises around the world. In its fourth year alone the Start Fund spent over £8.8 million responding to the unmet needs of 2,050,546 people across 44 crises in 31 countries. Find out more about the work of the Start Fund, including our performance, how we are meeting our commitments to the Grand Bargain, our Anticipation Window, and why we hold localisation at the heart of our work.

23May18

Resource

Start Fund: Learning from Partnerships

The Start Fund is a multi-donor pooled rapid response fund that initiates disbursement of humanitarian finance within 72 hours. It is collectively owned and managed by the Start Network members, a group of 42 national and international aid agencies from five continents. The fund was officially launched on 1st April 2014 and has an annual disbursement of approximately £11 million (GBP). It is designed to fill gaps in the humanitarian funding architecture in three main areas: underfunded small to medium scale crises; forecasts of impending crises; and spikes in chronic humanitarian crises. This product is produced for the Start Fund, part of the Start Network. Evidence and learning for the Start Fund is provided by World Vision UK. 

15May18

Resource

Case Study: Anticipation of flooding and landslides in Tajikistan

The Start Fund anticipation window seeks to mitigate harm and loss for communities at risk of crisis. It does so by enabling and incentivising Start Network members to monitor risk and act on the basis of forecasts. Through the Start Fund anticipation window, Non-Governmental Organisations can respond to shifts in risk, such as a forecast of extreme rainfall or likely political crisis. A key element of this approach requires collective sense-making, or collaborative risk analysis, around the situation forecasted and its potential humanitarian impact.

24Apr18

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

News, blog and opinion


News Article

New tool launched for responsible use of scientific data within humanitarian projects

Start Network has today launched a guide for scientists and humanitarians to encourage the responsible use of scientific data in humanitarian decision-making.

08Apr21

Resource

Evaluation Interne Suite Au Versement De L’indemnite Arc Au Partenaire ARC Replica Au Senegal En 2020

En 2017, le Start Network et le Programme Alimentaire Mondial ont cherché à étendre l'approche de l'African Risk Capacity (ARC) par le biais du programme ARC Replica. Les objectifs étaient d'étendre la couverture de l'ARC tout en donnant la possibilité de tester de nouveaux outils de financement pour la société civile (en particulier l'assurance), et finalement l'adoption de l'ARC. Cette initiative a été soutenue par la Banque allemande de développement (KFW) au nom du ministère fédéral allemand de la coopération économique et du développement. Cette évaluation examine l'impact de ce versement aux membres du Start Network qui ont reçu le financement sur les communautés qui ont été touchées par le programme.

23Feb21

Resource

Knowledge, attitude and practice around heatwaves in Karachi, following a forecast-based heatwave messaging project.

The humanitarian impact of extreme heat is an increasing concern, especially in low-income countries with limited access to quality healthcare and informal dwellings which can trap heat. This report analyses the knowledge, attitude and practice of Karachi residents in relation to managing extreme heat. It was conducted in 2020 following a messaging campaign led by HANDS related to extreme heat. The project was triggered through a disaster risk financing approach, using a heatwave model to trigger funding automatically when extreme heat was forecast.

04Jan21

Resource

Start Financing Facility: Quantitative analysis of risk pooling

Start Network is working to provide more effective and efficient financing models for humanitarian aid. Specifically, to enable a predictable continuum of funding for when risks of different scale and severity start to materialise. This report, commissioned from the UK Government Actuary Department, provides technical advice around the funding of the Start Financing Facility (SFF). In particular, by providing a theoretical illustration of the financial implications of pooling a number of risks into a central risk pool. The paper investigates how the number, frequency and size of the risks will affect the demands on the central risk pool, and highlights options for the financial management of the pool.

07Dec20

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