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

Shifting from reactive to proactive financing


A Family of Funds

 

Our network of networks will be underpinned by a family of funds and financial services in order to pool investment and risk and help more communities at a reduced cost.

 

The network will use Start Network's financing facility, which includes Start Funds and Start Ready, to support its membership in accessing fast funds to respond to small and medium-sized crises and in putting in place pre-arranged funds and financing that can facilitate more timely, proactive or risk-informed crisis action. It will do so while ensuring these funds are increasingly accessible to the local and national actors joining the network.

 

There is increasing evidence that shifting the focus from response to protecting people ahead of shocks, and relying on pre-agreed plans and finance, is a faster, more dignified and more cost-effective approach to disasters and crises. There is a need for coherence, connectivity and scale to support the efforts of frontline humanitarian responders to be better financially prepared in advance of crises.

 

Start Network will address this by supporting inclusive locally-led structures, to own, develop and implement financing strategies and systems in their contexts. We will do this by working with them on the operational, technical and partnership aspects to build their own Start Funds or disaster risk financing initiatives.

 

We will also scale our flagship global Start Fund, and support the growth of national funds, such as Start Fund Bangladesh and others, to respond to small to medium scale crises that are often overlooked by humanitarian donors. Scaling will include increasing overall funding levels, further streamlining and automating its processes and improving its accessibility for national and local members. The anticipatory work of all Start funds will also continue to be a priority, mitigating the impact of humanitarian crises on lives and livelihoods by making funding available ahead of a crisis. 

 

We will bring together all of Start Network’s experience and learning over the past six years into a single instrument, Start Network's financing facility,  marrying the proven success of the Start Fund, with our growing portfolio of risk-based financing products.  The combination will enable faster, more efficient and more effective global humanitarian action or those crises that are difficult to predict while enabling us to ‘layer’ financing instruments for more predictable crises in a way that makes our money work harder and stretch further.

 

In 2021-2023, Start Network will:

  • Support inclusive locally-led structures, to own, develop and implement financing strategies and systems in their contexts to better serve the needs of populations affected by and at-risk of crises.
  • Grow and improve the global Start Fund, and support the growth of national funds to respond to small to medium scale crises that are often overlooked by humanitarian donors.
  • Activate Start Ready as a global financial infrastructure and a way of connecting a range of funds and financing mechanisms, that are timely, proactive, accessible to local actors, and accountable to the membership on behalf of the populations that they serve.
  • Influence donors and develop capacity across the network to help secure flexible multi-year funds that can support these instruments in being accessible to all of our members.

 

 

Start Network's financing facility

 

Start Network's Financing Mechanisms

New financing in action


Resource

Acting ahead of crises: how far do we go?

Analysis of humanitarian financing from 2014 - 2019 found that funding pre-organised in advance, based on pre-agreed triggers or plans (predominantly through regional risk pools and anticipatory humanitarian action systems) was equivalent to less than 1% of the UN appeals funding. However, more than 50% of humanitarian crises are somewhat predictable.

01Nov21

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


Resource

Acting ahead of crises: how far do we go?

Analysis of humanitarian financing from 2014 - 2019 found that funding pre-organised in advance, based on pre-agreed triggers or plans (predominantly through regional risk pools and anticipatory humanitarian action systems) was equivalent to less than 1% of the UN appeals funding. However, more than 50% of humanitarian crises are somewhat predictable.

01Nov21

News Article

Start Network COP26 Events

Start Network is participating in six events during COP26 read on to see how you can join us.

26Oct21

News Article

Start Network at COP26

Start Network is calling on world leaders at COP26 to help ensure the humanitarian sector is better prepared to deal with more intense and severe climate crises.

26Oct21

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