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Beginning the design of the Start Financing Facility

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We are pleased to announce that we are beginning the design of the Start Financing Facility (SFF) and are reaching out to give members of Start Network the opportunity to get involved in this process.

What is the SFF?

The Start Financing Facility is envisaged as the future financial infrastructure for the Start Network. It will allow us to channel donor resources through the network in a timely, predictable and transparent manner. The long term goal is for the SFF to incorporate existing Start Network funding mechanisms (such as the Start Fund, MERF, Replica etc) as well as new instruments (insurance, loans etc) to provide a continuum of funding that will enable our members to better protect communities at risk. The facility will also support the creation of locally appropriate, innovative disaster risk finance instruments by the hubs, connecting these to a wider structure that allows for efficiencies through financial strategies (such as risk pooling, risk layering and liquidity mechanisms).

Why are we doing this?

There is increasing recognition of the role that improved financial preparedness can play in facilitating a faster and more effective humanitarian response. The Start Network is evolving into a distributed network of local hubs, backstopped by a global platform. This is an opportune moment to design a global infrastructure that provides a single process for donors to fund different parts of the network, to use strategies such as layering and pooling risk to ensure maximum financial and operational efficiency and to allow for interoperability across members, initiatives, and across the network. Ultimately, we believe that the amalgamating our learning and systems into one global financing facility built on disaster risk finance principles will allow our members to offer more effective assistance and better protect communities at risk of disasters.

What will be the design process?


The Start Financing Facility design will be a bottom-up process, combining perspectives of the users of the facility (including both NGOs and donors), with global technical expertise, including from the World Bank. This will not only ensure appropriate deployment of the right technical expertise but also secure buy-in from the key stakeholders of the SFF, helping to increase the chances of success of the design. We will start with you – our members – and then open the consultation more widely.


How do I get involved?

As the first stage of this consultation, we would like to invite you/your organisation to be part of this process. We welcome people with different skills and experience to get involved – from those with strong experience of the challenges of implementing humanitarian action within the current financing systems to those with more specific expertise in financing or other.

There are six main building blocks to get involved with/advise us on:

  • Intent: What are the objectives, added value, and measures of success for the SFF?
  • Funding: How will the SFF attract funding and what will it offer donors?
  • Products and Financials: Where will the various funds be held and via what instruments, what will be the triggers for disbursement, how will they be released and reach frontline implementers?
  • Operations: What are the due diligence and resourcing requirements?
  • Transition: What is the minimum viable product and what are the implications for existing stakeholders and agreements?
  • Evolution: What is the implementation roadmap for the SFF? 

What is the time commitment?

We are aware of the time constraints that each of us has and we have therefore thought about different ways members can contribute to this project. According to the level of commitment that can be offered, we have identified four different levels of engagement:

  • A member of the design working group (1-2 days a month)
  • A member of a reference group (ad hoc engagement to assist with specific expertise)
  • Attend one-off events, such as to provide critique and feedback as the design progresses
  • Interested in staying informed about our progress (no specific commitment is required).

Where can we find out more information?



Read more information



Email us at

Complete the survey to tell us how you would like to be involved by Tues 30th April (the survey takes two minutes): 

We look forward to working with you to build the SFF! 

Keep reading:

Start Financing Facility

  • by Helen James