10 year anniversary
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Anticipation & Risk Financing
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Our initiatives aim to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and localisation.
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Crisis Response Summaries
We are committed to transparency, accountability, evidence-led decision-making and using learning to continuously evolve.
News & Blogs
News and blog articles from across the Start Network.
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Three key lessons to improve risk-based decision-making
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 Domino Effect: Acting in advance of crises
We have helped to mitigate the damage of impending disasters and, in some cases, managed to stop crises from forming altogether as a result of well-timed, pre-emptive action. Through these experiences, we have built a strong body of evidence that points to the value of early interventions to save time, money, and lives.
Four years of successful anticipatory action
In 2016, the Start Network launched the Start Fund Anticipation Window in Bonn. We set out to link Start Network members with forecasts of impending crises and to facilitate country-level collaborative risk analysis, to release funds before a disaster strikes. Twenty-five Start Network members have since led innovative anticipatory projects, in twenty-four crisis-prone countries.
Cold weather snaps in Mexico
This year’s harsh winter cold fronts created a potential humanitarian crisis in Mexico, especially in light of the country’s weak infrastructure and high rates of poverty. Start Network member, CADENA, submitted an alert to Start Fund in early November in anticipation of this crisis.
Sri Lanka Alert 282
The Start Fund alerts responding to climate-related disasters are increasing year-on-year. Start Network’s anticipatory action provides NGOs with the coordination and funding to better respond to crises that are undoubtedly associated with climate change. An anticipatory response to predicted flooding in Sri Lanka was initiated in the second half of 2018 through Alert 282. It is 1 of 9 flood-related alerts that have been raised in this country in the past four years to the Start Fund.
Alert 300 case study
The space of forecast-based and anticipatory action is predominantly made up of organisations acting in anticipation of natural disasters or famine. What makes Start Network stand out against other organisations is our ability to also act in anticipation of man-made or conflict-related crises. The way in which Start Network operates through its network of aid agencies enables us to tap into an established operational presence in these highly sensitive contexts, which ensures that information for anticipation programming is readily available and our interventions are highly contextualised.
Merging modelling and early action:
We spoke to Dr Erica Thompson from the London School of Economics about her work with Start Network on anticipating crises.
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’.