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Evaluation of the Start Fund Design and Build phase

Date added

08 January 2015


The Start Fund is a multi-donor pooled funding mechanism that consists of a network of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and provides small-scale funding (up to £300k per organisation over a 45 day window) to frontline NGOs. It seeks to complement the existing humanitarian financing system by focusing on initial rapid response to low-profile, underfunded emergencies. The first phase of the Start Fund, April to December 2014, represents a design and build period where the Fund is open for allocations to crisis alerts, whilst simultaneously the infrastructure and Fund management processes are being tested and refined. 

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The main objective of the evaluation is to assess the performance of the Start Fund during the 9-month design period to draw lessons on areas for improvement in order to inform the ongoing development of the Start Fund. The overall purpose of the evaluation is for learning, especially to support the scale-up of the Fund. The evaluation used a mix of methods, both qualitative and quantitative, to answer the evaluation questions which included interviews with the Start Team, Start Network members and external informants, a document review and analysis of Start Fund data and key performance indicators, two country case study visits (to Nairobi to discuss the two Somalia activations and to Bangladesh to discuss the floods activation). The evaluator also participated in the Start Network Assembly, Donor Forum and Allocation Committee strategy meeting

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