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Navigating uncertainty: An approach for Start Fund decision-makers

Date added

18 October 2018


Start Fund decision-makers face varying levels of uncertainty when making allocation and project selection decisions, particularly when making decisions around anticipation alerts or in the early stages of a crisis. How we navigate uncertainty as a network and as individuals is critical given the Start Network’s collective responsibility in managing the Start Fund.

This document introduces some ways to think about decision making under uncertainty.

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Step 1: Distinguish risk from uncertainty

Even though the terms ‘risk’ and ‘uncertainty’ are often used interchangeably, it is helpful to distinguish the two. 

Start Fund decision-makers should distinguish risk from uncertainty in Start Fund allocation meetings and these differences should be reflected in the decision making process; decision-makers should seek out helpful probabilities when discussing risk. Just because there is uncertainty, it does not mean we can not make a decision. We can make decisions while recognising that there are elements of uncertainty.

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