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DOCUMENT TAGS Start Fund learning

Start Fund: Learning from Decision-Making

Date added

15 May 2018


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. 

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Previous learning products on cash, accountability, slow-onset crises and disease outbreaks have all referenced Start decisions, as has the Start Fund evaluation. Humanitarian response requires practitioners to make complex decisions about how, when, and who to support before, during and after a disaster. This learning review aims to further explore the approach, rationale and criterias taken in decisions to activate the Start Fund and to select projects for implementation.

The review explores the decision-making process during Alerts raised in 2017 (Alert 135 to Alert 195, including anticipation alerts and alerts B001-B004 in Bangladesh) by systematically reviewing the minutes of 64 Allocation and 42 Project Selection meetings. It also draws upon seven interviews with the Start Fund team and Members that have participated in decision-making forums. This review is concerned with the factors that decision-makers state as informing their decisions. Analysis of the behavioural factors and biases inherent in any decision-making process is being conducted separately in partnership with CRUISSE Network and Warwick University.

You can view all Start Fund Alerts on our interactive map and learn more about the Crisis Anticipation Window by clicking here.

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