Start Financing Facility

The Start Financing Facility is the financial infrastructure of Start Network, with innovative crisis financing mechanisms to deliver faster, more efficient, and more effective global humanitarian action.

ARC Replica, Senegal, Credit: Maya Hautefeuille for CRS

What is the Start Financing Facility?

The Start Finance Facility connects frontline responders to risk data and finance, so they are better prepared to respond to crises at scale


In addition to Start Network's existing financing mechanisms, such as the Start Fund, the Start Financing Facility includes a new service that will provide pre-agreed funding at scale for predictable crises – using innovative risk analysis, collective planning and pre-positioned financing.


Local knowledge and leadership are integral to the success of this new model. Start Network hubs will work with the Start Financing Facility team to develop a risk strategy and then apply for funding. Funds are pre-allocated, so if the need is there, the funding will be too.


The Start Financing Facility uses global finance principles to make every pound go further. For example, by risk pooling, we use funding more efficiently. Instead of having pots of funding pre-positioned for specific crises or particular countries, which are not always needed, we can pool risk making the funding stretch further.


This new service is not yet operational, we are now seeking funds to bring this new model for crisis action to the sector. To find out how you can support, please contact


SFF Financing Mechanisms

In addition to the new SFF service, the wider facility includes a variety of funding mechanisms.

How the Start Financing Facility model will work

Step 1

National networks of NGOs identify and prioritise risks.

Step 2

These risks are then categorised as ‘unpredictable’ or ‘predictable’. Unpredictable risks are supported by Start Funds, while predictable risks will go through the SFF's new service

Step 3

National networks of NGOs develop their country system to monitor and manage the risks they have prioritised.

Step 4

National networks of NGOs apply for coverage from the Start Financing Facility, which is approved by a panel including members of national governance structures, and risk experts

Step 5

The Start Finance Facility governance committee decides on funding allocations and shares the most efficient ways to pre-position funding, using the services on offer:

Contingency funds – such as the Start Fund and Start Fund Bangladesh, for regular crises of mild severity, small to medium-sized crises, where likely impact is low.

Risk pool – for predictable moderate crises, where it is more efficient to share risks across other hazards.

Insurance – for rarely seen, extreme crises where risk needs to be transferred to a third party.

Step 6

The Start Financing Facility pre-positions funding, so it is ready to be triggered when needed.

Latest news


Scientific due diligence for humanitarian Disaster Risk Financing: A guide for data scientists and humanitarian practitioners

This guide was developed by the Drought Risk Finance Science Laboratory (DRiSL) to provide a tool for both scientists and humanitarian practitioners to aid responsible and effective use of scientific data and modelling in humanitarian decision-making.



Start Financing Facility: Quantitative analysis of risk pooling

Start Network is working to provide more effective and efficient financing models for humanitarian aid. Specifically, to enable a predictable continuum of funding for when risks of different scale and severity start to materialise. This report, commissioned from the UK Government Actuary Department, provides technical advice around the funding of the Start Financing Facility (SFF). In particular, by providing a theoretical illustration of the financial implications of pooling a number of risks into a central risk pool. The paper investigates how the number, frequency and size of the risks will affect the demands on the central risk pool, and highlights options for the financial management of the pool.



LEARN about Start Financing Facility

Start Network’s first virtual Assembly meeting took take place from Monday 12 to Thursday 15 October 2020, alongside our 10-year anniversary celebrations. At the Assembly, we updated members on the development progress of Start Financing Facility.




The Start Network is embarking on an ambitious design process for the Start Financing Facility (SFF); envisaged as the future financial infrastructure for the network. The long-term goal is for the SFF to incorporate existing Start Network funding mechanisms as well as new national and global instruments to provide a continuum of funding that will enable frontline humanitarian actors to better support communities at risk.   


Resources and publications