Start Fund

Crisis Anticipation Window


The Start Fund Anticipation Window enables NGOs to prepare when they see a crisis coming and respond early to mitigate the predicted impacts.


By creating a systematic way for Start Network members to use forecasting information, and with funding to enable forecast-based interventions, the Anticipation Window aims to catalyse a more anticipatory approach to humanitarian crises.

Improved access to forecasting information, analysis and funding helps agencies shift from a reactive model to an anticipatory one, saving lives and costs in the process.

Under the Anticipation Window;

- Decisions will be taken collectively by the 42 members of the Start Network, based on their assessment of the expected emergency.

- Independent advice and bespoke forecasts from a network of climate scientists, agricultural experts and other data analysts will be used to assess the risk of an emergency, and to gauge the most effective measures to respond.

- Funding will be on its way within 72 hours of the alert if the Start Fund agrees that intervention is needed.

- Evidence will be gathered using a common evaluation framework designed to compare the effectiveness and assess the cost-benefit of early action.

The Start Fund has already supported interventions in anticipation of crises in a number of countries – Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Uganda, Zambia and Mali – and now we aim to make this a normal part of the Start Fund.

El Nino


The El Nino phenomenon resulted in a number of significant impacts over the past year. Rainfall patterns were affected across the globe, in some places causing harvests to fail, prompting humanitarian agencies to step in with feeding programmes and other interventions.

Many of these impacts could have been foretold, and in fact often were. Nevertheless, the humanitarian community again struggled to mobilise interventions in a timely way in a number of contexts.


At the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, UN Secretary-General called for the humanitarian community to invest in risk analysis and act early on findings. The Start Fund is the first NGO funding mechanism to be available for anticipatory interventions.

The Start Fund is supported by the UK aid, Irish Aid, the Government of the Netherlands and the European Union. This initiative is supported by a grant of 1.1 million euros (£933,000) to the fund by the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department.

Get involved, join our network


The Start Network also convenes a group of early warning experts, known as FOREWARN (Forecast-based Warning Analysis and Response Network). This group meets monthly to:
- conduct regular inter-agency risk analysis
- provide technical advice to member agencies on anticipatory interventions
- investigate new approaches to forecasting
- provide a feedback loop for anticipatory activations.


To find out more contact Luke Caley.

Latest news


News Article

First global humanitarian fund to finance interventions before disasters happen

Aid agencies will be enabled to tackle looming disasters before they have occurred, under a pioneering project being launched today by the Start Network.

30Nov16

Blog Post

Forecasting a crisis: how Start Fund is learning to get ahead

Start Network's Luke Caley looks at how the Start Fund has learned to anticipate - and what's coming next

30Nov16

Blog Post

Money to burn? The cost of late response to humanitarian crises

Jan Egeland and Courtenay Cabot have co-authored an article discussing the cost of late action and the benefits of acting earlier in humanitarian crises.

10Nov16

News Article

INFORM 2017 Global Risk Index results released

INFORM has released the results of its 2017 Global Risk Index.

17Oct16

Further Information

Find out more about Start Fund