Start Network and the Hubs

Putting power in the hands of organisations that are closer to crises and communities

Start Network aims to support a locally-led humanitarian system, and has begun putting that into practice by enabling the formation of locally-led hubs. Hubs are collectives of local, national and international changemakers operating in the same country or region. They will control their own resources and define their own responses to crises affecting their communities, united by a shared purpose and common standards, and supported by a global Start Network platform.

The five Hubs

Decentralising and localising the Network

About Start Network Hubs

Decentralising and localising the Network

Organisations and communities based in the countries where crises occur are better able to determine the need on the ground and the solutions to the problems they face.


That is why Start Network is supporting a distributed network of national and regional hubs, that will shift power, decisions, resources, and collective action closer to crises.


This model was determined following a visioning exercise in 2017 by hundreds of contributors from across the network and beyond, Start Network imagined a bold new future called Start Evolves. Start Network Hubs were the backbone of this vision. Read more about our vision for the future of Start Network or watch the video in English, Spanish, French.


Five hubs were selected in 2019 – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, India, the Pacific region, and Pakistan – to be in the first cohort of founding hubs, to grow and learn together about what it takes to deliver the vision, and scale it across the network.


Each Hub itself has been founded by collectives of organisations in those countries and together all hubs are working with the Start Network to build a distributed and connected network. Learn more about the visions and goals of each of the hubs.


Through an initial ‘proof-of-concept’ phase, Start Network and Hubs are learning the best way to build a decentralised network and will share learning as they go. Start Network and the hubs identified six collective outcomes critical for their change vision. 


Learn more about these six outcomes.


Hub membership

How to get involved

Start Network membership will transition over time from global membership to hub-based membership. During the proof of concept phase, we are supporting the first five hubs to take in members. This process will be guided by some collective membership principles, and ensures the hubs have a minimum 50% local members at any one time. Country offices of existing global Start Network members may apply to join the hubs in countries where this is relevant.


The hubs in Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and India have already participated in a pilot that enabled them to take in four local organisations per hub. Other organisations interested in becoming a member of a hub can register interest here.


Becoming a Hub in future

It is our intention to support a second cohort of hubs from August 2021. The design of the next hub intake is based on learning from the current proof of concept.


Learning & Resources

‘Crisis is a time for new dreams - leadership at times of COVID-19’

Hub support tools (governance, due diligence, brand)



More about our hubs

Blog Post

Leadership in the time of COVID-19

Last month I received a letter from a group of emerging leaders within the Start Network, who are working together to build ‘hubs’, groups of civil society organisations that will form the backbone of the Start Network once they evolve and grow.


Blog Post

La crisis es un tiempo para nuevos sueños

Hugo Icu Peren, director de ASECSA y miembro del equipo de liderazgo del Hub de Guatemala, nos habla del nuevo documento de los Hubs destinado a catalizar una respuesta más local a las necesidades inmediatas de COVID-19 y a acelerar un cambio de paso duradero en la respuesta humanitaria.


Blog Post

The crisis is a time for new dreams

Hugo Icu Peren, director of ASECSA and member of the Guatemala Hub leadership team, tells us about the Hubs' new paper aimed at catalysing a more local response to the immediate needs of COVID-19 and to accelerate a lasting step-change in humanitarian response.


News Article

Start Network hubs launch call-to-action to accelerate a lasting step-change towards localisation

Today Start Network's five hubs have launched a bold paper aimed at catalysing a more local response to the immediate needs of COVID-19 needs and to accelerate a lasting step-change in humanitarian response.


News Article

Start Network to support five ‘founding hubs’ to drive localisation of aid

Start Network has announced five founding hubs to be based in countries and regions affected by crises, localising resources and decision-making to improve the quality of humanitarian aid.


News Article

Start Network takes next steps to support localisation through regional and national hubs

The Start Network has received responses from more than 230 organisations in more than 60 countries, looking to create and join national and regional Start Network hubs. The hubs are being created to shift greater power and resources to those closest to humanitarian crises.


News Article

Start Network opens new national membership to shift resources closer to humanitarian crises

The Start Network is seeking the views of aid agencies on a new form of membership being launched in order to shift greater power and resources to those closest to humanitarian crises.


Blog Post

Start Fund discusses localisation and anticipation in DRC

Start Fund visit to Goma, DRC: A long awaited and very welcome event. In February 2018, Melina Koutsis from the Start Fund team visited Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to facilitate the induction of our new Start Fund Regional Advisor for West and Central Africa, Antoine Sanon.



Find out more about Start Network