About Us

A new era of humanitarian action

Our vision is for a new era of humanitarian action, we want to see a new humanitarian system that can save more lives. And our mission is to drive and catalyse the change that is urgently needed in the global aid system.

TUKLAS Innovation Lab/Philippines

A new era of humanitarian action

Our vision

We aim to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and localisation.


We're tackling what we believe are the biggest systemic problems that the sector faces - problems including slow and reactive funding, centralised decision-making, and an aversion to change, means that people affected by crises around the world, do not receive the best help fast enough, and needless suffering results.


We are aiming to catalyse change in three ways:


- Shifting humanitarian financing from a reactive to a proactive model
- Creating a more balanced system that shifts power and decision-making to those closest to the frontline
- Facilitating collective innovation to solve humanitarian problems locally and globally

Our reach

Strength in numbers


Members - made up of international and national NGOs




Countries and territories worldwide

Our story

A history

Start Network was born in 2010. Sparked from informal conversations between humanitarian leaders from aid agencies who were frustrated by the challenges they faced. Governments were struggling to adapt quickly enough to tackle global problems, such as climate change, and increasingly violent conflict, which were driving ever larger numbers of people to flee from their homes. 


Read more about our history.

Management and leadership

Our team and governance

Our team is made up of staff in the independent Start Network charity and the Start Programmes team (Start Fund and the Crisis Anticipation and Risk Financing) hosted by Save the Children UK, as well a number of staff hosted by members around the world.

Our people

Start Network is overseen by the Board of Trustees with key decisions ratified by the Membership. The Membership is represented by the Assembly, which consists of one senior representative from each agency.

Our governance

Over the next three years, Start Network will work across four complementary and mutually reinforcing areas of work aimed at catalysing system change and driving more effective humanitarian action to assist and protect communities in need.

Our Strategy 2021-2023

Find out more about membership