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A new era of humanitarian action


Start Fund Bangladesh COVID-19 response 2020, Jago Nari

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About us

A new era of humanitarian action

Start Network is made up of more than 50 humanitarian agencies across five continents, ranging from large international organisations to national NGOs. Together, our aim is to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and locally led action.

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, which means that people affected by crises around the world, do not receive the best help fast enough, and needless suffering results.
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Locally-led action

We believe that a more balanced international aid system, which shifts power to those closest to the front-line, will generate more effective and appropriate responses for people affected by crises.

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New froms of financing

New forms of financing

Our pooled funds enable fast and early action to tackle the kind of crises that are often overlooked by other funding mechanisms. Our risk financing pilots are introducing new ways of working that can save even more lives.

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Collective innovation

New ways of working are needed to tackle the challenges we face. By innovating collectively we can share expertise, insights and perspectives to shape a more effective humanitarian system.

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An international network

Today the Start Network extends to more than 50 members and their 7000 partner organisations, employing more than a quarter of a million people across 200 countries and territories.
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Latest news

Latest resources


Working Differently Challenge Learning Brief

This learning brief looks at the key lessons from the inaugural round of Start Network’s Working Differently Challenge (WDC). It particularly explores lessons on how to support the collaboration of organisations to develop their emerging innovation ideas through different ways of working. The evidence draws from perception surveys gathered from the teams that took part in the challenge—CADENA, Islamic Relief, A Single Drop for Safer Water, Tearfund—and from learning captured through ongoing coaching and reflections.



Les Organisations Locales Reflechissent a Leurs Partenariats Avec Start Network

En 2020, Start Network a mené une enquête auprès de 98 organisations locales et nationales (75 hommes et 23 femmes de 32 pays) qui avaient déjà établi un partenariat avec Start Network ou un membre de Start Network. L’objectif de l’enquête était de mieux comprendre les modes de fonctionnement des partenariats. L’enquête visait à identifier les défis et les opportunités de partenariats collaboratifs et égalitaires entre Start Network et les membres de Start Network avec des partenaires locaux. Quatre-vingt-quatorze pour cent des partenaires locaux ont estimé que l’interaction était « très positive » ou « positive », cependant, la majorité (86 %) a également estimé que Start Network ou les membres de Start Network devraient en faire plus pour construire une relation plus forte.  Lire le résumé en anglais, bangla, indonésien, espagnol et urdu.



Gender Inclusive Disaster Risk Financing - Executive Summary

In 2021, Start Network commissioned a piece of research to analyse issues around gender for Disaster Risk Finance programming, in order to make recommendations to help us ensure the DRF systems we build and support are fully gender-sensitive, and to ensure that our programmes adequately account for gender differences at different points of the project cycle. Based on the ‘Missing Voices’ methodology developed by Practical Action, the research sought to hear from those individuals who are most marginalised, to gain insight into their experiences in order to design more inclusive approaches to disaster risk management. The research included a deep dive into two case studies - Bangladesh and the Philippines - to illustrate the gendered dimensions of DRF programming with real-life experiences.



Gender Inclusive Disaster Risk Financing

As the Start Network continues to focus on Disaster Risk Financing programming, this research was commissioned to analyse the issues and additional considerations around gender in DRF programming. Making programming most effective includes ensuring that the DRF systems that we build or support are fully gender-sensitive and adequately account for gender differences at different points of the project cycle. This includes how gender issues might differ across different hazard types (eg. fast vs. slow onset) and geographic contexts, and the approaches we can take to account for them. Specifically, the purpose of this research is to answer the following two questions: 1) Which points in DRF System development and implementation are likely to have the most significant gendered aspects? How might this vary between hazards and contexts? 2) How can our disaster risk financing ‘building blocks’ (i.e the guidance we give to Start Network members for building quality DRF systems) be enhanced to fully mainstream gender? This research was led by Practical Action Consulting and the case studies were carried out by CARE Bangladesh and CARE Philippines, with close support from the Start Network.



The Network

Start Network members