It’s time for a new era of humanitarian aid – Start Network
by Helen James
01 May 19
Start Network has today launched a new charity, which is aiming to catalyse a new era of humanitarian aid because its members believe that the global humanitarian system needs urgent reform to meet the challenges posed by today’s crises.
The new charity aims to transform humanitarian response through innovation, fast funding, early action, and localisation, tackling what it believes are the biggest systemic problems 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.
Until today Start Network has been a consortium hosted by Save the Children UK, since it first was established in 2010. In that time, it has developed impactful programmes with a sophisticated and proven approach, and a compelling vision for the future of humanitarian response. Its impact so far includes:
:: Enabling early action in the face of predictable crises, with the signing of a $1.9million drought insurance policy for Senegal, and 13 per cent of Start Fund activations in 2018 being in anticipation of impending crises.
:: Ensuring localisation to drive more appropriate responses and solutions, with half of Start Fund activations involving local partners, more than 280 equitable partnerships with local and national organisations in the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme and 100 locally developed innovations supported through Innovation Labs in four countries.
:: Transforming the nature of humanitarian decision-making through a collaborative and fast model, which ensures that millions of the most vulnerable people are helped, people who would otherwise have gone without assistance for weeks, months, or longer.
In becoming independent, Start Network will be better placed to drive the change it believes is needed. This will include:
:: A global risk-based financing facility, that is triggered by different levels of risk, enabling aid agencies to predict and act early, minimising the impact of crises.
:: A dispersed, international network of regional and national collectives of organisations, called “hubs”, that will have more power to define appropriate responses to crises.
:: A global tiered due diligence database, to enable more organisations to access funds directly and to reduce the duplication of existing multiple due diligence systems.
Start Network is made up of more than 40 humanitarian agencies, and it is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Jersey, and Germany, in addition to the World Bank and the IKEA Foundation – which is supporting the Start Network to build the infrastructure needed as an independent charity. The move to an independent charity means the Start Network can bring in more members and donors, scaling its work further.