Catalysed change across the system

Challenging the status quo is not an easy ask. It takes energy, motivation, and sometimes a little courage. Sometimes it just needs somebody to lead the way.

Through Start Network services and projects, our member organisations are introduced to new ways of working that result in improved internal processing systems and positive behaviours that foster more effective humanitarian assistance. This includes streamlining internal procedures for faster decision-making and movement of funds, and improved policies and practices in safeguarding and data protection.

Through our due diligence process, Start Network ensures that member organisations meet appropriate standards of compliance. And through the DEPP Programme, Start Network enables changes in the policy and practices of governments, donors, and NGOs.


Through advocacy and training, the DEPP programme helped change government policy and practice. For example, the Government of Kenya changed its practice to include the Kenyan Red Cross Society and local communities in the preparation of the county disaster management policy. Read more in our 2016 impact report.

Start Fund Bangladesh demonstrated that moving and holding funds in-country, and providing direct funding to local organisations, can reduce transactional costs and increase efficiencies. Read more about Start Fund Bangladesh’s progress on localisation.


Improved members’ understanding and use of forecasting

The Start Fund has made us become super forecasters of disasters. Before we just relied on MET department forecasts for possible floodings, but Start Network forced us to use new tools that adds onto this rainfall data a vulnerability layer, which helps us understand better if this rainfall comes, will this result in floods, and if floods come who will be at most vulnerable? — Diluksion Francis (Oxfam, Sri Lanka)

Shared learning and knowledge as a public good

Start Network generates really relevant learning and knowledge, which we’ve shared with our members at ALNAP and promoted across the sector. — Alice Obrecht (ALNAP, UK)

Improved organisational practice

The tiered due-diligence of Start Network was a new learning and significantly a system transformative process for our organisational governance and management. — Tirtha Prasad Saikia (NEADS, India)

Encouraged ground-level connections and work

At PIANGO, we had always been connecting our work at the international level, but when Start Network came into the picture, we started to go back to our core mandate, which is our NLUs, our members and countries. It has changed the way we work. We’ve gone back to the way it’s supposed to be, down to the grassroots level, identify the problem, identify the issues, see what is best for them, what is working for them and what needs to be supported. — Nanise Volau (PIANGO, Oceania)

Embedded collaboration and coordination

We see change in our country teams. Their participation in local Start Fund groups has been helpful to ensure greater collaboration and coordination among actors and ensure the needed attention for small scale disasters. Our global humanitarian team is able to support them through a very streamlined and rapid process facilitated by the Start Fund team and clear guidance. — Jennifer Poidatz (CRS, South Sudan)

Promoted open feedback on aid delivery

Through the Start Fund projects in partnership with Oxfam, the Start Network members introduced us to a complaints-mechanism with hotline numbers for the communities receiving assistance. This helped us know whether they had received the assistance that we promised. — Anonymous

Fostered peer connections and learning

There are not many organisations working on humanitarian response and disaster response here in Mexico, but we have got to know many organisations that we didn’t know existed through the Start Fund. Some have helped us improve our protocols around security, and we have then gone onto lead workshops for other organisations on how to incorporate these into practices relating to gender-based violence. This is really new in our country. — Abril Páez (CADENA, Mexico)




Start Network is a global network of non-governmental organisations, made up of more than 50 national and international aid agencies from five continents. Start Network’s mission is to create a new era ofhumanitarian action that will save even more lives.

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Start Network

Start Network

An international network of NGOs, catalysing a new era of humanitarian action, with proactive financing, innovation & localisation to transform the system.

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