The Start Fund anticipation window seeks to mitigate harm and loss for communities at risk of crisis. It does so by enabling and incentivising Start Network members to monitor risk and act on the basis of forecasts. Through the Start Fund anticipation window, Non-Governmental Organisations can respond to shifts in risk, such as a forecast of extreme rainfall or likely political crisis. A key element of this approach requires collective sense-making, or collaborative risk analysis, around the situation forecasted and its potential humanitarian impact.
Alert 158 for Timor-Leste was submitted in May 2017, in anticipation of a potential drought from November 2017. Timor-Leste had suffered a severe El Nino in 2015- 2016, so a second drought would have been detrimental. Five agencies responded; four through a food and seed distribution and one through an early warning systems analysis, and some drought preparedness activities with local partners. In September 2017, a survey of seed and food recipients took place alongside interviews with implementing partners, which forms the basis of this case study