Start Fund: Learning from disease outbreaks
The Start Fund is a multi-donor pooled rapid response fund that initiates disbursement of humanitarian finance within 72 hours. It is collectively owned and managed by the Start Network members, a group of 42 national and international aid agencies from five continents. The fund was officially launched on 1st April 2014 and has an annual disbursement of approximately £11 million (GBP). It is designed to fill gaps in the humanitarian funding architecture in three main areas: underfunded small to medium scale crises; forecasts of impending crises; and spikes in chronic humanitarian crises.
This review is one in a series of learning products developed by the Start Fund Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning team and explores what the Start Fund has learnt about responses to disease outbreaks. This learning report was led by David Burt and Gerbrand Alkema of World Vision, with input from a reference group made up of Start Fund Committee members and subject matter experts.
Between the inception of the Start Fund in April 2014 and September 2017, there were 19 crisis alerts raised related to disease outbreaks. This learning report attempts to understand the drivers for, and barriers to, effective implementation as well as review the experiences of Start Fund members in responding to these outbreaks to support evidence-based decision-making within the Start Network at project, crisis, and system level. Specifically, it analyses the effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance of Start Fund disease outbreak responses by reviewing and analysing funding, decision-making and response activities before ultimately exploring implications and recommendations.