Start Network launches 2021 Annual Report — making progress on systems change

Start Network
3 min readAug 11, 2022

Building on Start Network’s achievements on locally led action, collective innovation and new forms of financing, our 2021 Annual Report: Making Progress on Systems Change provided us the incredible opportunity once again to reflect on our quest towards actualising a new era of humanitarian action.

We tested five keys to effective systems change: purpose, power, practice, resources and relationships. By being more intentional about ensuring our initiatives, structures and decision-making embedded these keys, our 2021 Annual Report presents a snapshot on the shifts we made and their impact on local communities at the front lines of crises.

Actualising systems change would require refining our ambition, strengthening our practice, and decentralising our power and resources while forging a greater sense of common purpose through our membership. It also would involve accepting that change happens in different ways, at different speeds, and through different means, requiring both the ability to measure our effectiveness and the agility to course-correct.

Purpose: To drive system-level shifts in the way humanitarian action is approached, resourced and delivered so that we can transform the humanitarian system. We aim to build a locally led humanitarian system that is accountable to people affected by and at risk of crises.

Power: We are dismantling unequal power dynamics and shifting decision-making so that local and national organisations determine ways of working to support humanitarian risks and needs identified by communities.

Practice: Our activities, programmes, procedures, and behaviours are locally designed to be accountable to people and communities affected by and at risk of crises.

Resources: We ensure that flexible resources (money, technology, knowledge) flow to local organisations and are managed by them.

Relationships: We foster and support diverse, equitable, and sustainable relationships that actively drive our systems change ambitions.

Explore the full version of Making Progress on Systems Change and join our growing movement of collaborators.



Start Network

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