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Gender inclusive disaster risk financing

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Start Network
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The Start Network has developed a range of new ways to fund humanitarian crises globally. The Start Financing Facility (SFF), currently under development, is a financial infrastructure that will house a range of innovative crisis financing mechanisms, enabling a faster, more efficient and more effective global humanitarian action. It will pool risk and knowledge, enabling NGOs to help save more lives at a reduced cost. And by empowering communities to make decisions about their own futures, we can create a safer world together.

The Start Network started piloting disaster risk financing (DRF) approaches to move from reacting to crises, to proactively managing risks, so that we can ensure faster, more efficient and more effective locally led humanitarian action. However, efforts are currently small-scale and disjointed. Our funds could go much further if connected through a shared financial infrastructure.

The SFF will bring these pilots together into Start Ready, scaling DRF across countries and hazards and taking advantage of risk pooling and wider financial instruments such as insurance using layered financing. As we scale, we are also improving the quality of our DRF systems, including integrating gender within each stage of the DRF system development process.


The Start Network commissioned this research to analyse issues around gender for DRF programming, to make recommendations to help us ensure the DRFs we build are fully gender sensitive and to ensure our programmes adequately account for gender differences at different points of the project cycle. This includes how gender issues might differ across different hazard types (eg. fast vs. slow onset) and geographic contexts, and the approaches we can take to account for them.

Specifically, the purpose of this research is to answer the following two questions:

  • Which points in DRF System development and implementation are likely to have the most significant gendered aspects? How might this vary between hazards and contexts?
  • How can our disaster risk financing ‘building blocks’ (i.e the guidance we give to Start Network members for building quality DRF systems) be enhanced to fully mainstream gender?

This research was led by Practical Action Consulting and the case studies were carried out by CARE Bangladesh and CARE Philippines, with close support from the START Network.