Start Network


The Start Network is made up of close to 100 aid agencies working across six continents. Together, our aim is to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and locally driven humanitarian action. We’re tackling what we believe are the biggest systemic problems that the sector faces. Problems including slow and reactive funding, centralised decision-making, and an aversion to change mean that people affected by crises around the world do not receive the best help fast enough, and needless suffering results. Our work focuses on responding to these problems. This includes shifting power closer to where crises happen, providing fast, early and predictable function and sharing learning and innovative ways of working.

The Start Network is at a critical point in its journey. We have grown and diversified our membership over the past 10 years. We are now set to evolve into a decentralised “network of networks” in line with our vision and principles. We are currently working with 10 national and regional networks (called hubs) made up of predominantly civil society organisations. They are developing locally owned ways of anticipating and responding to humanitarian crises. We aim to support the emergence and development of further hubs in the coming years. Our ultimate ambition is to devolve leadership, membership, programming, and decision making to the hubs, while the central team transitions to become a service provider.

Start Network is committed to protecting people, particularly children, at-risk adults and affected populations from any harm that may be caused due to their encountering the Start Network as well as responding effectively should any harm occur. We are also committed to safeguarding staff from any forms of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse of power as outlined in the Dignity at Work policy.

Start Network embraces diversity, promotes equality of opportunity and eliminates unlawful discrimination. We are an equal opportunities employer and treat every application on merit alone. We particularly welcome applications from disabled, black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), and LGBT+ and non-binary candidates. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet our essential selection criteria set out in the Skills section.


This senior management role will enable strategic thinking and design, influence diverse stakeholders, adapt agile ways of working and drive change in line with the vision of the Network.

You will enable the development of country and regional civil society hubs, driving decentralised decision-making, devolving power, and enabling local hub leaders to meet their needs defined and owned by them. You will work with the hubs and their members to understand their support needs, then facilitate and coordinate that support working with peer hubs and relevant members of the Start Network team expertise.

The role requires a good understanding of and experience in the humanitarian and/or development sectors, and an ability to work with local civil society. Awareness of power and political dynamics and sensitivity to different contexts and cultures is crucial. It also requires high levels of self-awareness and emotional intelligence, using your position connect, enable and influence others. You will be skilled at building relationships and brokering partnerships with empathy, credibility and equity. Listening and valuing diverse perspectives to build an inclusive team will be key to success. Solid programme and budget management will be critical to enabling the hubs vision and activities.


Design, development planning

  • With members and hubs, co-design, develop and enable the evolution of Start Network of Networks, including hubs.
  • Coordinate and facilitate the delivery of support, expertise and services to hubs
  • Work closely with the Membership and Assurance teams to support iNGO and member intake through hubs.
  • Work closely with the Funds, Finance and Innovation teams to facilitate the co-design and development of programmatic initiatives, based on hub priorities.
  • Work with hubs and the Start Network team to create a culture of evidence-based decision making, feedback and learning so that we can adapt support to emerging needs. Advise senior leadership on hub issues and strategy Partnership brokering and relationship management
  • Foster and broker positive and enabling relationships and partnerships within hubs, between hubs and between hubs and Start Network Secretariat.
  • Effectively manage complex issues which arise out of shifting power dynamics ensuring teams and stakeholders work towards a common vision; Resolve any conflicts and address issues that may arise within hubs, promoting constructive dialogue.
  • Work with the Advocacy and External Affairs team to help raise hub voices and perspectives in local and global forums.
  • Influence and advocate internally and externally for locally driven humanitarian action, creating and holding space to support the emergence of hubs based on their aspirations, priorities and needs.

Management and leadership

  • Inspire, lead and motivate a high performing, diverse global team
  • Management of direct reports, including recruiting, training and playing an active role in building an inclusive team culture in line with Start Network values
  • Monitor individual and team performance and ensure objectives and outcomes are met or exceeded; address poor performance and recognise good performance
  • Manage consultants and other third party contractors as required
  • Commitment to the learning and development needs of the team,
  • Actively support the ongoing professional development, learning and upskilling of team members
  • Demonstrate commitment to own ongoing learning and development

Start Network culture and values

  • Uphold, embody and model the values of Start Network
  • Carry out the responsibilities of the role in line with the Start Network Code of Conduct and with a commitment to safeguarding adults and children
  • Commit to positive humanitarian outcomes and systems change through a programme of well managed, quality initiatives;
  • Support the innovative and risk aware culture of Start Network to support the strategy and its delivery,


  • At least 7-10 years’ experience in a management/senior management role in the humanitarian, development or social enterprise sectors
  • Demonstrated ability to think and operate at both strategic and operational levels
  • Demonstrated experience in inclusive leadership
  • Demonstrated experience in relationship management, partnership brokering and influencing across a diversity of geographies, skillsets and personalities.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing programmes and budgets
  • Demonstrated experience in inspiring, motivating and managing a diverse and high-performing team
  • Demonstrated problem solving skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, an ability to manage complexity and ambiguity
  • Demonstrated curiosity and growth mindset, including experience in testing, learning, and iterating.
  • Knowledge of and political sensitivity to the broader political context and power dynamics within the humanitarian sector operates.
  • Ability to work flexibly across different time zones.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills in English, working knowledge of French, Spanish or another hub language desirable.

How to apply

For more information and to apply, please click here.

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