Start Network

Head of Network Development

Closing date : 4 Apr 2021

The Start Network is made up of more than 50 aid agencies across five 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.

You will enable the development of 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 key stakeholder groups, primarily the hubs, to understand their support needs, then facilitate and coordinate that support working with the relevant team expertise, such as operations and communications. Longer-term, the aspiration is for the services to be peer-to-peer between hubs.

The role requires political awareness and sensitivity to different contexts. It requires using your position to support others to connect and influence. You will be great at building relationships with empathy and credibility. Listening and valuing diverse perspectives to build an inclusive team will be key to success.

We are currently exploring different models for employing staff globally driven by our aim to disperse the team, increase diversity, and ensure we are representative of the communities we serve. Therefore, for the post to be based outside of the UK, we are actively seeking to recruit from our countries of operation (DRC, Bangladesh, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, Senegal). For these locations, we are accepting applications from outside our members, using a third-party host. We are also accepting member secondment applications from countries within the same region since members will continue to be the employer during the secondment.

Please reach out to with questions or for further information.


  • Politically aware and sensitive to the broader political context within which we operate
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and enabling solutions to emerge from testing, learning, and iterating (this may include familiarity with agile and/or adaptive management techniques)
  • Systems thinker with the ability to see the bigger picture
  • Ability to build and maintain equitable partnerships across diverse organisations
  • Ability to engage with and influence internal and external stakeholders at every level
  • Broad understanding and knowledge of the dynamics of the humanitarian sector
  • Empathetic leader with an ability to put yourselves in the position of those with less power
  • Excellent verbal communication skills (in English) for managing relationships at a distance
  • Creative thinker who is able to work with others to co-design solutions to complex problems
  • Inspiring and motivating leader who is able to get the most out of team members
  • Experience of managing a complex change, enabling others to lead aspects of the work (likely to be gained from experience in a similar role and/or 7+ years’ experience)
  • Working knowledge in one or more of the hub languages (desirable)

How to apply

We work with Applied, an online recruitment platform designed to allow teams to measure candidates on what actually matters. Rather than relying on CVs and cover letters, Applied allows you to demonstrate your skills and abilities through answering questions which are blind-reviewed by our team to avoid bias.

Please apply here -

Any offer of employment is subject to relevant checks. Please refer to our privacy statement and candidate privacy notice regarding treatment of your data.