AGORA is a joint initiative of ACTED and IMPACT launched in 2016 to provide a predictable capacity to localise aid action and promote efficient, inclusive and integrated local planning and service delivery in contexts of crisis.
Recent urban crisis have exposed a number of recurrent shortcomings in humanitarian response in cities. Some of these are due to systematic difficulties in the humanitarian architecture, which is driven by international actors, to promote a response adapted to an urban context. In particular, humanitarian planning and coordination platforms have struggled to propose multi-sectoral action and to engage in partnerships with subnational actors, two pre-conditions for effective work in city environments.
Through its Cities in Crisis programme, AGORA supports humanitarian actors to develop more localised, multi-sectoral humanitarian responses in cities, facilitating linkages between relief, recovery and development actions and between local and international actors.
Cities in Crisis is implemented in partnership with UCLG Task Force on Territorial Prevention and Management of Crises and Cités Unies France, and supported by EU humanitarian aid.
Recent displacement trends show an increase in numbers of displaced population living out of designated areas such as refugee camps, often adding up to a rapidly growing trend of urbanisation. While assessing the needs of refugee populations living in camps is relatively simple, out-of-camp settings bring a new set of challenges for humanitarian actors who need new tools to properly assess and understand local dynamics, vulnerabilities and capacities of displaced and host populations. The establishment of clear communication channels with these communities is instrumental to better inform aid planning and leveraging on communities’ resilience.
Within this framework, AGORA is developing a new toolbox on how to effectively use area-based approaches to establish two-way flows of information with displaced populations and their host communities. This innovative methodological approach to area-based data collection and analysis will enable aid actors to gather a better understanding of out-of-camp displacement contexts, for more efficient aid planning and delivery.
The toolbox is being tested through field pilots in Jordan, Niger and Afghanistan, and is developed in consultation with global and country partners, including the World Bank, INGOs and relevant national and local actors.
This programme is implemented in partnership with UNHCR and supported by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).