CITIES IN CRISIS
By 2050 over 70% of the global population will live in urban areas. This accelerating urbanization trend is accompanied by an increasing vulnerability of cities to both natural and man-made disasters. More and more, humanitarian actors are responding to urban crises, but are poorly equipped to understand and effectively engage with cities’ complex socio-economic dynamics and governance structures. 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, thanks to the ongoing support of EU humanitarian aid.
Area Based Assessment and response prioritisation in Saida, Lebanon
In October 2017, the Government of Lebanon (GoL) estimated that the country hosts 1.5 million Syrians who have fled the conflict in Syria. Coupled with a pre-existing population of Palestine Refugees in Lebanon, these figures represent the highest per capita number of refugees in the world. Saida, in Southern Lebanon represents one such city under significant strain. With an estimated population of 160,000 Lebanese, Saida accommodates a further 33,400 Syrian refugees and approximately 100,000 Palestinian refugees, placing extreme pressure on service provision to support host populations, refugees and migrants. In partnership with the Municipality of Saida, AGORA undertook an area-based assessment in targeted neighbourhoods within Saida. Building off assessment findings, and complemented by a 4W gathering exercise, AGORA convened local and international stakeholders to identify priority intervention areas, whilst providing technical peer-to-peer support to the Municipality of Saida on solid waste management.
Targeted assessments and informing response and development Kampala, Uganda
Surrounded by countries facing political instability, Uganda is a primary destination for refugees from surrounding countries. Uganda has introduced a progressive refugee-hosting policy, allowing freedom of movement and the right to work for refugees settled within its boundaries. Whilst Uganda has numerous dedicated refugee settlements across the country, large numbers of refugees seek opportunities in urban centres. To support needs of refugee and host populations, and in partnership with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and others, AGORA undertook an area-based assessment in targeted urban neighbourhoods. The study provided an understanding of needs and access to services in refugee-hosting neighbourhoods in Kampala, and led to the development, with operational partners, of a response prioritisation. Further Operationalising these findings, AGORA supported the development of the Kampala Coordination Forum for Migration, a multi-stakeholder group which aims to define a comprehensive service delivery model including short-term and long-term goals of integration, to map deficiencies and gaps in existing services, encourage efficient municipal decentralization of services, and provide evidence and guidance for the design of municipal activities.
Area Based Assessment, gap analysis and response prioritisation in Mosul Al Jadida
The liberation of the city of Mosul, which began in October 2016, was a pivotal event for Iraq. Of west Mosul’s four municipalities, Mosul al Jadida has seen the highest levels of returns since the city came back under the Government of Iraq (GoI) control. To inform the response, REACH/AGORA conducted an Area-Based Assessment to provide a tailored and actionable profile of the assessed area, with a focus on household level needs and access to public services, in partnership with the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster and the Returns Working Group (RWG). Informed by assessment findings and building on a comprehensive service mapping initiative, project partners undertook a coordination event in Mosul to discuss updates to partner programming and to continue the process of identifying persisting needs, gaps and priorities (summary available).
Area Based Assessment and Response Analysis in Raqqa, Syria
In late October 2017, Ar-Raqqa city was evacuated of civilians following months of intense conflict. Despite widespread damage, high levels of unexploded ordnance contamination and a lack of basic services, residents began returning to their homes in large numbers immediately after the cessation of conflict. In light of this, an AGORA pilot was launched in Raqqa. Two Area Based Assessments were undertaken in 2018 (March and May), to clarify the multi-sectoral needs of civilians living in the city and their access to relevant services and infrastructure. Building on the assessment findings and a detailed 4W process, in partnership with the North East Syria INGO forum, a response prioritization process (summary available) was undertaken with operational actors to identify resultant gaps and priority intervention areas
Global Shelter Cluster Urban Settlements Working Group: Case Study Compendium Complementing the AGORA urban pilots, IMPACT initiatives co-convened the Global Shelter Cluster’s Urban Settlements Working Group. Leveraging experience from Working Group members, IMPACT collated an Urban Settlements case study compendium This compendium, comprised of 31 diverse case studies, represents a key output of the WG and an important step in consolidating current practice, identifying common challenges, constraints and lessons.
Inter-Agency Standing Committee: Urban Coordination Guidance Note Complementing the AGORA urban pilots, IMPACT Initiatives, together with UN-Habitat, co-chaired the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Reference Group on Meeting Humanitarian Challenges in Urban Areas. Over an 18-month period and informed through dialogue and operational experience, an Urban Coordination Guidance note has been drafted in consultation with Reference Group members. The further development and operationalisation of this guidance note remains within the IASC’s Strategic Directions for 2018-2020.
As part of the Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week held in Geneva in February 2018, IMPACT Initiatives and the Global Alliance for Urban Crises hosted - in partnership with OCHA, the Joint IDP Profiling Service (JIPS), the Global Shelter Cluster and CANADEM, a session titled: Cities in Crises: Multi-stakeholder Coordination in Urban response. Panellists shared experiences, insights, challenges and lessons of engaging with diverse actors in urban contexts – including international and national and humanitarian and development actors, stressing the need for international actors to engage with and support city and municipal authorities.
Find the note with a synthesis of key themes discussed here.
Two Crisis in Cities pilots have been completed between September 2016 and August 2017. The first pilot undertaken in Jeremie, Haiti, was in response to the destruction caused by cyclone Matthew. The second pilot in Bangui, Central African Republic, was launched to support the high level of displaced populations returning to Bangui.
Here are the lessons learned.
Access findings at this link.
By 2050, over 70% of the global population will live in urban areas. This urbanisation trend is accompanied by an increasing prevalence and intensity of natural and man-made disasters in urban centres. Despite this increase, the humanitarian system has struggled to understand and effectively engage with the complex socio-economic dynamics and governance structures existing within cities. Humanitarian response planning and coordination primarily occur at the sectoral or cluster level, missing an important holistic understanding of a complex urban environment. Sub-national actors, including municipal authorities, service providers and civil society, often remain excluded from humanitarian planning and coordination processes.
Access findings at this link.
IMPACT Initiatives and UCLG’s Task Force On Local and Regional Government Disaster Response facilitated a series of consultations in six cities affected by natural or man-made disasters. In collaboration with local authorities and aid actors, each city identified key lessons and guidance to inform future responses, outlined in city-specific reports and compiled into a comprehensive report which was presented in May 2016 at the World Humanitarian Summit, in partnership with the Urban Expert Group.
The city of Jérémie, capital of the southern department of Grand Anse in Haiti, suffered extensive damage after being hit by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. To support an efficient and integrated humanitarian response in the city of Jérémie, AGORA conducted an urban assessment in the most severely affected neighbourhoods between 1st November and 15 December 2016.
Assessment findings are being used by operational actors responding in the city of Jérémie, including local and international stakeholders, as a basis for the development of settlement-based and multi-sectorial neighbourhood recovery plans.Access findings at this link.
Since 2013, a major crisis has shaken the Central African Republic. With progressive increase in stability in Bangui, many IDPs are starting to return to their areas of origin within the city. The Municipality of Bangui has consequently started facing challenges in terms of resources and means to address and fully meet the needs of the population.
To better understand the needs of affected communities and facilitate the return of IDPs to their areas of origin, AGORA facilitated an area-based assessment and coordination in the city of Bangui, as well as round tables with local and international stakeholders to develop neighbourhood-level response plans and a city-level coordination body.
Access findings at this link.