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ALNAP 2012 Meeting the Urban Challenge.pdf

ALNAP 2012 Meeting the Urban Challenge.pdf

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Published by Jeffrey Marzilli
This document provides an overview of current thinking and emerging good practice related to humanitarian
action in an urban environment. It is based on the discussions held at the 27th Meeting of the Active
Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) Meeting the Urban
Challenge and on a review of recent literature on humanitarian responses to urban crises. It considers how the
nature of urban space and of urban populations influences disasters in cities; it outlines how the humanitarian
community is adapting to address the challenges posed by urban areas; and it proposes some ‘next steps’ for
the humanitarian community.
This document provides an overview of current thinking and emerging good practice related to humanitarian
action in an urban environment. It is based on the discussions held at the 27th Meeting of the Active
Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) Meeting the Urban
Challenge and on a review of recent literature on humanitarian responses to urban crises. It considers how the
nature of urban space and of urban populations influences disasters in cities; it outlines how the humanitarian
community is adapting to address the challenges posed by urban areas; and it proposes some ‘next steps’ for
the humanitarian community.

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Published by: Jeffrey Marzilli on Mar 28, 2013
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 MEETING THE URBAN CHALLENGE 1
 
Meeting the Urban Challenge
ADAPTINGHUMANITARIANEFFORTSTOANURBANWORLD
 
CONTENTS
I Inroducion
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
1 II Te growh o ciies
.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
2 III Te naure o urban disasers and urban vulnerabiliy 
...........................................................................................................................................................
3 
3.1 Wha is a ciy?
...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
4 
3.2 New ypes o disasers?
......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
5 
3.3 Urban vulnerabiliy
.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
6 
3.4 Are urban disasers dieren?
...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................
9 IV Emerging responses o urban disasers
..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
10 
4.1 Rehinking disaser risk reducion (DRR)
.............................................................................................................................................................................
10 
4.2 Rehinking preparedness
...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
12 
4.3 Rehinking response
...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
16 
4.4 Rehinking developmen 
............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
21 V Nex seps: a new urban agenda or humaniarian policy and pracice
...............................................................................................
22 VI Bibliography 
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
26
 ALNAP is a unique secor-wide nework in he inernaional humaniarian sysem, made up o key humaniarian organisaions and leading expers in he eld. Te broad range o experience and experiserom across he membership is a he hear o ALNAP’s eors o improve humaniarian perormancehrough learning and accounabiliy.Tis meeing repor was writen by Ben Ramalingam and Paul Knox Clarke. Te original Background Paper beneted grealy rom commens and eedback rom Josh Harris, Manu Gupa, John Michell, DavidSanderson, Kevin Savage and Kim Scriven.For urher inormaion on ALNAP’s work, please conac he ALNAP Secrearia on alnap@alnap.org, or+44 (0)20 7922 0388.Requess or commercial reproducion o ALNAP maerial should be direced o ALNAP.Cover phoograph © UNPhoo/Logan Abassi© ALNAP/Overseas Developmen InsiueLondon, July 2012
 
 MEETING THE URBAN CHALLENGE 1
I INRODUCION
Tis documen provides an overview o curren hinking and emerging good pracice relaed o humani-arian acion in an urban environmen. I is based on he discussions held a he 27h Meeing o he AciveLearning Nework or Accounabiliy and Perormance in Humaniarian Acion (ALNAP)
 Meeing he UrbanChallenge
and on a review o recen lieraure on humaniarian responses o urban crises. I considers how henaure o urban space and o urban populaions inuences disasers in ciies; i oulines how he humaniariancommuniy is adaping o address he challenges posed by urban areas; and i proposes some ‘nex seps’ orhe humaniarian communiy. ALNAPs members have conduced preparedness, relie and early recovery work in urban environmens ormany years, in conexs as diverse as Huambo, Kabul and Kolkoa. In many cases, his work has been seen as arelaively small par o larger programmes, or as ‘aypical’ or a one o. As a resul here has been comparaively litle analysis o urban humaniarian acion as a caegory.For many in he humaniarian communiy, he earhquake ha devasaed Por-au-Prince on 12 January 2010served as a wake up call’, as Francois Grunewald o Groupe URD pu i a he meeing. Te scale o he disaser,he challenges ha humaniarian acors aced in responding o i and he large number o evaluaions andlearning aciviies ha occurred as a resul o he response, ocused atenion on he opic o urban disasers. As discussions a he meeing conrmed, urbanisaion presens a signican and urgen challenge. In recendecades, here has been a massive increase in he number o people living in ciies and who are vulnerable odisasers or conic (Pelling, 2003; IFRC, 2010). Te Disasers Emergency Commitee (DEC) Repor
Urban Disasers – Lessons om Haii
(DEC, 2011) suggess ha in he nex 10 years, here will probably be anoherhree o ve big urban disasers. Any one o hese could resul in ens o housands o deahs and hundreds o housands o people in need o emergency assisance. Te meeing heard ha, in he even o an earhquake inhe Kahmandu valley, up o 100,000 people would be killed and over a million would need relie assisance(Piper, 2012). Disasers o his magniude pose a challenge o scale. Tey also, according o many paricipans,pose a challenge hrough heir naure: urban disasers dier in imporan ways rom rural disasers, and orcehe humaniarian communiy o rehink undamenal ools, approaches and assumpions when deciding how  bes o respond. Agains his background, he 27h Meeing o he ALNAP Nework, held rom 17 o 19 January 2012 inChennai, India, brough ogeher paricipans rom around he world o address he issue o how he humani-arian sysem could beter adap o urban disasers. Tere was general agreemen ha he inernaional humani-arian secor is currenly inadequaely prepared o address boh he scale and naure o he urban challenge(ALNAP, 2009; DEC, 2011; Saterhwaie, 2007). Urban disasers boh expose he sysem’s exising weak-nesses, and bring new challenges o ligh.

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