How can we improve humanitarian programming to build existing capacity of at risk communities and strengthen future resilience? How can we effectively and practically integrate conflict prevention into the work we do? How can we improve international assistance in an ever increasingly complex, insecure and volatile global context?
Resilience offers a new opportunity to reopen the Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) debate and develop practical guidance for improved humanitarian programming. For decades practitioners, policy makers and academics alike have struggled with how to better align short term humanitarian aid and longer term development to reduce vulnerability and chronic poverty. Over the next year I will be visiting and researching up to 10 humanitarian and conflict response case studies and exploring exactly how resilience can be practically utilised to improve international assistance and strengthen community resilience.
The Urban Africa Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK) programme seeks to open up an applied research and policy agenda for risk management in Urban Africa. With £3.3m in support from DFID-ESRC this three year programme of work highlights urbanization processes that generate human vulnerability and exposure to hazard, as well as examples of capacity building and learning. Field work will be undertaken in sub-Sarahan Africa including Niamey (Niger), Dakar (Senagal), Nairobi and Mombasa (Kenya), Karonga (Malawi) and Ibadan (Nigeria). We focus on those at risk, especially in low-income and often informal or illegal settlements, but also on large scale planed urbanization projects and how these reshape the social and environmental geographies of cities and consequent risk profiles. Disaster risk is our primary focus but we understand that from the perspective of those at risk avoiding – or suffering from – harm risks are multiple and we will contextualise our work on natural hazards alongside work on social and political violence and public health concerns. Research is a collaboration between city level researchers, international teams and practitioners.