Most read reports
- Food costs should cause “shock and outrage” as countries in conflict see spiralling prices
- The State of Food and Agriculture 2018 - Migration, Agriculture and Rural Development
- UNHCR and IOM appeal to European leaders to tackle Mediterranean deaths
- Las políticas sobre migración no deben limitarla, sino maximizar su potencial y minimizar sus aspectos negativos
- Rohingya crisis and assault on Cambodian democracy take center stage during EU advocacy mission
Experts point to growing awareness of the potential of nature-based solutions to climate change – but say work must be done to improve understanding and policy take-up.
In two new video interviews IIED researchers highlight the growing consensus about the value of nature-based solutions to climate change – including ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation – and set out some of the significant challenges that need to be addressed.
BRECcIA is an ambitious programme that aims to develop research capacity in institutions in three sub-Saharan countries.
Climate variability is a key feature of dryland ecosystems across sub-Saharan Africa, where rain-fed agriculture and pastoralism characterises local subsistence and is the mainstay of national economies. Demand for water and food from growing populations and urbanisation is rising faster than the ability of countries to meet it, with some countries dependent on imported food.
Countries need to know whether their efforts to adapt to climate change are working. The first in a new series of webinars discussed approaches that can help governments assess their progress.
Climate risks are escalating, and governments and donors need effective adaptation programmes to keep sustainable development on track. Investing in robust monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) mechanisms to assess adaptation actions could support national planning and help meet reporting requirements in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets.
Sarah Colenbrander and Andrew Sudmant report on research showing that cutting greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas will benefit vulnerable residents most
Inequality is one of the great challenges of this age, and one that will only be exacerbated by climate change. Most pronounced is the problem in cities, where skyscrapers may tower over slums and street vendors hustle outside air-conditioned supermarkets.
How can the scale and relative importance of all risks – from everyday hazards to small and large disasters – be assessed and then acted on? This brief describes the spectrum of risks in urban areas and highlights those that are poorly documented and whose impacts are underestimated. It also highlights measures that can be taken to address this.
New research confirms the importance of urban planning in empowering local governments and communities to manage their own recovery after a humanitarian crisis. Elizabeth Parker argues that humanitarian agencies can support the challenging planning process by sharing knowledge, experience, staff, tools and technology.
While urban planning is one of the key responsibilities of local government, in many cases and locations these authorities do not have sufficient financial, technical and human resources to lead a complex urban planning process.
Since the majority of urban displaced live in informal settlements or in rental accommodation without formal lease agreements, tenure insecurity – the risk of forced eviction – is a defining feature of their lives (Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, 2015). Finding housing solutions in emergencies in large cities is extremely complex.
Urban areas are now home to over half the global population as well as two thirds of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs). Increasingly, cities and peri-urban areas have become the forefront of humanitarian response, diverting from the traditional paradigm of relief provision in rural and camp settings.
Area-based approaches (ABAs) have gained traction in recent years among humanitarian aid agencies seeking to provide better responses in urban areas following a naturally triggered disaster. This is in response to existing approaches that have struggled with the complexity of urban programming.
A rapidly urbanising world presents both challenges and opportunities for humanitarian aid approaches. Urban areas often have a greater density of people and diversity of affected populations, stronger civil society, and more developed and complex governance structures, service delivery systems, and market systems. These factors heighten the importance of coordination and collaboration.
Targeting is the process by which individuals or groups are identified and selected for humanitarian assistance programmes, based on their needs and vulnerability. It is a way to focus scarce resources on those within the population that would most benefit from support.
The Urban Response Analysis Framework (URAF) aims to support the identification of appropriate multi-sector responses for urban programmes. The URAF endorses, where appropriate, the use of multipurpose cash grants alongside complementary sector-specific responses, including advocacy and technical support. Therefore, the URAF recommends assistance that meets the basic needs of the displaced and host populations whilst addressing sector specific needs.
People forced to leave their homes are often displaced for many years, and most end up in urban areas. So how can host cities become more resilient while managing such crises? A meeting last week shared learning from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, reports Diane Archer.
Conversations around urban resilience often focus on making cities better able to withstand the impacts of climate change. But there are other shocks and stresses affecting cities, including mass influxes of people fleeing conflict, disaster or other threats.
Responding to the climate challenge requires collective action from all countries, cities, businesses, and private citizens. With currently USD 10.3 billion pledged, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), is the world’s largest climate fund and is designed to be the main financial instrument to meet the global commitment made by advanced economies to jointly mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020, from a variety of sources, to address the pressing mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries.
Urbanising regions in drylands often face environmental problems – particularly water stress. When people in these areas are also responding to other crises, such as conflict or refugee flows, it becomes difficult for them to implement long-term solutions. IIED is looking at ways to strengthen resilience in crisis-hit dryland regions, focusing initially on environmental challenges in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and the arid lands of Kenya.
Humanitarian crises are increasingly taking place in urban contexts. Urban areas are highly dynamic and present complex challenges. But while local actors best understand the context, international actors continue to dominate the funding, strategic design and decision making. While this gap needs to be bridged, the policy and practice of how to do so lacks a systematic approach. This briefing presents the findings of a study assessing existing collaboration between local and international actors working in urban humanitarian response.
The outbreak of violence in Syria in 2011 led to protracted conflict, waves of displacement and a global humanitarian crisis. In the summer of 2015, the number of migrants and refugees arriving in Europe increased enormously, peaking in October with nearly a quarter of a million arrivals.
A migration route opened up through Croatia, prompting the opening of transit reception centres to manage the inflows (see Figure 1). The magnitude of the crisis limited the role that local authorities and citizens could play in responding to such large initial population influxes.
Andrew Meaux and Wale Osofisan
The magnitude of urban disasters in high population densities – combined with complex social, political, economic and institutional environments – has challenged the manner in which humanitarian agencies are used to working.
Lili Mohiddin and Gabrielle Smith
New research from the Urban Crises Learning Fund's Stronger Cities Initiative explores the tools available to humanitarians responding to urban crises, and asks whether they are fit for purpose.