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Responding to urban crises

Urbanisation presents a significant and urgent challenge for humanitarian actors. In recent decades, there has been a massive increase in the number of people living in cities and who are vulnerable to disasters or conflict. Urban disasters differ in important ways from rural disasters, and force the humanitarian community to rethink fundamental tools, approaches and assumptions when deciding how best to respond.

ALNAP's work on urban response in humanitarian crises includes research, the Urban Portal, webinars on urban issues, as well as hosting the Urban Community of Practice. 

Latest research

Stepping back: understanding cities and their systems

October 2016

ALNAP's latest urban paper looks at the different systems and stakeholders in which exist in urban areas, and outlines what is important for humanitarians to know when responding in complex urban environment.
It argues the importance of stepping back as a first step towards changing policy and practice.



English version

Spanish translation 

Arabic translation

ALNAP's 27th Annual Meeting on Urban humanitarian response

The urban challenge in humanitarian aid on Prezi

At ALNAP’s 27th Annual Meeting ‘Meeting the Urban Challenge: Adapting humanitarian efforts to an urban world’ there was general agreement that the international humanitarian sector is currently inadequately prepared to address both the scale and nature of the urban challenge. ALNAP’s continuing work on urban response is an effort to:

  • raise awareness across the sector of the specific challenges of humanitarian response in urban environments
  • provide a forum for ALNAP members to share their experiences of adapting strategies, policies and procedures on the basis of best practice in urban response
  • support ALNAP members to increase their levels of knowledge and skills relevant to urban response 


Latest ALNAP urban response webinars 



Previous Urban response webinars

To catch up on ALNAP's work on urban humanitarian response, watch our previous webinars by clicking on the + sign to the left.

Urban Community of Practice


Latest discussions from the Urban Response Community of Practice

9 March: Humanitarian Mapping Education - Deadline March 17th

Hello everyone Sorry for cross posting again. We have received a good number of responses so far, however I wanted to remind those who have not responded yet. The deadline is next Friday March 17th. Introduction We are requesting your participation in our educati...

3 March: Stakeholders Conference on Operationalizing the Settlements Approach - June 2017

Dear Colleagues, As discussed in several previous consultations we are proceeding with the Stakeholders Conference on Operationalizing the Settlements Approach. A draft concept paper is attached. The conference is tentatively planned for 8-9 or 15-16 June, 2017. D...

28 February: Sphere revision 2018: Request for your urban input

Dear Pamela, Thanks you for giving us the opportunity to contribute to this discussion (and our apologies for being a little late in this) - a couple of things to consider jump out from our side (and builds on the general idea that a humanitarian response in urban situations i...

Go to the Urban Response Community of Practice




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