Rethinking the Humanitarian Response: Emerging Approaches for Engagement in Urban Crises

Pavanello, S.
Date published
01 Apr 2012
Plans, policy and strategy
Evaluation-related, Organisational, Organisational Learning and Change, Urban
Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA)

This brief does not seek to provide a comprehensive and exhaustive analysis of humanitarian response in urban crises or to analyze and discuss such response across key humanitarian sectors (i.e. shelter, protection, health, and so on). Rather, it attempts to provide a general overview of some of the key challenges that humanitarian actors face when engaging in urban areas, and point to a number of emergent humanitarian approaches, distilled from recent experience in the urban environment. Furthermore, much of the current literature is focused on urban-based natural disaster preparedness and response, with far less discussion on response in conflict-affected urban areas. As such, this thematic brief is largely focused on urban response to natural disasters (although reference is also made to some conflict settings), but acknowledges that especially in urban settings, natural disasters and conflicts are often closely related and that a holistic response is ultimately required.