Urban Risk Reduction: Capacity Development for Making Cities Resilient to Disaster Training of Trainers Workshop - Armenia

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Office in Incheon for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction

Over the past 20 years disasters have affected 4.4 billion people, caused USD 2 trillion of damage and killed 1.3 million people. Natural disasters affected people living in developing countries and the most vulnerable communities within those countries. Over 95 percent of people killed by disasters are from developing countries. Current and future challenges of mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in development planning demand new approaches, mechanisms, sets of skills and competencies that need to be identified and strengthened in order to form the basis of increasing public demand and political commitment to local actions and budget allocations. Lack of appropriate knowledge on the subject, lack of government commitment and the absence of mainstreaming in current organizational and government strategy are key existing challenges.

Urban risk is continually increasing. It has been estimated that, more than 50 per cent of the world's population is living in urban areas. Urbanization is taking place at an unprecedented rate. In the next 20 years, the world’s population is predicted to increase by an additional two billion.

By 2030 more than 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities, with record concentrations in large urban conglomerations and megacities in the developing world. Vulnerability of cities to disasters is on the rise especially as poor people settle in high-risk urban areas. Unfortunately, planning and development of cities has given little consideration to the consequences of hazards such as earthquakes, hydro-meteorological risks and others. The implication of this reality is the need for countries to focus their collective energies to create a safer world for urban dwellers and develop a series of innovative approaches to meet this challenge.

In this regard, building resilience and adapting to climate change is crucial for cities in the region. Efforts to build resilience in cities can benefit from integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation with existing efforts in disaster risk reduction and other similar planning processes.

This capacity building training workshop, while promoting the importance of effective climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, will provide:

i) an opportunity for cities and local governments to enhance capacities in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction with a focus on countries/ cities Resilience Action Plans development and implementation.

ii) a platform to exchange in-depth learning from experts in the related area and to share good practices among participants

iii) a venue for city-to-city cooperation in building resilience in cities by integrating disaster risk principles into local DRR and CCA plans, programmes and initiatives


Overall, the training course will provide an opportunity to disaster prone developing countries to: Increase political commitment and social demand for disaster resilient development, adapted for climate change, aiming for sustainable development.

Increase engagement of national actors in the field of national development and planning with the DRR and CCA Agenda and enhance country planners and decision makers’ ability and commitment to promote DRR and CCA through relevant systems, policies and processes. Learn about the Making Cities Resilient Global Campaign and how its tools, materials and approaches may be used to build local resilience to disasters.  Building capacities of experts and officials at local level with a focus on City Resilience Action Plans development and implementation based on MCR Campaign 10 Essentials to make their cities resilient to disasters.

Expected Outcomes

Trained cadres of national and city high level city officials

  • Draft City Resilience Assessment Report
  • Draft City Resilience Action Plans
  • Draft Strategy paper on how to further finalize, ensure endorsement and effectively implement the City Resilience Action Plan


Section 1: Introduction, conceptual framework (Module 1)

Provided review of the conceptual framework and focused on analysing current trends in urban risk and risk reduction

Section 2: Understanding and implementing the MCR tools (Modules 2 to 6)

This is the central part of the course. The different sessions were delivered aiming to improve participant´s knowledge and skills to effectively implement MCR campaign tools, in particular the 10 essentials and the MCR Local Government Self-Assessment Tool (LG-SAT) and proposed roadmap with steps and approach to develop draft outline of the Safe and Resilient City Action Plan with its list of objectives, activities and indicators of success to enable the Action Plan effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Section 3: Planning the way forward (Module 7)

Section 3 Modules provided opportunity to participants to share and analyse city-to-city exchange experiences and looking for the elements that make them successful. The purpose here is to explore options for supporting risk management capacity development at local level. They also facilitated group discussions and planning among participants the strategy on how they will continue the work done at the workshop when they go back to their respective countries and what steps they have to take to finalise the draft Action Plan and ensure its effective implementation.

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