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Setting a new research agenda for urban crisis and humanitarian response

Donald Brown, Cassidy Johnson

Briefing, 4 pages

The world is urbanising, and so too are humanitarian emergencies. However, many international humanitarian actors have found that traditional approaches — often rurally-derived or camp-focused — are ill-suited to urban environments. This briefing identifies key evidence gaps on urban crises and humanitarian responses, and outlines priorities to guide a future research agenda. Broadly, these priorities call for a better understanding of urban processes and systems, and of local actors’ experiences and perceptions, both of which can inform context-appropriate and inclusive approaches to urban humanitarian response. We emphasise the value of communicating evidence in a form that can be used for broader advocacy and public awareness, promoting the need for all actors to develop new approaches and capacities in this increasingly important area.

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Urban areas are increasingly the sites of humanitarian crises, from natural disasters to conflict and displacement. Through a programme of research, documenting and learning from experience and development of tools and approaches, IIED is working to build the knowledge and capacity to respond of humanitarian actors working in urban areas, and of urban actors facing humanitarian crises.

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Urban Crises Learning Fund