Aid agencies in recent urban emergencies have often lacked the ability to respond effectively in these environments. The urban context is much more complex than many rural or camp-focused emergencies, requiring specialist technical support to make immediate repairs to infrastructure that aid agencies don’t have the capacity to offer.

International aid agencies are much less significant players in urban responses, as their available resources are often dwarfed by those of existing service providers. It is crucial for effective urban disaster response to build strong relations with national and municipal authorities as well as private sector service suppliers, and to work within existing legislation and long term plans for the cities.

The Introduction to Humanitarianism in Urban Settings course will equip private sector engineers and technical specialists with the necessary skills and knowledge to work effectively in the early stages of an urban emergency. This course aims to outline key issues associated with the humanitarian sector and the realities of working in urban emergencies. Whilst part of this course bears a strong parallel to our existing Essentials of Humanitarian Practice course, the material and case studies will be original and focussed on the urban and private sector context.

The course will examine the humanitarian context, the concept of humanitarian principles, the international humanitarian system, accountability, international law, individual responsibility, the potential impacts and dilemmas of humanitarian responses and how the private sector can support a successful humanitarian response.

  • Explain the timeline for a fast onset natural disaster.
  • Describe the urban post disaster context and the challenges that it presents.
  • List the actors in a humanitarian response, and to describe their roles and how they work together.
  • Explain the humanitarian guiding principles including standards and accountability.
  • Explain key words, terms and acronyms specific to the humanitarian sector.
  • Identify personal risks working in an urban emergency environment.
  • Describe their role within the humanitarian context and what will enable them to carry out that role.

Engineers, project managers and technical specialists from private sector organisations with professional experience in water supply, sanitation, construction or structural engineer-ing. They may have limited or no experience of working in a humanitarian setting but should have an interest in working in an emergency response to carry out technical assessments of urban infrastructure.

COURSE STRUCTURE Please note this course consists of two days’ face-to-face training, with self-study before and between these days. The course will be made up of four separate modules. Participants must attend/complete all of the modules.
  • Module 1 Pre-Course Reading to be carried out by participants prior to the first workshop.
  • Module 2 A one day workshop running from 8.30am until 5pm at the RedR office in London.
  • Module 3 Self Study to be carried out independently in the week between the first and second workshops.
  • Module 4 A one day workshop from 9am until 4pm at the RedR office in London. Training methods will include a mixture of presentations by experts, group discussions and practical exercises.

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