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Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK)


Methodological Objectives

1. To undertake data rich analysis to illustrate the potential offered by evidence based policy for risk reduction as part of development planning (formal and informal).

2. To compare the appropriateness of contrasting vulnerability and loss assessment methodologies for a range of urban contexts.


3. To reveal the relative significance of gender, age and socio-economic capability on the social and spatial distribution of vulnerability and capacity to reduce risk.

4. To make clear the ways in which decision-making systems, past and present shape vulnerability and loss in the city today.

5. To better understand the ways in which violence and conflict compound vulnerability and loss in urban contexts.

Practice facing

6. To demonstrate how modelling can help planners to better visualise multi-hazard contexts and assist critical infrastructure planning.

7. To demonstrate how to better integrate climate change assessments into contemporary development planning. This includes providing better data and working with stakeholders to understand the implications of data and its uncertainties for development planning and proactive adaptation.

8. To strengthen local communities at risk to advocate for risk reduction as part of everyday development goals. This requires working closely with communities at risk, exploring development choices with them and considering the underlying social structures that constrain such choice.

9. To work with international policy champions to better orient policy tools to the needs of African disaster risk reduction. As Urban ARK consortium members international policy actors are well placed to influence the wider policy world and shape Urban ARK's programme of work to maximise its relevance to this community as they increasingly focus on urban disaster risk.

10. To build a critical mass of evidence and analysis on the trajectories and expressions of disaster risk and its reduction in sub-Saharan Africa to stimulate additional work. Urban ARK is a limited life programme and must be able to demonstrate legacy through its role in stimulating others to focus on this area of development challenge. This includes local, city level actors, international donors and policy actors and the academic community.

Capacity building

11. To help generate a capacity amongst early career researchers and practitioners. The dynamics of urbanisation and environmental change in sub-Saharan Africa indicate the need for greater number of expert practitioners and researchers. Urban ARK should play its role in helping to foster this new generation.

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