Red Cross Red Crescent Urban Collaboration Platform

The Urban Collaboration Platform (UCP) aims to strengthen knowledge and operational skills of Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies in complex urban settings. Urban settings are not new to International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC). The member National Societies have thousands of branches in cities and towns; respond to urban disasters and crises and contribute to reconstruction and recovery efforts in a significant way. A list of examples of urban projects from the RCRC network can be found here.

Partnering with Red Cross National Societies of Indonesia, Vanuatu and Myanmar, the American Red Cross and  the Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC) have implemented a new approach to building urban community resilience and developed and applied the Urban Community Resilience Toolkit.  Read more about this initiative and find the learnings from the Coalition Building for Urban Community Resilience experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that cities are at the front lines of this crisis and will be at the front lines of any similarly globalized crisis in the future. The RCRC National Societies , working closely with local and national public authorities and mobilizing millions of volunteers have  been instrumental in prevention, testing and care services all around the world.  You can find guidance material for pandemic response in urban context here. The  research on epidemics in cities and the  results of the study on “Responding to COVID-19 In Urban Environments: Learning from Local Responders” can be found here.

Previously,  GDPC has conducted Urban Risk Dialogs and organized a series of workshops in Bangkok, Panama, and Arusha in 2013 – 2014. These workshops while highlighting existing challenges, set a vision for urban resilience for RCRC National Societies. The final report explores the feasibility for scaling up efforts on community resilience in cities globally.  In 2012, the IFRC Asia Pacific (AP) region has completed a strategic direction study to explore the niche of Red Cross Red Crescent in urban settings in the Asia Pacific region. The AP Urban Resilience Hub  supports the national Societies in the region, enhancing knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer exchange within and beyond RCRC networks and platforms. In recent years, a growing number of humanitarian actors have been applying anticipatory approaches such as Forecast-based Financing (FbF) to urban contexts, yielding both opportunities and challenges

Learning and sharing workshops

UCP organizes annual workshops to facilitate the exchange of information and experience among National Societies. The first workshop that focused on Urban Assessment was hosted by the Danish Red Cross in  Copenhagen  on 20-21 June 2016. The second workshop was hosted by the Norwegian Red Cross in Oslo on 18-20 May 2017 that sought to strengthen the collaboration process and advance the RCRC knowledge and practical skills in urban disasters and crises. Building on this momentum and in cooperation with Kenya Red Cross, the third workshop was organized in Nairobi on 4-6 June 2018. The next urban collaboration workshop was organized in Beirut hosted by the Lebanon Red Cross on 11-13 2019. Due to COVID-19, the UCP workshop went online. The virtual workshop organized in December 2020 focused on identifying required skill-set for RCRC staff and volunteers to work in urban more effectively.

RCRC Urban Collaboration Workshop Copenhagen June 2016, RCRC Urban Collaboration Workshop Oslo May 2017, RCRC Urban Collaboration Workshop Nairobi June 2018, RCRC Urban Collaboration Workshop Beirut June 2019, IFRC Urban collaboration Workshop #4 Report Dec 2020

IFRC Urban Community Resilience Toolkit

Explore the new urban toolkits for community resilience:

Urban Webinars

In the last years, the Urban Collaboration Platform has hosted webinars to present experiences, and how to build resilience in urban communities. Access to the following recorded webinars here.


  • Rethinking Urban Community Risk Reduction and Resilience while responding to COVID-19
  • The Coalition Building process for Urban Resilience
  • Heatwaves in cities
  • Nature-based solutions for urban resilience
  • Urban migration and climate change
  • Community Waste Management in Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Role of Informal Governance Systems in Cities
  • Role of public spaces in informal settlements in building community resilience and cohesion
  • Water Sanitation and Hygiene in urban areas

Global Engagement

The UCP has been coordinating the active engagement of IFRC in collaboration with the National Societies, GDPC, Climate Center and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the major global urban events such as Habitat 3 and  World Urban Forums . As a result IFRC has been instrumental in shaping the New Urban Agenda to emphasize the impacts of disasters and crises on the most vulnerable urban communities.