UNDRR GETI, UNOSSC & WHO Joint Online Training: Build Back Better, 8-29 June 2021

May 12, 2021 | Capacity Development Initiatives, Cities Clusters - COVID-19, Cities Clusters - DRR, Cities Project, Events

 UNDRR GETI, UNOSSC & WHO Joint Online Training

Build Back Better: Harnessing SSC and Risk Reduction Planning for Resilient and Healthy Cities in the Post-COVID-19 Era

  • When: 8, 15, 22, 29 June 2021

Between 8 and 29 June, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Education and Training Institute (GETI), and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Health Emergencies Programme jointly organized an introductory training for local authorities and urban development practitioners. The series of training sessions was titled Build Back Better: Harnessing South-South Cooperation and Risk Reduction Planning for Resilient and Healthy Cities in the Post-COVID-19 era.

Please click here for the Agenda


Cities and their residents are at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.  More than half of humanity live in urban settings. Conditions in cities have fanned the pandemic and the pandemic has deeply impacted cities.

Download the final Training Booklet

The link between healthy populations and healthy economies could not be more obvious. The pandemic is expected to lead to 15 to 25 percent less revenue of municipal authorities around the world in 2021. This is expected to reach a staggering 30 to 65 percent in African cities. Cities are also suffering from the devastating impact of lockdown measures on informal economies, the lifeblood of many urban areas in developing countries, compounded with inadequate safety nets to soften the blow for the workers. Moreover, cities coping with economic shocks, aging infrastructure, and declining populations and cities relying on tourism, hospitality, transport, or logistics, are particularly affected. Like in any human setting, existing socio-economic inequities in cities have surfaced and further fanned the flames of the pandemic. The poorest, most excluded city dwellers have been the hardest hit.

City leadership is crucial to reopening the world. Local governments and communities played a critical role in the COVID-19 response.  With much riding on cities, the leadership and capacity of municipal governments will largely decide the quality of recovery and response. Building back resilient cities will hinge not only on reactivating or opening the economy, but also on ensuring that the underlying weaknesses that allowed COVID-19 to thrive are addressed to prevent the next pandemic.  Chief amongst them  are underfunded health systems and inequity in access to services. Health and preparedness must not be seen by cities and their citizens as a costly burden, but rather as a vital investment that ensure resilience and prosperity,  Equally important is the mutual learning and support among cities across countries with their tested and innovative experiences. Policy makers are increasingly concerned with how best to strengthen municipal governments’ capacities in disaster and risk reduction, public health emergency response, as well as their abilities to collaborate and learn from each other’s experiences.

Course Objectives

This course will serve as an introductory training for urban leaders, planners and practitioners, aiming to:

  1. Increase the understanding and capacities in disaster and risk reduction, for effective and equitable public health emergency response, and South-South cooperation.
  2. Better prepare stakeholders for re-opening cities following the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare for future crises – especially health emergencies;
  3. Facilitate city-to-city partnerships in South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) towards sustainable development.

By the end of this training, participants shall be able to:

  1. Describe and understand disaster risk reduction, public health emergency response and South-South and triangular cooperation;
  2. Explain SSTC trends and policies in disaster risk reduction, Sendai framework and other disaster risk reduction frameworks, public health responses at urban levels.
  3. Provide examples of cities’ COVID-19 responses, share relevant solutions on DRR and health emergency responses, and exchange cities’ SSTC experiences and good practices on DRR and health emergency responses;
  4. Use tools related to disaster risk reduction planning, public health response and SSTC.

Expected Outcomes

  1. National and local government officials as well as urban resilience practitioners with enhanced knowledge on the requirements for fostering resilient cities in the post COVID-19 era.
  2. Increased understanding of South-South and triangular cooperation trends and policies and its importance in disaster risk reduction and public health emergency response; disaster risk reduction (DRR) normative frameworks, such as the Sendai Framework for DRR, the Making Cities Resilient 2030 initiative; and tools to help strengthen disaster risk reduction and public health resilience planning such as  the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities – Public Health System Resilience Addendum;
  3. Increased awareness of cities’ experience and solutions on COVID-19 responses, public health emergency responses, inequity reduction strategies,  disaster risk reduction strategic planning, sustainable urban development showcases, exchanges, and captured in a knowledge report for further dissemination and public policymaking;
  4. Partnership brokering between cities as well as city-related entities facilitated and documented for the incubation of thematic communities of practice (CoP), city clusters, and city networks.

Target Audience

Local and national government officials in charge of disaster risk reduction and management, urban development and planning, public health; emergency preparedness, national associations of municipalities; urban resilience and development practitioners as well as civil society, private sector, and academia.

The course is open to all applicants from both developed and developing countries, especially the young experts and officials. Participants from Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing countries are highly encouraged.

Course Assessment (exam)

Participants will be given an online voluntary end-of-course assessment to test their understanding and knowledge taught and presented in the webinar. The assessment will consist of a quiz to test the  knowledge on South-South and triangular cooperation, disaster and risk reduction, and public health. To be considered successful, the participants need to succeed the completion of the quiz at a rate of 80%

Course Evaluation

To enable evidence-based course evaluation, a post-course survey will be disseminated to participants to collect feedback on the course contents and organization, as well as understanding participants’ development needs for follow-up and to facilitate future programmatic designing.


Week Date Programme
Week 1 08 June 2021 Welcome & Introduction 1.     Introduction to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and the Making Cities Resilient 2030 UNDRR GETI 2.     Equity at the core of health emergency response and preparedness & urban health – WHO 3.    South-South and Triangular Cooperation trends, policies and its role in public health UNOSSC Download Session 1 Agenda
Week 2 15 June 2021 Utilizing the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities – Public Health System Resilience Addendum to strengthen cities’ disaster risk reduction planning and implementation – UNDRR Download Session 2 Agenda
Week 3 22 June 2021 Building back better after the COVID-19 pandemic: Public health concepts, policies and initiatives –WHO Download Session 3 Agenda
Week 4 29 June 2021 South-South cities exchanges on “Cities innovative experiences on reopening and adjusting disaster risk reduction and public health measures in response to COVID-19 and preparing for the future.” – UNOSSC Download Session 4 Agenda
Self-paced assessment Participants must complete an online self-paced course assessment via OpenWHO’s online test platform. The link will be given to only eligible participants.