April 21, 2021

Training Report: Making Cities Resilient

Developing and Implementing Local DRR Strategy to Respond to COVID-19 and Better Prepare for the Future


Jointly organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster and Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Education and Training Institute (GETI), the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) under the framework of its Cities Project, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the “Making Cities Resilient: Developing & Implementing Local Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies to Respond to COVID-19 & Better Prepare for the Future” certified training workshop consisted of five online sessions and one self-paced assignment, between 8 September and 6 October 2020.

The first session, on 8 September, focused on providing participants with an introduction to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and the Sendai Framework, and on sharing SSTC trends and policies. The second session, on 15 September, focused on “The Role of Local Government in Response to COVID-19” where studies of cities were also shared, as well as response to COVID-19 especially for vulnerable people in cities.

The third and fourth sessions, led by UNDRR delved into sharing toolkits, such as the “Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities” and “Public Health System Resilience Scorecard Addendum” and actual case examples of cities in risk reduction planning and implementation. The final session took place on 6 October on “Cities experience and good practices on reopening and adjusting public health measures in response to COVID-19”, featuring the good practices presented by PAHO/WHO, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), Chandigarh, India, Medellin, Colombia, and Udine, Italy.

Over 2,500 participants attended from close to 150 countries and territories, with almost equal gender participation. Close to 40% of participants were from national and local governments and close to 30% from IGOs, CSOs, and academia. During the workshop, over 224 e-discussions took place among participants through an online workspace created for the course. At the end of the course, close to 98% of participants reported having gained knowledge on SSTC, DRR and public health that would apply to their work, close to 96% of participants would like to collaborate with UNDRR, UNOSSC, and PAHO on future activities, close to 97% of participants found the perspectives and good practices presented by the cities useful and might consider utilizing the lessons and solutions shared.