UNDRR GETI, UNOSSC, PAHO & WHO Joint Certificate Training on Transitioning to Complex Risk Management and Resilient Urban Futures, 23 August – 13 September

July 25, 2022

UNDRR GETI, UNOSSC, PAHO, WHO Joint Certificate Training Programme

 Transitioning to Complex Risk Management and Resilient Urban Futures: Harnessing South-South Cooperation and Learning From COVID-19

  • When: Every Tuesday between 23 August and 13 September 2022, 08:00AM New York | 14:00 Geneva | 19:00 Bangkok | 21:00 Incheon (Four 90-120 minutes online sessions, one end-of-course assessment, and one post-course survey)
  • Language: English will be the main language of the programme. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Registration: Interested participants must complete registration form before 15 August 2022


Urbanization continues to rise at an unprecedented rate over the next three decades, from 56 per cent in 2021 to 68 per cent in 2050[1].  While the future of humanity is undoubtedly urban where cities are hubs of jobs and opportunities, increase in population density and informal settlement in high-risk urban areas are mounting challenges for urban populations.

Since 2020, cities around the world have faced even more challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic which exacerbates the vulnerabilities and brings tremendous impact on urban health and well-being. The virus has taken the lives of millions and the public health and social measures brought a huge economic impact to citizens. The COVID-19 pandemic reveals the new reality: cities are living with uncertainties and facing much more complex risks. In order to transition to resilient and sustainable urban futures, cities need to evolve to reflect the interconnectedness of people, planet and prosperity. Cities must transition to systematic risk governance with enhanced understanding of systematic risks[2].

Business as usual will not lead to changes. Cities are at the forefront of opportunities to learn from the systematic impact of the pandemic and the complexity of risks amidst climate emergencies. Local authorities are in the vital position to ensure climate, health and other risks are integrated in the city planning and financing processes, allowing city stakeholders to collaborate and take collective actions to reduce risks. Equally important is the mutual learning and support among cities across countries with their tested and innovative experiences. Strengthening municipal governments’ capacities in understanding the systematic nature of risks, disaster risk reduction, public health emergency response, as well as their abilities to collaborate and learn from each other’s experiences remain critical to the success of cities in this transformed world.

The Buenos Aires outcome document of the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) in 2019 recognized that local authorities play a growingly indispensable role in South-South and triangular cooperation which can take different forms such as knowledge sharing, training and capacity building, and technology exchange in various thematic areas including disaster risk mitigation and climate change. Such cooperation can support cities, especially in developing countries, in achieving sustainable development.

This training provides an opportunity for local authorities and urban development practitioners to mutually learn and share experience in transitioning to managing complex risks and a resilient future. Jointly organized by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), it builds upon the prior two editions which were held annually in 2020 and 2021.

The first edition held between 8 September and 6 October 2020 focused on “Making Cities Resilient: Developing and implementing local disaster risk reduction strategy to respond to COVID-19 and to better prepare for the future” was attended by over 2,500 participants from 150 countries and territories.  The second edition entitled “Build Back Better: Harnessing South-South Cooperation and Risk Reduction Planning for Resilient and Healthy Cities in the Post-COVID-19 era,” was held throughout June 2021 with over 5,000 registrations and 2,979 live attendances from over 1,000 cities in 155 countries and territories with close to equal gender participation.

The third edition will be organized from 23 August to 13 September 2022 with the focus on Transitioning to Complex Risk Management and Resilient Urban Futures: Harnessing South-South Cooperation and Learning From COVID-19”, in conjunction with the Global South-South Development Expo 2022

Course Objective:

This training serves as an introductory training for urban leaders, planners, and practitioners, aiming to:

  1. Increase the understanding and capacities to manage complex and systematic disaster risks and enhance public health emergency response preparedness, and South-South cooperation.
  2. Better prepare city stakeholders for transitioning to living with COVID-19 pandemic, fostering collective collaboration, and making cities resilient for future crises – especially health emergencies and uncertainties.
  3. Facilitate city-to-city partnerships in South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) towards sustainable development.

By the end of this training, participants will:

  1. Describe the connections between systematic risks, disaster risk reduction, public health emergency response preparedness and South-South and triangular cooperation
  2. Explain SSTC trends and policies in disaster risk reduction, the key elements of the Sendai framework and other disaster risk reduction frameworks, and public health responses at urban levels
  3. Provide examples of cities’ transitioning to living with COVID-19 and managing complex risk scenarios; share relevant solutions on DRR and health emergency response preparedness, and exchange cities’ SSTC experiences and good practices on DRR and integration of health emergencies preparedness in city urban development actions
  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, learning from the COVID-19 pandemic
  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 and public health emergency responses, inequity reduction strategies, disaster risk reduction strategic planning, complex risks management, 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, and 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 (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs) are highly encouraged.

No. of Trainees: Maximum 3,000 participants, on a first come first serve basis.

Course Assessment (exam)

Participants will be given an online voluntary end-of-course assessment via the UNOSSC Virtual Expo Site to test their knowledge and understanding of key content taught and presented in the training. The assessment will consist of a quiz to test knowledge on South-South and triangular cooperation, disaster and risk reduction, and public health. Participants need a score of 80% or above to succeed.

Course evaluation

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


Certificate of completion will be given to participants who meet the following requirements:

  1. Attend at least 3 out of 4 live sessions (75% attendance)
  2. Complete a feedback survey, and
  3. Pass an end-of-course assessment (exam), with the score of 80% or above

Qualified participants who fulfill all requirements can obtain the certificate automatically from the UNOSSC Virtual Expo site.



[1] World Cities Report 2022: Envisaging the Future of Cities

[2] The Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022