Urban Competency Framework

The Urban Competency Framework

As populations in cities continue to grow, global crises are increasingly urban in nature: humanitarian action must enhance its efficiency in these settings.

The Urban Competency Framework for Humanitarian Action (UCF) outlines the key competencies and accompanying behaviours that all those working in humanitarian response need in order to work effectively in urban settings. 

The UCF can be used by individuals, institutions or organisations to assess suitability for working in urban crises, improve competencies and ensure those that are involved in urban humanitarian action are effective. It can be used by learning providers to develop courses and curricula based on the skills needed in urban humanitarian action. It can also be a tool for improving collaboration and encouraging an intersectoral approach between local authorities, humanitarians, built environment professionals, engineers, civil society and other key stakeholders.

To learn more about how to use the UCF, and for a toolkit of resources to support using the framework, download a copy of our User Guide.

The UCF was drafted through a consultative process, with input from urban specialists from around the globe. If you would like to read more about the initial research behind the first drafts of the UCF download a copy of the Research Report.

Click here to read a case study on local urban response in the Philippines and learn how this relates to the UCF.

The Urban Competency Framework

Download a copy of the Urban Competency Framework here.

FREE Training Videos

Learn how to use the UCF and discover how it is relevant to you and your team, from deploying staff to fostering collaboration across different actors.

FREE Training Videos

Our partners

RedR UK has been working on behalf of the Global Alliance for Urban Crises (GAUC)  to develop the Urban Competency Framework. This work was produced through funding provided to the International Rescue Committee from EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and is part of a wider project for the GAUC entitled ‘Developing the skills to meet the needs of urban populations in crises through the alliance of urban responders’.

Global Alliance for Urban Crises was established to bring together the different actors who can help to improve crisis preparedness and response in our increasingly urban world

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future

The European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) provides assistance for affected countries and populations whenever there is a disaster or humanitarian emergency


  • Urban Competency Framework is produced through funding provided to the International Rescue Committee from EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). It is part of a wider project for the Global Alliance for Urban Crises (GAUC) entitled ‘Developing the skills to meet the needs of urban populations in crises through the alliance of urban responders.'