Key Projects

Urban Crises: Ready to Respond

By 2050, 6.5 billion people will live in urban centres – two-thirds of the projected world population.

90% of this increase is expected to be concentrated in Asia and Africa. Urban areas are particularly vulnerable to disasters, and this vulnerability is predicted to become more acute as the world’s population continues to gravitate to cities and towns.

Despite this vulnerability, many humanitarian organisations have lacked the expertise required to effectively respond to an urban disaster. To try to resolve this problem, RedR developed 'Ready to Respond' in 2013, with the support of Lloyd’s Charities Trust. This innovative project aims to increase the ability of individuals and organisations involved in humanitarian action to prepare for and respond to emergencies, especially in urban centres.

Phase One: What We Achieved

During the first phase of the project (2013 - 2016), RedR:

  • Developed three new urban-specific training courses;
  • Trained over 150 humanitarian and private sector staff in urban response;
  • Supported aid workers through the establishment of a mentoring scheme and our online information-sharing service KnowledgePoint;
  • Laid the foundations for long-term humanitarian and private sector collaboration in disaster response. 

Lloyd’s Charities Trust's support of our UK training programme also enabled RedR to train a further 1,627 aid workers.


Phase One: What We Achieved

Mark is a great engineer, but there was a hugely positive difference in his ability to work with us in Nepal from before this course to after this course. The urban response in Nepal will be better in future thanks to courses like this.

Andrew Lamb, Director of Innovation at international NGO Field Ready

As a result of the training both humanitarians and private sector individuals are better prepared to respond to future urban emergencies.

Building On Our Success

In light of this success, in 2016 Lloyd’s Charities Trust renewed their partnership with RedR for a further three years to support the next phase of Ready to Respond, which will run from 2016 - 2019 and build on the achievements of the first three years of the project, continuing to increase capacity in disaster prevention, response, and recovery, especially in urban contexts. 

Over the next few years, RedR will work to:

  • Develop the skills of local responders in disaster-affected communities through developing and delivering a new e-facilitated learning programme
  • Deliver face-to-face training for 1,500 international aid workers through subsidised support by Lloyd’s Charities Trust;
  • Address the technical challenges faced in disasters by providing online technical support and harnessing the expertise of the private sector; 
  • Provide tailored support in the immediate aftermath of a disaster through a contingency fund enabled by Lloyd’s Charities Trust.

'Ready to Respond' is funded by Lloyd's Charities Trust, the grant-making charity of the Lloyd's insurance market, and delivered by disaster relief charity RedR UK.

Building On Our Success

The 'Ready to Respond' project addresses a very clear gap in our collective capacity to deal with disasters, particularly in urban settings. Our partnership with Lloyd’s Charities Trust has enabled us to take some significant steps towards enhancing this capacity, and we look forward to seeing it develop over the next three years.

Martin McCann

Former Chief Executive, RedR UK