Its founding members are the Governments of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of Comoros. Its Headquarter is in Maputo, Mozambique, and it has antennas in the other four member countries. Its purpose is to provide Technical Assistance on Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change in Southern Africa and the South-West Indian Ocean. It operates as a non-profit, autonomous, regional organization, international in status and non-political in management, staffing and operations. It focuses on Urban Resilience to respond to the increasing demand of capacity-building in the areas of urban risk reduction and resilience services. It works with Governments, NGOs, the UN, the Academia and the Civil Society.


DiMSUR is composed of four organs:

  • The Conference of Ministers, with Ministers from the member states;
  • The Executive Board (EB), composed by the four Member countries; SADC; University of Antananarivo; the Northwest University; UN-Habitat and a representative of Civil Society;
  • The Consultative Group, composed by a range of recognized experts and organizations;
  • The Secretariat, a team of technical experts headed by the Executive Director.

The process of establishment of DiMSUR was facilitated by the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), in cooperation with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), with the support of the European Commission Directorate-General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) and the ACP-EU Natural DRR Programme, managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) at the World Bank.

The Technical Centre for Disaster Risk Management, Sustainability and Urban Resilience (DiMSUR) is a sub-regional organization aiming at developing local, national and sub-regional capacities for reducing vulnerability and building the resilience of communities to natural and other hazards in the Southern African Region.

Founded by the Governments of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of Comoros, DiMSUR was legally established in December 2014. It’s Headquarter is in Maputo, Mozambique and has antennas in the other three member countries. It operates as a non-profit, autonomous, regional organization, international in status and non- political in management, staffing and operations.

DiMSUR delivers a wide range of services in disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA) and urban resilience including:

  • Training and capacity building activities
  • Provision of qualified technical assistance
  • Awareness raising and advocacy
  • Compilation, preparation, sharing, dissemination of tools, best practices, plans and strategies
  • Exchange of experiences and cross-fertilisation
  • Identification of adequate adaptation/mitigation small-scale infrastructural models and solutions


First DiMSUR concept note​

  • 2008

In April 2008 Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of Comoros endorsed the idea of establishing DiMSUR


Steering group established

  • 2011

Feasibility Study conducted and validated

  • 2012

A Feasibility Study was conducted and validated in 2012 with the goal of identifying the general challenges at sub-regional and country level, understanding the needs, risks and opportunities linked to the creation of the Centre and providing recommendations. The study concluded that there was a clear advantage at establishing a permanent sub-regional institution providing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) technical support to different stakeholders, working beyond the limited time period of projects and programs.


Proposal submitted by the ACP-EU GFDRR​

  • 2013

Based on this Feasibility Study, UN-Habitat facilitated the preparation of a full proposal for the establishment and operationalization of DiMSUR. The proposal was submitted – with a formal endorsement at the highest political level of the four countries,to the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, and was approved in March 2013.

DiMSUR officially launched in Maputo Pilot training delivered with ECHO

  • 2013

The process of DiMSUR establishment was launched in Maputo, Mozambique by high representatives of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of Comoros on the 3rd of June 2013.


I Session of the EB in Abuj

  • 2014

DiMSUR’s Executive Board met for the first time in Abuja, Nigeria on the 12th May 2014.

Biannual Action Plan adopted by the EB

  • 2014

DiMSUR Biannual Action Plan was drafted in May 2014. It identified three key priority areas: (1) Position  DiMSUR as service-provider on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRR/M), Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Urban Resilience (UR); (2) Deliver tailored capacity building, training and demonstration activities across the four countries; (3) Promote partnerships with technical, academic and research institutions of Southern Africa.


Urban Resilience Training Module developed and delivered

  • 2015

A 10-year Strategic Plan was presented during the III DiMSUR Executive Board Meeting in Maputo, October 2015.

Efficient cooperation of the different organs composing DiMSUR will ensure the success of the 10 Years Strategic Plan. Each organ has a fundamental role to play along the cycle of decision making, planning and implementation of activities, to monitoring and evaluation of results.

Organs composing DiMSUR are as follow:

  • The Conference of Ministers, formed by Ministers of the member states with national responsibility for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA).
  • The Executive Board composed of National Directors responsible for DRR and CCA from each member State, a representative from the SADC DRR Unit, a representative from UN-Habitat as main facilitator of the DiMSUR initiative, and representatives from civil society and academia.
  • The Consultative Group consisting of representatives of relevant DRR, CCA and urban resilience stakeholders from member states and the southern Africa region as well as internationally recognized DRR, CCA and urban resilience experts and representatives of international organisations, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, NGOs and others.
  • The Secretariat which consists of the Executive Director of the DiMSUR and one National Focal Point per member state. Regular assessment of DiMSUR’s activities is essential to achieve the strategic goals.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation mechanisms will be undertaken on an annual basis. Each strategic priority refers to indicators to assess the actions carried out by DiMSUR based on annual plans approved by the Executive Board. The Secretariat will collect data on each indicator and present a yearly monitoring report to the Executive Board with a view to inform members about achievements and challenges faced during the implementation of the Strategic Plan. The evaluation of the Strategic Plan will take place twice: a first time after five years and a second time once the 10-year implementation period is finished. It will compare and measure the achievements with the goals of the Strategic Plan. This will give an opportunity for the Executive Board to review lessons learned and redefine strategic priorities to expand the impact of DiMSUR activities.
DiMSUR has benefited from the financial support of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) and the ACP-EU Natural DRR Programme, managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) at the World Bank. Many other organizations are directly involved with  DiMSUR through their membership to the Executive Board. Board Members include the directors of the national institutions responsible for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in each of the member state namely:
  • INGC (Instituto Nacional de Gestao de Calamidades) for Mozambique
  • DODMA (Deparment of Disaster Management Affairs) for Malawi
  • BNGRC (Bureau National de Gestion des Risques de Catastrophe) for Madagascar
  • COSEP (Centre des Opérations de Secour et de la Protection Civile) for the Union of Comoros
The Executive Board is also composed of representatives of the Disaster Risk Reduction Unit of the SADC, the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar) and the Northwest University (South Africa) is  hosting the African Centre for Disaster Study. Other partners of DiMSUR are: the Southern Africa Society for Disaster Reduction (SASDiR), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affaires (OCHA), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee (RIASCO), OXFAM International, COOPI (Cooperazione Internazionale) and the Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique). <p”>DiMSUR is currently looking for DRR, CCA and Urban resilience stakeholders to be part of its consultative body whose aim is to assist and provide inputs for the implementation of the Centre activities while guiding its strategic decisions.