DiMSUR focuses on urban resilience and provides technical assistance on disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change in Southern Africa and the South-West Indian Ocean. DiMSUR is a non-profit, autonomous, regional organization which is international in status and non-political in management, staffing and operations. The Center works with Governments, NGOs, the United Nations, academia and civil society.

The founding members are the Governments of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of Comoros. DiMSUR’s headquarter is located in Maputo, Mozambique, and it has a presence in the other member countries as well.

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; United Nations Human Settlements Program (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 establishment of DiMSUR is facilitated by 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.

DiMSUR is a sub-regional organization aimed at developing local, national and sub-regional capacities for reducing vulnerability and building the resilience of communities to natural and other hazards in Southern Africa. Membership is open to other African Countries.

DiMSUR was legally established in December 2014 by the Governments of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of Comoros. The headquarters is located in Maputo, Mozambique, with a presence in the other three member countries as well. It operates as a non-profit, autonomous, regional organization, international in status and non- political in management, staffing and operations.

DiMSUR delivers a 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, and dissemination of tools, best practices, plans and strategies;
  • Exchange of experiences and cross-fertilisation among countries;
  • Identification of adequate adaptation/mitigation small-scale infrastructural solutions.

DiMSUR founding team

First DiMSUR concept note​

  • 2008

In April, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and The Union of the Comoros endorsed the establishment of DiMSUR


Steering Group establishment

  • 2011

Feasibility Study

  • 2012

The study was conducted to identify challenges at the sub-regional and country levels. It concluded that there was an advantage in establishing a permanent sub-regional institution to provide technical support to African countries.


Successful proposal

  • 2013

DiMSUR team submitted full proposal for establishment and operationalization of DiMSUR with endorsement of the member countries to the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme - approved in March 2013.

DiMSUR launching and pilot CityRAP Tool training

  • 2013

On June 3rd., DiMSUR was officially launched in Maputo by high-level representatives of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of the Comoros. A pilot CityRAP Tool training workshop was delivered with the EU (DG ECHO).


1st Executive Board meeting

  • 2014
Held in Abuja, Nigeria on May 12th. DiMSUR Biannual Action Plan drafted with three priority areas for DiMSUR:
  • Service-provider on disaster risk reduction and management, climate change adaptation and urban resilience;
  • Tailored capacity building delivery;
  • Partnerships with technical and research institutions in Southern Africa.

2nd. Executive Board Meeting

  • 2014

Held in Lilongwe, Malawi on December 2nd and 3rd.

  • Signature of DiMSUR's Memorandum of Understanding and Charter;
  • Discussion of the 10-year Strategic Plan and DiMSUR staffing process.

3rd. Executive Board Meeting

  • 2015

Held in Maputo, Mozambique. The 10-year Strategic Plan was presented and adopted.

The urban resilience training module was developed and delivered.

4th Executive Board Meeting

  • 2016

Held during the 6th Session of the Africa Regional Platform, and the 5th High Level Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction in Mauritius.


Headquarters in Maputo

  • 2017

The Host Country Agreement endorsed by Mozambique Cabinet during its first meeting in 2017; the headquarters is established in Maputo.

5th  Executive Board Meeting

  • 2018
Held in Maputo, Mozambique, on 18-19th July. Discussion about the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between SADC and DiMSUR, facilitated by UN-Habitat.

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 follows:

  • 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 Southern African Development Community (SADC) DRR Unit, a representative from UN-Habitat as main facilitator of DiMSUR, and representatives from civil society and academia. Currently, these refer to the Directors of INGC (Instituto Nacional de Gestao de Calamidades) in Mozambique, DODMA (Department of Disaster Management Affairs) in Malawi, BNGRC (Bureau National de Gestion des Risques de Catastrophe) in Madagascar, and COSEP (Centre des Opérations de Secour et de la Protection Civile) in the Union of the Comoros. Academia is represented through University of Antananarivo (Madagascar) and Northwest University (South Africa), which is hosting the African Centre for Disaster Study. Oxfam International represents the civil society.  
  • The Consultative Group, under establishment, will consist of representatives of relevant DRR, CCA and urban resilience stakeholders from member states and Southern Africa as well as internationally recognized DRR, CCA and urban resilience experts and representatives of international organisations, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs and others.
  • DiMSUR’s Secretariat consists of the Executive Director of DiMSUR and one national focal point per member state. Currently, the secretariat ad interim is represented by UN-Habitat.
  • Regular assessment of DiMSUR’s activities is carried out 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. The Secretariat  collects data on each indicator and presents annual monitoring reports 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 take place twice: first after five years and then upon reaching the 10-year implementation period. It will compare the achievements with the goals of the Strategic Plan. The Executive Board will review lessons learned and redefine strategic priorities to expand the impact of DiMSUR.

DiMSUR promotes partnerships among stakeholders, cities, towns, centres, institutions and organizations within and across countries. It involves local authorities, municipal associations, government and academic institutions, professional groups, technical centers and think tanks at different levels to promote city-to-city and national-to-local exchanges and cooperation. DiMSUR organizes national and regional events to encourage the exchange of good practices, skills and knowledge.

DiMSUR has benefited from financial support from 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.

Several other organizations are directly involved with DiMSUR through their membership to the Executive Board. Other partners of DiMSUR are: the Southern Africa Society for Disaster Reduction (SASDiR), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee (RIASCO), COOPI (Cooperazione Internazionale) and the Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique).

The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)  facilitated the creation of DiMSUR in cooperation with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and is acting as the secretariat ad-interim of DiMSUR since the launch in 2013.

Headquarter in Maputo and Sub-Units of Member States
Rua Macombe Macossa,
n. 151- Maputo, Mozambique
Tel: +258 21492579
Fax: +258 21490666
secretariat@dimsur.org |www.dimsur.org