DiMSUR creates relevant and innovative tools to improve 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

City RAP: City Resilience Action Planning Tool

The cityRAP tool trains city managers and municipal technicians in small to intermediate sized cities in sub-Saharan Africa to understand and plan actions aimed at reducing risk and building resilience through the elaboration of a City Resilience Action Plan. The main principle of the CityRAP is ownership by the local government. It is designed as an enabling rather than prescriptive tool. It is understood as a set of training, exercises and activities directed at municipalities that express demand in kick-starting the resilience action planning process.

The City RAP Tool seeks to put local governments and urban stakeholders in the driver’s seat of urban resilience planning in order to ensure capacity retention and use. The design of the tool allows local governments to adapt and implement it with minimal intervention from technical experts. It draws on practical methods to leverage local knowledge for understanding and planning resilience. These include local government self-assessments, participatory risk mapping exercises and cross-sectorial action planning—all of which can be undertaken by the local government engaging relevant stakeholders and most importantly the communities themselves.

The tool has already been conducted in 6 cities: Chokwe, Vilankulo and Mocuba in Mozambique, Zomba in Malawi, Morondava in Madagascar, and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

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The Urban Resilience Action Plan (RAP) is a key document guiding decision-makers to improve their city’s resilience and reduce risks. The RAP identifies specific issues and priorities according to the context and local realities. It defines the key actions to be implemented at short, medium and long term to overcome the identified challenges promoting close collaboration and coordination between sectors. The most important prerogative of the RAP is to be implementable (“what cannot be implemented does not exist”). DiMSUR supports the development and implementation of such plans among different municipalities through the provision of technical support, tools and training courses. The plan can also be used to feed the elaboration of other planning instruments and could become a strong fundraising instrument in the hands of the municipality.


DiMSUR delivers high-quality, innovative and interactive training courses to help build and strengthen capacities of both communities and decision-makers in Disaster Risk Management,Climate Change Adaptation and Urban Resilience.

DiMSUR provides tailor-made training courses adapted to its audience. Customized programs are designed to the specific needs of the participants enabling them to improve and broaden their knowledge and skills on very specific issues or hazards.

On-the-job training courses are also available covering a broad range of issues going from adaptive architecture and construction techniques to risk mapping, participatory planning and vulnerability assessments.


DiMSUR offers demand-led technical assistance providing different stakeholders with the expertise needed to promote urban resilience, manage disaster risks and adapt to climate change. DiMSUR’s specialists work hand-in-hand with beneficiaries to develop locally appropriate solutions tailored to specific needs. Technical assistance often takes the form of missions carried out by recognized experts helping to solve key organizational, institutional and technical challenges.

Partnerships Building

DiMSUR promotes partnerships of stakeholders, cities, towns, centres, institutions and organizations within and across countries. It involves local authorities, municipal associations, governmental 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 between different stakeholders. DiMSUR is also planning to develop an online and innovative platform of exchange that will collect relevant information on Disaster Risk ManagementClimate Change Adaptation, and Urban Resilience to make it widely available and accessible.


DiMSUR develops informative and interactive materials including games and audio-visual products delivering key messages adapted to the target audience. Awareness and advocacy activities aim at influencing community behaviors and practices as well as the decision-making and policy processes to reduce vulnerability to disaster and climate change and to build resilience.