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Security in Urban Emergencies (Online Course)


Security in Urban Emergencies (Online Course)

This is an online event


Since 2008, it has been reported that over half the world’s population lives in cities. With this shift, aid agencies are increasingly likely to conduct more of their relief work in urban areas. As such it is important for relief workers to understand what urban spaces are and how better to define them and the unique challenges that are present when working in them. Responses to urban emergencies are considered more complex in nature compared to rural settings than the sector has traditionally been involved in, as they involve high numbers of very different people, living and working in close proximity with a more mobile and transient population. These people are largely dependent on technical or economic systems to meet their basic needs in an environment where social, political and institutional factors are highly convoluted.

In understanding urban contexts, humanitarian actors and agencies can better answer the question of how all these factors affect their programming and at the same time ask how working in an urban environment may affect their security. Just as crises and responses in urban areas differs to those in rural areas so too do the security issues and types of violence associated to urban contexts. Humanitarian actors face new challenges when considering security risks in urban environments as they can lack or have greater difficulty in establishing influence or acceptance with the populations around them. This means that they need to find urban specific strategies to mitigate potential risks.

This Security in Urban Emergencies course gives participants exposure to the necessary skills and knowledge to: participate in the development of security strategies, from conducting context analyses, to how that informs the subsequent vulnerability assessments and risk assessments, through to using security frameworks to mitigate urban specific risks. The course builds directly on the lessons learned in the Urban Humanitarianism course. The duration of the facilitated on-line course is 4 consecutive weeks where all activities take place on-line. It is expected that you spend around three to five hours per week on participating in team activities and completing individual tasks.

Most of the activities are asynchronous, the asynchronous model means that you can log in when convenient for you, whether that is during the working day, in the evening at home or while travelling. However, there will be some webinars where a time will be scheduled and participants will need to be available to participate in tasks, this will cater to different time zones and working schedules. The topics in this course are interwoven to build upon the learning from the course, which will enable participants to remember key learning points and practise taught skills. 


(Help) Reduce the number of security incidents experienced in urban settings by humanitarian aid workers, through aid workers developing and employing a variety of tools used in a security risk framework


By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

Develop basic context analysis for a complex urban setting, using a good practice structure

Differentiate the risks faced by diverse humanitarians (particularly with regard to gender)

Identify security threats of special concern in an urban environment and use a security risk framework to manage them.


Context Analysis

Actor Mapping and Specific Urban Threats

Gender and Security

Threat and Vulnerability

Assessing Risk

Developing Security Strategies

The Differences between Urban and Rural Violence

Security Plans


Participants should have an interest in working in an urban emergency response and have some experience in the humanitarian and/or development sector. This course presupposes a working knowledge of basic humanitarian principles.


All course activities are asynchronous, so there aren’t fixed times when you need to be on-line to meet with other course participants. Yet with plenty of discussions it often feels like real time, with the added advantage that you can take a little longer to formulate your contributions. You can log in when convenient for you, whether that is during the working day, in the evening at home or while traveling.

RedR UK is committed to making our courses accessible to any organisation, regardless of size. We offer course scholarships for eligible participants who meet specific criteria. For more information on RedR Scholarships and how to apply, please click here.

Any questions? Check out our FAQs here and our T&Cs here.

If you have any questions about this course or require further information, please contact dHJhaW5pbmcgfCByZWRyICEgb3JnICEgdWs=.

In case of any complaints, please email Y29tcGxhaW50cyB8IHJlZHIgISBvcmcgISB1aw==

RedR UK is committed to making sure everyone’s needs are met, including people of different genders, ages and disabilities. If you have any specific access requirements or learning needs RedR are committed to try and make reasonable adjustments to support your needs, please email dHJhaW5pbmcgfCByZWRyICEgb3JnICEgdWs= or phone 0207 840 6000 at any stage of the booking process to talk directly to RedR about your needs.

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