The set of training and advocacy materials is centered on a Quick Guide that provides an overview of
the key issues and the different options and tools to enhance resilience of cities and their populations
to climate change in a compact and
easy-to-read format, showcasing case studies from the region.
The advocacy and training materials further
consist of a collection of over 30 good practice
documentations from across the region,
slideshows/ short videos and PowerPoint
presentations summarizing the main messages of
the Quick Guide, short participatory training
methods that introduce target audiences to
concepts, trends and approaches, as well as a
simulation exercise for a group of between 18 to
40 participants. The latter simulates a multistakeholder,
citywide effort to introduce climate responsive land use and development planning
measures in a participatory, inclusive and adaptive way.
The materials convey the following key approaches, for which they propose practical implementation
processes that local governments are well-positioned and mandated to catalyze and manage:
Be inclusive and participatory: Climate resilience building is unlikely to succeed if undertaken by
local governments alone. Planning and implementation processes need to include the most
vulnerable (and therefore affected) groups in a meaningful way, while bringing the strengths and
comparative advantages of all stakeholders in a city into play - be it from the business sector,
academia, civil society etc. They all can contribute to parts of the puzzle in terms of local
knowledge, skills, networks, and resources – and partnering with a broad group of citizens
decreases the risks of mal-adaptation and increases ownership of initiatives.
Be systemic: Climate change affects various urban sub-systems (infrastructure, eco-systems),
institutions and populations in a city. Its impacts are not only interrelated but also interact with
other structural challenges, such as poverty and informality. Solutions therefore ultimately have to
be comprehensive, taking a systems approach and including wider development goals. Resilience
building also has to span and integrate various temporal, spatial, hierarchical and sectoral
dimensions that go beyond the mandate of a particular city government. However, practically it
may also make sense to pick one or a few entry points and then build up and mainstream climate
resilience incrementally. The Quick Guide and related training and advocacy materials therefore
highlight both various entry points as well as mainstreaming approaches.
Be adaptive: With patterns of exposures and vulnerabilities anticipated to change - yet the kind of
change being uncertain, climate change is a challenge that cannot be solved with a one-time
intervention. Resilience is not a one-time achievement. Resilience in this context also is not just a
“bounce back” to a previous state so that a system or population can once again fulfill its key
functions after some particular stress or disaster. Resilience, as a normative and inspirational
concept, has the potential and the need for developing multiple “stable states” as eco-systems
and societies adapt to changing circumstances. Resilience therefore includes both elements of
recovery and elements of change, which is particularly important when the previous state was
inadequate or sub-optimal as so often is the case for developing cities and urban poor and
vulnerable populations. Resilience, moreover, is not just a reaction to a particular impact but aims
to address structural causes of vulnerability. Cities, therefore, need to be prepared for ‘changing
goal posts’ and for addressing a wide array of issues. This requires an on-going, pro-active,
reflective and flexible process where constant learning informs next steps and priority setting.
While kick-starting such a process requires good will from key stakeholders, ultimately this kind of
“adaptive governance” needs to be institutionalized to remain sustainable.