SDI at the COP27 African Regional Resilience Hub

Join SDI at COP27 African Regional Resilience Hub from the 19th – 22nd of September 2022, as we shed light on and discuss important priorities, and actions. and more to be amplified at this year’s COP.

The COP27 Africa Regional Resilience Hub will see partners come together to disentangle and communicate African priorities, actions, solutions and challenges to be amplified at the COP27 Resilience Hub.

The COP27 African Regional Resilience Hub is one of four regional hubs, which intends to offer a dynamic and diverse space at and between the UNFCCC Cops to advance inclusive and innovative action on climate adaptation and resilience.

The Resilience Hub aims to mobilise and create levels of ambition and action from across Africa on building resilience to climate change and serves as the home to the Race to Resilience campaign at COP. This represents more than 1500 non-governmental actors taking action on resilience around the world. 

Aims of the COP27 African Regional Resilience Hub

The Africa Hub aims to ensure the voices and perspectives of African communities and constituencies, most impacted by climate change, increasingly drive the global resilience agenda. The Hub aims to deliver a programme of in-person and virtual sessions and engagements on regional priority topics from August to September 2022, culminating in a virtual programme of events from 19-22 September.

This year’s COP27 Africa Regional Resilience Hub is led by the Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), hosted by SouthSouthNorth.

The virtual programme will include 16 sessions on the priority themes of finance and investment, food and agriculture, resilient infrastructure, water and natural ecosystems, and cities and urbanisation. Cross-cutting themes include gender and social inclusion, and engaging and amplifying local voices.

The events SDI will be a part of:

Confronting the climate crisis in African Cities: How urban poor communities are driving locally led adaptation and building resilience

Date: Tuesday, 20 September 2022 

Time: 16:30-18:00 CAT/CEST

Register HERE.

Climate proofing locally led adaptation (LLA) solutions among the vulnerable groups in Sub-Sharan Africa

Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Time: 13:30-15:00 CAT/CEST

Register HERE.

Inclusive community-led climate change adaptation financing in urban and peri-urban informal settlements

Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Time: 15:00-16:30 CAT/CEST

Register HERE.

For general Africa Resilience Hub queries, please email Michelle du Toit:

For communications-specific queries, please email Emma Baker:


Screenshot 2019-10-17 at 15.30.39

A publication by C40 Cities, ICLEI, IIED, SDI, and UN Habitat, with support from Cities Alliance. 


Climate change will worsen many existing shocks and stresses, in addition to creating new challenges in informal settlements (‘slums’) 1 . Climate and disaster-related risks in cities cannot be addressed without upgrading informal settlements; likewise, upgrading will be futile unless the impacts of climate change are taken into account and incorporated. Due to low incomes, fewer assets, and limited voice in governance, residents of informal settlements often lack the capacity to cope with climate risks. Additionally, recognising that informal settlements are not a homogenous group and individuals can be characterised by age, gender, occupation and disability etc, is crucial for policy interventions. Oftentimes, these individuals are likely to be more vulnerable than others and therefore should be considered in upgrading, to ensure an equitable distribution of benefits across an informal community.

This report explores how upgrading informal settlements can simultaneously help in achieving climate resilient, inclusive and low carbon development leading to multiple benefits. Upgrading is a process of improving living conditions in informal settlements, often by providing shelter and services while supporting economic development via stronger links with the ‘formal’ city. Interventions can range in scale and levels of community participation, and they may vary in scope from single-sector projects (e.g. water-taps, electrification) to multi-sectoral programmes. Along with analysing the benefits of key upgrading actions, the report offers a case study of a holistic intervention currently planned in Nairobi’s informal settlement of Mukuru.

This report identifies ten particularly promising upgrading actions with potential to foster multiple benefits and advance several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These interventions are specific to the context of Mukuru and are:

  1. Increasing the efficiency of solid-waste management
  2. Increasing the diversion of food waste, organics, and recycling with benefits for livelihoods
  3. Cooler housing design
  4. Provision of green space
  5. Maintaining high-density neighbourhoods
  6. Mixed-use development
  7. Pedestrianisation
  8. Increase cycling
  9. Solar power for street lighting
  10. Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) stoves for cooking

The above initiatives have significant potential to yield multiple benefits, as highlighted in Section 2 and Appendices 1 and 4, such as:

  • Social benefits; such as including the promotion of gender equity, community pride and social cohesion between local actors.
  • Health benefits; such as from improved air quality, increased physical activity and reduced vector diseases.
  • Climate benefits; such as through reducing CO2 emissions (e.g. a potential of 218 metric tonnes & 808 metric tonnes CO2 reduction from residents cycling and walking to work in Mukuru respectively) and adapting to local climate risks.
  • Economic benefits; such as through protecting assets such as houses and enhancing livelihoods through potential costs savings of up to 80% from switching to LPG from charcoal as cooking fuel.
  • Environmental benefits; such as through lower emissions and improved air quality.

The study of Mukuru also provides several key considerations and recommendations for international, national, local policymakers and NGOs as outlined in Section 4. The key lessons learned from Mukuru are:

  • Integrated Upgrading; Mukuru’s integrated plans and governance structure helped the government understand how a neighbourhood can be transformed using multi-sectoral strategies to foster resilience, rather than a single housing solution.
  • Federated grassroots organisations; Linking grassroots organisations with residents to support each other and share a multiplicity of experiences can make residents feel empowered to undertake improvements in their own settlements.
  • Devolved local government; A democratic and adequately resourced local government can secure national interventions in informal settlements and bridge the gap between national government and grassroots organisations in need of support.

Click here for the full report. 

The Collaborative Urban Resilience Exchange: How KYC data & partnerships support more inclusive development outcomes

The Collaborative Urban Resilience Exchange

Resilience building has emerged as an important priority for cities worldwide. With an increasing number of cities developing Resilience Strategies, there is a pressing need to understand how these strategies intersect with issues of exclusion and poverty. In cities with large portions of their population living in informal settlements it is critical that more attention is given to understanding these intersections. Triggered by a collaboration established under the Community of Practice for Resilience Measurement , SDI100 Resilient Cities and Itad have begun this work.

Given the centrality of peer-to-peer exchange in its learning approach, SDI decided to host a Collaborative Urban Resilience Exchange in its recently launched Know Your City Resource Center in Woodstock, Cape Town. As part of the exchange, which took place from July 16th-18th 2018, SDI brought together city officials and community organizations involved in resilience planning and implementation in Cape Town, Accra and Durban. The exchange supported reflection by officials and communities from the three cities about how community-collected data on informal settlements and partnerships between government and organized communities (a package of strategies known as Know Your City by SDI and its partners) can support resilient city strategies capable of generating more inclusive city development outcomes.

Learn more about the reflections and outcomes of the exchange by clicking on the image above.