The USCORE 2 City Peer Review Project Team
By Rosalind Cook
Brussels, 28 September 2018 - A unique city-to-city, disaster risk reduction peer review tool for cities in Europe and beyond has been finalized today.
The USCORE tool, the first of its kind, was developed under UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient campaign and funded by the European Commission. The two-year project to design the tool was a strongly collaborative work programme across Europe engaging the municipalities of Greater Manchester, Amadora and Viggiano, the University of Manchester, UNISDR, the UK Department of Communities and Local Government, the Portuguese National Authority of Civil Protection and the Associazione di Protezione Civile Gruppo Lucano.
Kathy Oldham, Chief Resilience Officer, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, United Kingdom, said: “The peer to peer review is incredibly valuable and brings a trusted critical friend in the guise of another city who can help all cities at all levels of maturity in disaster resilience planning.
“In our experience of developing and testing the tool, it raised key questions around the interlinkages with economic growth, intergenerational equity and climate change risk”, said Ms Oldham.
Cities in Europe are on the front line of growing disaster risk. At the same time, local governments are closest to citizens and communities, playing a vital role in responding to emergencies and delivering essential services which must be resilient to disasters.
In order to scale up disaster resilience, municipalities in Europe identified the need for better access to policies, tools and rigorous, expert critique. Out of this, the peer review of local civil protection mechanisms was developed to offer an independent and transparent assessment to assist cities to plan for the future.
The tool will help cities to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and meet the 2020 target on local disaster risk reduction strategies.
The methodology behind this tool is now being developed into a dedicated International Standard - ISO (22392) to further support cities worldwide.
Abhilash Panda, Deputy Chief of the UNISDR Regional Office for Europe, said: “Having a standard built on this tool will assist local governments in rationalizing investments and fostering communication. It will ensure that systems and policies being put in place are compatible, increase safety and meet the needs of the society.
“It will play an important role in the building the resilience of cities,” said Mr Panda.
A masterclass will be held at the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction on 21 November in Rome to showcase the peer review tool.