Building Urban Resilience in the MENA Region‘The context of Climate Change, Conflict and Displacement’

PhD Thesis

Eltinay, N. (2020). Building Urban Resilience in the MENA Region‘The context of Climate Change, Conflict and Displacement’. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Architecture and the Built Environment
AuthorsEltinay, N.
TypePhD Thesis

It might seem plausible to argue that the national monitoring of disaster data loss can help countries achieve progress in reporting to the 2015-2030 Global Agendas of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), the Climate Change (CC) Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Habitat III New Urban Agenda. Nevertheless, with the lack of climate security protracted displacement data monitoring in the MENA Region, Arab states fragile contexts of urban disaster, urban conflict and urban poverty, can exacerbate the exclusion of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees from disaster resilience assessments, which remains an obstacle in achieving the global targets at the local level. With the weakness of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) governance at the local level, the urgency of this study comes from the assigned timeframe to achieve the SFDRR Target (E) to ‘substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020’. Accordingly, this research aims to develop a policy guidance that supports DRR decision-makers in developing ‘Urban Resilience Action Plans’ (U-RAP) in fragile settings, using the SFDRR Disaster Resilience Scorecard ‘New Ten Essentials’ in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) - Arab States. In addressing this aim, the researcher recognises the need to re-shape a regional understanding of resilience concept, accompanied by embedding sustainability principles and profiling of DRR regional policies beyond the internationally standardised terminologies, U-RAP Policy Guidance will provide effective means of translating resilience assessment indicators into sustainable actions in fragile contexts. As urban resilience action plans are increasingly reliant on the voluntary effort and ownership of DRR states’ official bodies, and affected with their organisational structures, it is important to identify the key parameters for understanding risk and assessing resilience in fragile settings from the perspective of DRR key stakeholders most vulnerable groups. This will help develop inclusive operational programs for their engagement in resilience decision making process, and form legislative policy guidelines beyond the theoretically bounded disaster resilience indicators and numerically generated indexes.
In this study, evidence from secondary data (published and unpublished studies collected from the public domain and organisational reports) provided an overview of the scale and scope of humanitarian crisis and vulnerability to disasters risks in the MENA. A mixed methodological approach for primary data collection was adopted to develop original scientific based evidence, collected by the researcher from first-hand sources and helped recognise the significance of monitoring ‘Climate Security Displaced’ (CSD) people protracted displacement. Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, the correlation between the indicators of the SFDRR New Ten Essentials and ‘human security’ components of IDPs and refugees was identified, shedding the light on the challenges and opportunities for building resilience in the Arab States, and framed the structure for the U-RAP Policy Guidance. Qualitative exploratory data collection methods were applied through focus group discussions and 42 Interviews with key informative experts and DRR key stakeholders, supporting evidence on their role and level of engagement in measuring and building urban resilience. This was followed by examining two case studies of Khartoum-Sudan and Tripoli-Lebanon to generalise results for the Arab States regional context. Quantitative data was collected from a total of 120 questionnaire survey respondents, associating interlinkages between the U-RAP components and societal resilience domains for CSD people at the local level, and feeding into disaster data losses at the national level.
This study formed a set of recommendations for Open Data utilisation to fill the gaps in existing resilience assessment data resourcing, monitoring disaster and conflict displacement patterns, inform resilience decision making process for displacement ‘durable solutions’ and guide financing priorities for DRR governance at the local level. The study concludes that international frameworks and resilience assessment tools overlook the sub-regional challenges that are historically witnessed in the Arab States and similar fragile settings globally, which requires a bottom-up costum based innovative mechanisms to enhance national governments commitments to the 2015-2030 Global Agendas. Similarly, there is a need to overhaul current resilience assessment tools and global framework reporting mechanisms into Arab cities' local context of fragility, to improve the accuracy, transparency and validity of the data required to structure effective and efficient disaster resilience action plans ‘leaving no one behind’. As a result, the U-RAP policy guidance has been developed as the main contribution of this study, providing a step-to-step pathway to help decision makers enhance societal resilience, while complementing the matrix of disaster data loss with human security and conflict displacement in the MENA region fragile settings, and guiding similar future research development approaches that can be adapted into fragile settings worldwide.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
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Print02 Sep 2020
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Deposited26 Jul 2023
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