Measuring Urban Capacity for Humanitarian Crisis: Piloting an Urban Health Response

Grant awarded: £498, 491

Lead organisation: Johns Hopkins University

Partnering organisations: ICRC, Switzerland; APPNA Public Health Institute, Pakistan; ICRC, Pakistan; Medical School Hospital HEU, Honduras, University of Port Harcourt

Project length: 2017 - 2019

Study locations: Pakistan, Honduras, Nigeria

Principal Investigator: Junaid Razzak

  • Kick-off meeting


Urban areas are at high risk of humanitarian crises. No tool currently exists to help urban leaders predict their city’s performance and compare it to others. The project aims to develop a tool to objectively measure and score the lifesaving capability of urban health systems in the aftermath of a mass casualty event. The reliability and validity of the tool – City Emergency Health Response Capability Assessment tool (CERC) – will be tested and compared with a full disaster drill in three high risk cities in low-middle income countries: Karachi (Pakistan), Tegucigalpa (Honduras), and Port Harcourt (Nigeria). The research will assess policy relevance of CERC score to urban policy makers.

Expected outcomes:

The project is expected to deliver a number of outcomes:
• Development of the first valid, reliable tool to measure and score capacity of an urban emergency health care response system
• Emergency response assessment of three selected cities that face increased disaster risk
• Capacity development of partners – academic institutions and city governments
• Enhancing international partnerships in global disaster risk reduction

By strengthening urban disaster response to mass casualty events, the project ultimately aims to guide leaders and policy makers in benchmarking their city’s emergency response capacity and performance in comparison with other cities around the world and foster a proactive stance on future preparedness efforts.


Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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