Urban Africa: Risk and Capacity (Urban ARC) is a three year programme of research and capacity building that aims to reduce disaster risk in urban sub-Saharan Africa by breaking cycles of risk accumulation. The programme aims to do this by building a community of practice including sub-Saharan, African and international researchers and practitioners that can provide a structured assessment of risk accumulation and reduction dynamics.
This research project addresses the overarching research question: What factors shape pathways into and out of poverty and people's experience of these, and how can policy create sustained routes out of extreme poverty in ways that can be replicated and scaled up?
Small-scale communities in the border regions of Southern Senegal, Western Mali and Eastern Guinea have developed longstanding strategies allowing them to adapt to recurrent deep changes in political structure and social stratification that are typical of Frontier societies.
Community management of handpumps has been the accepted mode of thinking for rural water supply over three decades in Africa. However, despite billions invested in rural handpumps one in three handpumps do not work in rural Africa. This represents a huge wasted investment and is associated with high but avoidable health, welfare and livelihood costs. Encouragingly, the risk of handpump breakdown bears all the hallmarks of an insurable risk.