Much of the population movement reinforces the trend of urbanization. As many as 1 in 3 people living in cities will be in informal settlements within the S2030 period and will experience significant deprivation, particularly in Africa where this growth is projected to be the most pronounced and the most severe. For many National Societies, the defining issue of their relevance will be in how well they engage with and support the needs of those communities living in urban informal settlements.
Considerations and tension points for the Red Cross and Red Crescent
- Are National Societies reflective of the diversity of the contemporary societies they live in? How do we ensure that our programs are representative of all different groups?
- How will National Societies engage with communities when the very nature of community is changing? How will we strengthen our engagement and mobilisation with communities connected through digital technologies, that are flatter, more dynamic and distributed networks?
- How do we engage with increasingly fluid and internationally mobile/connected communities while our structures favour national fortressing, and struggle with disconnection, rigidity and lacking data and operational integration?
What are the possibilities?
The RCRC brand, if trusted and consistent across borders, could allow for seamless engagement with mobile communities. New technologies could ensure more integration of data and effort transnationally. For instance, a migrant passing through a number of countries on their way to their destination should have their information and needs integrated across our systems, so they do not have to re-tell their story at every stage and can have their personalised needs addressed. The RCRC is strongly integrated into communities and can use this to adapt to and build on efforts to engage with new communities. Amendments to our structures and approaches will be necessary, but if there is enough leadership commitment this can be achieved.
Are there other elements to this trend that we should be considering?
How do you think it will affect vulnerability and the Red Cross and Red Crescent?
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