A Focus on Impact: Evidence from the First Four Years

Our mission is to catalyze an urban resilience movement. We believe in this mission because we think it’s the best way to ensure cities around the globe are better able to manage disruptions and plan for the future, so that people are safer, healthier, and have increased livelihood options. We want to make things better for urban dwellers—especially the poor and vulnerable who are disproportionately impacted when bad things happen in cities.

We deploy four key strategies in pursuit of our mission. 

  • City Action: We partner closely with cities as they hire a CRO, create a holistic resilience strategy, and most importantly, implement it. We provide funding, capacity building and technical assistance to help cities change the way they understand risk and plan for the future.
  • Resilience Solutions: We seek to build an urban resilience marketplace. To do that, we are building a diverse network of global industry leaders and innovators from the private and non-profit sectors to match our diverse network of cities. These partners deliver solutions to cities and collaborate to create new services and tools where necessary.
  • Local Leaders: To be successful, local leaders must serve as resilience champions and experts, and galvanize support among stakeholders and residents. We partner with CROs and local leaders to deliver trainings, share best practices, solve problems, and collectively build the resilience practice—with the larger goal of generating collective action toward resilience building.
  • Global Influence: By proving and sharing the value of resilience solutions, 100RC seeks to inspire and influence global thought leaders, policy makers, and financial institutions to incentivize and fund resilience building—in our cities and around the world.

Our success to-date. Founded in 2013, we have rapidly built a dynamic global organization to advance our mission. We have developed an innovative program, and continue to design and deliver state of the art tools and techniques for resilience analysis and planning. We have assembled a diverse staff with resilience expertise and deep political, policy and technical knowledge who have become trusted advisors to City Leaders and CROs globally. And we have activated a global network of urban resilience practitioners—CROs, Private Sector Partners, Community Organizations, Planners, Scientists, and others all committed to and actively working on this mission.

But catalyzing a movement takes generations. Likewise, the structural change necessary to transform cities’ understanding of risk and how they plan for the future is a long-term ambition.  100RC is committed to that long-term change; but we are also seeing incredible progress today. In our first four years, we have:

Built the capacity of cities to deliver for the future

  • Helped nearly 80 cities create and hire the position of a CRO within city government. We provide seed funding for this position for just two years, hoping it will catalyze longer term change. And it is doing just that. Nearly all cities to reach the end of the 100RC grant period have continued to fund their CRO offices, proving the office is an integral part of city government and building the capacity of cities to prepare for the future.
  • Delivered over 10,500 hours of training to CROs and their teams, fostering a network of resilience practitioners that speak a common language and endeavor to solve problems together.
  • Partnered with our cities in engaging 2,500 local community groups in resilience planning, ensuring citizen voice and ownership of the resilience agenda.
  • Activated a community of practice of more than 13,000 members who are contributing to the resilience building efforts in our cities globally.

Connected and catalyzed key global partners delivering significant value to our cities

  • Over 100 private-sector, academic, nonprofit, and publicly-funded partners have signed on to our platform and made their services available for free to support cities’ resilience planning and implementation.
  • Partners have pledged over $230M worth of pro-bono services and tools and led nearly 150 engagements with our cities.
  • We have curated an advisory body of nearly 200 global experts who are available to deliver technical support and subject matter expertise to cities, beyond the services and tools offered through the platform.

Designed a new global practice of urban resilience strategies, which are activating diverse stakeholders and galvanizing funding

  • 100RC developed a new resilience strategy development process, now used globally by cities to understand their capacities and risks, set a vision for the future, and begin to take action. Using this process, 30 cities have published a holistic resilience strategy so far, with over 1,600 concrete actions and initiatives needed for achieving their vision.
  • To date, cities have leveraged more than $535M from private, national and philanthropic sources to implement the initiatives of their resilience strategies.
  • Strategies are inspiring non-municipal actors to take action: more than a third of initiatives in resilience strategies cite local NGOs as implementing partners; and more than a third cite private sector collaboration.

The Future. Catalyzing a global urban resilience movement is a multi-generational mission; it will take time to transform cities so that they can improve the livelihoods of billions of urban dwellers around the world. But the work we are doing today—building cities’ capacity, designing new solutions, connecting global and local actors—is essential for having that impact.

Our collaboration with cities goes beyond standing up a CRO and setting a vision and a series of actions for building their resilience. We will continue partnering with them, and all of our global partners, during the most crucial stage, implementation—delivering solutions and institutionalizing change for long term impact.

* Observations are taken from interviews with representatives from programs comparable to 100RC, as part of a Rockefeller Foundation-funded evaluation conducted by Urban Institute and summarized in the report ‘Overview of the 100 Resilience Cities Monitoring and Evaluation and Status of the Baseline Data Collection’ authored by Carlos Martín, PhD and Ammar Malik, PhD.