From grand challenges to complex emergencies: release of the Emergency Governance Initiative’s Policy Brief #02


UCLG, Metropolis and LSE Cities launch the second of a series of Policy Briefs that intend to foster discussion and critical review on how to govern complex emergencies from the local and regional level.

As a consequence of escalating climate breakdown, a higher frequency of emerging diseases, and accelerating crises linked to social injustice, cities and regions from around the world are facing emergencies on an unparalleled scale. The response to such complex emergencies requires an alternative approach to the governance of more ‘routine’ emergencies. The Emergency Governance Initiative’s newly released Policy Brief #02 attempts to define this new category of ‘complex emergencies,’ which were until recently primarily framed as ‘grand challenges’.

The EGI’s Policy Brief #02 focuses on the emergency response which typically follows the official recognition of an emergency, and offers a preliminary framework for the governance of complex emergencies at the response stage, tailored to the specific needs of city and regional governments. It includes a number of underpinning principles, structures, processes and domains. A proposed key aspect of such framework is the creation of inclusive emergency assemblies for better emergency response, deliberation and advice that leave no one behind.

The framework aims to generate reflection and feedback over the coming 12 months until November 2021. A final version of an Emergency Governance Framework will be published as part of the EGI Special Report in 2022. We are actively seeking feedback during this period. Please visit the dedicated feedback site to leave comments: