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Greater Manchester agencies working in partnership
Greater Manchester agencies working in partnership

Uscore2 - City-to-city local level peer review

Project Overview

The Uscore2 project designed and tested a generic, practical, city-to-city, disaster risk reduction peer review tool for cities across EU member states and beyond via the UNDRR Making Cities Resilient campaign (MCR). The project involved collaborative work between the municipalities of Salford, Amadora and Viggiano, the University of Manchester, UNDRR, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG, UK), Portuguese National Authority of Civil Protection and the Associazione di Protezione Civile Gruppo Lucano.


The last decade saw a rising trend in natural and man-made disasters. EU Civil Protection legislation advocates that Member States share best practice and help each other to identify where additional effort is needed to reduce risks. Practical translation of this includes cities conducting better risk assessment and developing action plans. Beyond the EU, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030, endorsed by the UN General Assembly in June 2015 established seven global targets including to “substantially increase the number of countries with national and local DRR strategies by 2020” and emphasizing the need to empower local governments to reduce disaster risk.

Local governments are closest to citizens and communities, playing a vital role in responding to emergencies and delivering essential services which must be resilient to disasters. To respond to calls to prevent and prepare for disasters, municipalities need better access to policies, tools and rigorous, expert critique. Self-assessment tools are available but are often cumbersome to apply. Peer review of local civil protection mechanisms offers an independent / transparent assessment, adding clear value to building local and national resilience. Uscore2 assists cities with the challenge of strengthening their implementation of disaster risk reduction. Conducting rigorous city-to-city peer reviews is a challenge for practitioners and policy-makers who want to learn from best practice as, until the development of the Uscore2 methodology, this had not been assembled into an easy to use tool.

Building on the Urban Scorecard

Uscore2 followed on from the DG ECHO-funded ‘Urban Scorecard’ (UScore) project which enabled 5 European cities to pilot a self-assessment Disaster Resilience Scorecard to assess city resilience; Amadora in Portugal, Arvika and Jönköping in Sweden and the British cities of Salford and Stoke-on-Trent. Learning from UScore was formalised into Uscore2 project which developed a peer-review tool that enabled self-assessment approaches to be complemented by independent analysis.


The objectives of the Uscore2 city-to-city peer review tool are to:

  • ensure that the review tool reflects a comprehensive, all-of-society approach to DRR
  • identify data, information and evidence useful when conducting a city-to-city peer review
  • aid the implementation of the Sendai Framework at local and therefore national / international levels through alignment to local indicators developed in accordance with the Sendai Framework
  • ensure it is useable by cities at all levels of maturity in DRR planning

Cities Working in Partnership

The peer review tool developed through Uscore2 was piloted in Viggiano, Salford and Amadora. The three cities have different disaster risk profiles; geographical and demographic characteristics; and statutory and regulatory frameworks. All are role models within the Making Cities Resilient campaign. The effectiveness of the peer review tool was evaluated using a methodology developed by the University of Manchester. The tool was aligned to the indicators of the Sendai Framework and UNISDR MCR enabling on-going assessment of its applicability in reporting local progress against the Sendai Framework.

Please see the related links below where the Uscore2 methodology documents can be accessed.

Uscore2 Peer Review Modules and Associated Documents

Uscore2 Summary Step-by-Step Guide to City-to-City Peer Reviews for Disaster Risk Reduction

Step-by-Step Guide to City-to-City Peer Reviews for Disaster Risk Reduction

Step-by-Step Guide to the Impact Evaluation Methodology

Module 1: Organise for Disaster Resilience

Module 2: Identify, Understand and Use Current and Future Risk Scenarios

Module 3: Strengthen Financial Capacity for Resilience (including Business Continuity)

Module 4: Pursue Resilient Urban Development and Design

Module 5: Safeguard Natural Buffers to Enhance Ecosystems’ Protective Functions

Module 6: Strengthen Institutional Capacity for Resilience

Module 7: Understand and Strengthen Societal Capacity for Resilience

Module 8a: Increase Infrastructure Resilience

Module 8b: Public Health & Disaster Risk Reduction

Module 9: Ensure Effective Disaster Response

Module 10: Expedite Recovery and Build Back Better


Viggiano, Amadora & Salford Peer Review Feedback Reports

Uscore2 - Viggiano Peer Review Feedback Report

Uscore2 - Amadora Peer Review Feedback Report

Uscore2 - Salford Peer Review Feedback Report


Viggiano, Amadora & Salford Peer Review Summaries

Uscore2 - Viggiano Peer Review Summary

Uscore2 - Amadora Peer Review Summary

Uscore2 - Salford Peer Review Summary


Final Report of Uscore2

Final Report of Uscore2: City-to-city local level Peer Review on Disaster Risk Reduction

Final Report of Uscore2 - Appendix 1: Evaluation of project management/implementation process City-to-city local level Peer Review on Disaster Risk Reduction

Final Report of Uscore2 - Appendix 2: Presentation of the technical results and deliverables City-to-city local level Peer Review on Disaster Risk Reduction


EFDRR, Rome, 21st November 2018 Masterclass Presentations

Below you will find the presentation files from the Uscore2 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction Masterclass in order of their appearance on the agenda. The session took place at 14:30 in the Pininfarina Room at the Auditorium Della Tecnica, Rome.

Title: Importance of peer reviews in strengthening DRR at a city level and meeting intended outcomes of the Sendai Framework (UNISDR)

Speaker: Andrew Mackay Bower, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)

Title: EU engagement in national peer reviews and perspective on their impact

Speaker: Thomas de Lannoy, European Commission, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Title: Importance of peer reviews to the three cities involved in the project

Speaker: Dr. Kathryn Oldham OBE, Chief Resilience Officer, Greater Manchester, UK

Title: How to conduct and evaluate a peer review: step-by-step guide

Speaker: Dr. Kathryn Oldham OBE, Chief Resilience Officer, Greater Manchester, UK

Title: How to use the impact evaluation methodology: A step-by-step guide to conducting the impact evaluation methodology to assess the impacts and benefits of conducting a peer review for Host and Reviewer cities. Findings from the pilot of the IEM - Initial findings from assessing impact of three pilot peer reviews in Viggiano, Amadora and Salford.

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Bealt, Research Associate, University of Manchester, UK

Title: Case study of the use of one module in a peer review (Amadora, Portugal)

Speaker: Luis Carvalho, Civil Protection Chief, Municipal Commander, Amadora, Portugal

Title: Case study of the use of one module in a peer review (Viggiano, Italy)

Speaker: Giuseppe Guarino, General Director of the Gruppo Lucano and member of the HIA committee of Viggiano


Miscellaneous Documents

Third International Conference Risks, Security and Citizenship 2019 (Setúbal, Portugal) presentation, Jon Percival

American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference 2018 (Denver, USA) presentation, Dr Jennifer Bealt

American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference 2018 (Denver, USA) application, Dr Jennifer Bealt

Uscore2 Viggiano Peer Review ESERCITAZIONE CAMBASCAL 2017 Report

Uscore2: A Literature Review of City Resilience Peer Review , Dr Jennifer Bealt

Uscore2 Why Peer Review?