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Many cities in sub-Saharan Africa lack official records of deaths and of serious illnesses and injuries from everyday hazards and disaster events at all scales.

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Dominant global climate change narratives and framings frequently do not translate well into local adaptation decision making.

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Small- and medium-sized cities and towns in sub-Saharan Africa are growing fast and accumulating risks.

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This briefing outlines the development of community-led research to promote urban governance for resilience and how impactful partnerships can be created within a research programme.

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Cities are at the centre stage of Africa’s pathway to prosperity, with the majority of its population expected to be living in urban areas within the next decade.

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The past may reveal local patterns and triggers of urban risk, highlighting the importance of long-term exposure to everyday events and barriers to risk reduction.