Mumbai ; Mumbai ;

International development

Your global partner on vital developmental and humanitarian projects

Your global partner on vital developmental and humanitarian projects

Our International Development group is a specialist business within Arup. We work with city governments, development and humanitarian organisations, and communities to make a difference on vital projects in challenging contexts. From planning for the impacts of climate change, to rebuilding after disasters, the team is able to offer Arup’s world-renowned quality of services in a form tailored to local contexts and designed to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Collaboration for enduring change

Every project is a chance to share what we’ve learned. We build local capacity as we work, leaving communities better able to tackle future challenges. Long-term relationships with partners are central to this ethos. Our team provides strategic advice, assessment and evaluation services, and technical expertise to help our partners get the best results at organisational, programme or project level.

The range of our work is constantly growing as we seek to address global issues such as urbanisation, population growth and climate change. Whether we are conducting ethnographic research with young mothers in Jordan or designing digital tools to improve housing in India, accountability and participation are at the heart of everything we do.

Your international development partner

Our core team works with hundreds of people across Arup, delivering projects in the most vulnerable regions of the world. You gain the benefit of being able to tap into, and mobilise, specialists from our global network of 16,000 staff, based across five continents. Whether you operate in the private or public sector, in an academic institution or for a development bank, our aim is to provide services relevant and targeted to your project and context.

Our people have experience with leading organisations including BRAC, DAI, Médecins Sans Frontières, UN-Habitat, the World Bank and World Vision. As we typically work with multilateral banks, UN agencies, city authorities and NGOs, we ‘speak the language’ and understand the working styles of development partners and funding bodies. By working with us, you gain insights developed from working at the forefront of international development projects worldwide.

How we can help

We offer technical assistance, strategic advice and capacity building across a range of key areas:

Inclusive and resilient cities

Inclusive and resilient cities

Many towns and cities struggle to provide key services to their growing populations, whether it’s a lack of secure housing, access to water or functioning transport. We work with local partners to design solutions that strengthen city systems, and respond to real local need, with a key focus on making cities safer and more friendly for children.

Social infrastructure

Safer and inclusive social infrastructure

Social infrastructure, such as schools and health centres, is central to development. We take a holistic approach, assessing regulatory frameworks, resilience of infrastructure systems to natural hazards, and the physical design of buildings. We can rapidly deploy specialist teams to support humanitarian organisations in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction phases.


Water, sanitation and waste management

Clean water and sanitation are fundamental building blocks for healthy communities and cities. We help local communities develop the WASH infrastructure they need, whether in under-served urban communities, informal settlements or refugee camps. We also work with municipal authorities to assess and plan their waste management systems.

Climate change

Climate change and disaster resilience

The impact and incidence of climate-related hazards is becoming more unpredictable. We work to anticipate climate-related shocks and stresses and to facilitate planning for adaptation and mitigation. Our experience ranges from supporting development banks in designing loans that integrate climate risk measures, to working with not-for-profit organisations in designing disaster resilience plans for vulnerable communities.

Social development

Social development

Empowering the most vulnerable to lead and make choices about their own development is key to promoting more just and inclusive societies. We seek to design projects that provide opportunities for inclusion and participation, analysing social norms such as gender, age, ethnicity and migrant status to identify and address the barriers that limit participation.

Organisational development

Organisational development

Humanitarian and development organisations depend on efficient operations, within tight budgets and timelines. We work with partners to review and advise on their organisational structures, systems, processes and roles. We also conduct capacity assessments and develop capacity building plans, and advise on governance systems.

Programme management

Programme management

Every major development project relies on effective programme management. We provide this service to ensure delivery of complex projects in the most challenging settings, also helping our partners to develop their own programme management capacities. We also provide grant management capability for working with partners.

Meeting global goals

Sustainable development principles guide our decision-making and we help our partners to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other key international agreements and commitments, including the 2015 Paris Declaration on Climate Change (2015), the 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the 2016 New Urban Agenda. We are a proud member of the UN Global Compact, bringing our principles-based approach to doing business to all of our projects and partnerships.

For over 15 years, our International Development practice has delivered hundreds of projects which have helped vulnerable communities around the world. We work most effectively by joining hands with others who share our aims. ”

Jo da Silva Jo da Silva DBE Global Sustainable Development Leader View profile

Our people

We are planners, engineers, researchers and advisors from a variety of backgrounds, all committed to using Arup’s technical strengths to create change in settings where resources are a challenge. Our team offers decades of international experience across the project cycle – from project scoping, assessment and design, through to delivery and evaluation – ensuring the right blend of technical skills is applied to each step of the process.

Contact us about your project

You can access services through regional consultants around the world. Wherever you’re based, we can help you get the most out of your project at any stage of the development lifecycle.