When emergencies occur in urban areas, humanitarian and development actors do not necessarily know how to work with, or in support of, local governments responsible for their respective jurisdiction, in addition to their collaboration with national governments. Humanitarian and development actors responding do not always arrive with an intrinsic understanding of complex socio-economic dynamics, governance structures, and do not grasp the structure and diversity of the urban areas. Furthermore, other local stakeholders including essential service providers, local civil society, private sector entities and built environment professionals often remain excluded from internationally-driven and resourced humanitarian planning, response and recovery processes. These local actors are often not familiar with the complexity of international humanitarian responses, which can invariably result in duplication of effort, competition for limited resources, undermining of local actors' participation and an overall decrease in effectiveness of aid responses.Therefore, stronger engagement between local actors, led by local governments, and international humanitarian and development organizations, is needed to address these challenges in urban environments. Earlier and stronger facilitated engagement between local governments and humanitarian actors can help to ensure a smooth transition between humanitarian, recovery and development phases.