RADAR has been located at Stellenbosch University since 2011. Originally established in 1996, and formely known as the Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (DiMP), RADAR focuses on enhancing knowledge about disaster risks within South Africa and on the continent, promoting risk reduction for more resilient and sustainable societies.
RADAR emphasises collaboration and works closely with a diversity of stakeholders and role-players. These include international and non-governmental organizations, international assistance partners, national, provincial and local government role-players, as well as other academic institutions and partners. The Centre prioritises work in the Western Cape, and since 1996 has developed and deepened knowledge and understanding of the Provincial risk context through extensive applied research, particularly in low-income communities, as well as commissioned post-event reviews documenting the impacts of extreme weather and other disaster events. The Centre has also been involved in multi-site, transboundary disaster risk research with its partners in the Periperi U Consortium and other role-players from many African countries.
RADAR aims to advance capacity-building in the disaster risk field through a variety of academic programmes and short courses. It currently hosts two postgraduate programmes: a Postgraduate Diploma in Disaster Risk Studies and Development and a Master of Philosophy in Disaster Risk Science and Development, as well as a postgraduate module in the department of Geography and Enviromental Studies Bachelor of Arts Honours programme. The Centre also hosts short course training and seminars for practitioners.