Author

Publications

Disclaimer: This list of publications is only representative of works published in direct collaboration with our lab and may not represent a complete record of an individual’s scholarly works.

Timber framing of house under construction
Briefing Note

Defining a Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements Research Agenda

In the face of rising challenges, the humanitarian system is facing unprecedented change that requires better incorporation of past learning, but also the generation of new knowledge that can support aid to better assist communities affected by conflict and disaster. For the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector, there is an unclear roadmap for future research. The Global Shelter Cluster, in its current strategy , has called for the need to “further analyse existing evidence and gaps and set out a broader operational field research agenda.” This priority is one of four key pillars aimed to strengthen humanitarian shelter and settlement actors’ ability to respond effectively to crises. This study aimed to prioritise research needs within the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector. Drawing on Delphi methods, we solicited opinions on research needs from a panel of humanitarian shelter and settlement experts over three rounds of online surveys.

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Timber roof truss under construction
Journal

Assessing the Impact of Household Participation on Satisfaction and Safe Design in Humanitarian Shelter Projects

Participation has long been considered important for post‐disaster recovery. Establishing what constitutes participation in post‐disaster shelter projects, however, has remained elusive, and the links between different types of participation and shelter programme outcomes are not well understood. Furthermore, recent case studies suggest that misguided participation strategies may be to blame for failures. This study analysed 19 shelter projects implemented in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 to identify the forms of participation employed. Using fuzzy‐set qualitative comparative analysis, it assessed how household participation in the planning, design, and construction phases of shelter reconstruction led to outcomes of household satisfaction and safe shelter design. Participation was operationalised via eight central project tasks, revealing that the involvement of households in the early planning stages of projects and in construction activities were important for satisfaction and design outcomes, whereas engagement during the design phase of projects had little impact on the selected outcomes.

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Journal

A Comparative Analysis of Coordination, Participation, and Training in Post-Disaster Shelter Projects

The delivery of post-disaster shelter assistance continues to be fraught with challenges derived from the coordination of resources, involvement of project stakeholders, and training of households and builders. There is a need to better understand what project elements in the delivery of post-disaster shelter projects most influence resilience and sustainability. To address this need, we examined nineteen post-disaster shelter projects in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. We first characterized coordination, participation, and training employed across the planning, design, and construction phases of shelter projects and then used fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to assess the influence of these elements, alone and in combination, on building resilient and sustainable community infrastructure systems. Findings show that early involvement of households in planning efforts, combined with subsequent training, was important in evolving recovery outcomes. Our results point to the importance of: (1) supporting household sheltering processes over delivering hard products; (2) strategically linking project processes across phases; and (3) aligning humanitarian actions with long-term development. Conclusions from this study contribute to theory of sheltering in developing communities and more broadly to theory of recovery processes that link to community resilience and sustainability.

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Men carrying large logs
Conference

Community Participation in Post-Disaster Shelter Programs: Examining the Evolution of Participation in Planning, Design, and Construction

Participation in post-disaster shelter reconstruction is recognized as an important factor for supporting the sustainability and resiliency of the built environment. Engaging communities in the reconstruction process can help build community capacity and lead to sustained success of recovery projects. However, existing practice often assumes that differing forms of participation are independent of one another, neglecting to understand the influence that early participation may have on participation in later stages of the project. Past literature identified how communities participated in the planning, design, and construction phases in 19 different shelter projects following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. For this research, we used fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to analyze how participation in earlier phases of planning and design affected participation in the construction phase. Results show that early participation, particularly in the decisions of the planning phase, are critical in shaping later participation. Findings also reveal that participation is a process linked across multiple project phases and should not be viewed as a set of independent tasks. These results inform disaster recovery practice by encouraging project strategies that incorporate community participation from the beginning through the end of a project’s lifecycle.

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Construction worker nailing flooring on timber house
Journal

Household Construction Knowledge Acquisition in Post-Disaster Shelter Training

The incorporation of safer building practices into shelter after disasters continues to plague recovery efforts. While limited resources are one potential cause, evidence from case studies suggests that poor adoption of safer construction may stem from a knowledge deficit. Despite these shortcomings, previous research has done little to examine the current state of construction education and training in post-disaster shelter and housing, and there is lacking evidence to support how households acquire new knowledge of construction practice. Examining nineteen shelter projects in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, training methods were categorized using Kolb’s experiential learning theory poles. Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) was then used to analyze the impact of these methods on community construction knowledge. Findings reveal that households acquired knowledge either through a combination of formal training methods that encompassed reflective observation, active experimentation, and concrete experiences or alternatively through observation of on-site construction activities.

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Line of water cans on ground
Journal

Constructing Authority in Disaster Relief Coordination

The delivery of post-disaster shelter assistance continues to be fraught with challenges derived from the coordination of resources, involvement of project stakeholders, and training of households and builders. There is a need to better understand what project elements in the delivery of post-disaster shelter projects most influence resilience and sustainability. To address this need, we examined nineteen post-disaster shelter projects in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. We first characterized coordination, participation, and training employed across the planning, design, and construction phases of shelter projects and then used fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to assess the influence of these elements, alone and in combination, on building resilient and sustainable community infrastructure systems. Findings show that early involvement of households in planning efforts, combined with subsequent training, was important in evolving recovery outcomes. Our results point to the importance of: (1) supporting household sheltering processes over delivering hard products; (2) strategically linking project processes across phases; and (3) aligning humanitarian actions with long-term development. Conclusions from this study contribute to theory of sheltering in developing communities and more broadly to theory of recovery processes that link to community resilience and sustainability.

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Highways crossing in urban landscape among trees
Journal

Infrastructure Hazard Resilience Trends: An Analysis of 25 Years of Research

Hazard research has made significant strides over the last several decades, answering critical questions surrounding vulnerability and recovery. Recently, resilience has come to the forefront of scholarly debates and practitioner strategies, yet there remain challenges implementing resilience in practice, the result of a complex web of research that spread across numerous fields of study. As a result, there is a need to analyze and reflect on the current state of resilience literature. We reviewed 241 journal articles from the Web of Science and Engineering Village databases from 1990 to 2015 to analyze research trends in geographic location of studies, methods employed, units of analysis, and resilience dimensions studied, as well as correlations between each of these categories. The majority of the studies analyzed were conducted in North America, used quantitative methods, focused on infrastructure and community units of analysis, and studied governance, infrastructure, and economic dimensions of resilience. This analysis points to the need to: (1) conduct studies in developing country contexts, where resilience is particularly important; (2) employ mixed-methods for additional depth to quantitative studies; (3) connect units of analysis, such as infrastructure and community; and (4) expand on the measurement and study of environmental and social dimensions of resilience.

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Timber framed wall of house under construction
Report

Typhoon Haiyan: Shelter Case Studies

This report presents 19 cases of humanitarian shelter implemented in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Lessons learned, barriers to implementation, and innovative methods are presented across projects in Cebu, Leyte, and Eastern Samar. The report also presents themes in shelter and beyond that defined recovery in communities affected by Haiyan.

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Construction laborers place block walls for a new house
Journal

Characterizing Post-Disaster Reconstruction Training Methods and Learning Styles

Large disasters damage or destroy infrastructure that is then reconstructed through programmes that train community members in construction techniques that reduce future risks. Despite the number of post-disaster reconstruction programmes implemented, there is a dearth of research on education and training in post-disaster contexts. To address this gap, we applied a mixed methods approach based upon experiential learning theory (ELT) to three shelter programmes administered in Eastern Samar, Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. First, we characterize post-disaster training programmes based on learning modes and then, compared this to the learning styles of community members. To assess learning modes of training programmes, we analysed qualitative data from interview accounts of community members and aid organizations; and, to delineate community member’s learning style preferences, we analysed quantitative data from survey questionnaires. Findings show that aid organizations administered training largely in lecture format, aligning with the reflective observation mode of ELT, but lacked diversity in formats represented in other poles of ELT. Moreover, analysis revealed that community members tended to grasp new information in accordance with the concrete experimentation mode, then preferred transforming newly acquired knowledge via the reflective observation mode. The lecture-based training predominately administered by aid organizations partially aligned with community learning preferences, but fell short in cultivating other forms of knowledge acquisition known to enhance long-term learning.

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Journal

Inter-Organizational Resource Coordination in Post-Disaster Infrastructure Recovery

Despite significant advances in strengthening post-disaster recovery efforts, misaligned strategy and inefficient resource allocation are far too often the norm for infrastructure reconstruction. To examine the inter-organizational networks that form to coordinate resources for infrastructure reconstruction, we employed social network analysis in 19 communities in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Haiyan, at 6 and 12 months post-disaster. To build these networks, we analysed interview, field observation and documentation data collected from non-governmental organizations, local governments and communities. A survey questionnaire was also administered to organizations working in selected communities to validate networks. Results from network analysis established that information was the most commonly shared resource by organizations, followed by financial, material and human resources. Government agencies had the highest actor centralities; however, qualitative data suggest that these roles were the result of obligatory consultations by international organizations and lacked legitimacy in practice. Findings further demonstrate that networks become more decentralized over time as actors leave and roles become more established, influenced by short-term expatriate contracts and the termination of United Nations supported cluster coordination. Findings could help organizations strengthen humanitarian response efforts by attending to resource allocation and knowledge sharing with other organizations.

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Blog Posts

Poorly constructed houses sit next to ocean
Blog

Urban Sheltering: Evidence on Rental Subsidies and Hosting

Shelter is more than just four walls and a roof. Ask a family what a shelter provides and their first responses likely won’t be protection from the elements. Instead, you will generally hear about its value in supporting their storefront and livelihood or its function as a social gathering place.

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Damaged masonry wall with coast in background
Blog

Co-creating Knowledge of Resilience Principles through Local Stories

Resilience – it’s a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean? How would you explain it to disaster victim? How would they explain it to you? This November will mark the second anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda that smashed into the Philippines, making landfall as

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