Summary

As a global community, we continue to assemble a growing wealth of knowledge on humanitarian shelter and settlements, yet this begs the question – are we collecting the right evidence? This research aims to synthesise research priorities for the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector, drawing from surveys, an expert panel (Delphi method), and interviews which will solicit opinions on research needs from NGOs, governments, and academic institutions to collaboratively define a strategy to guide future research. By more clearly defining the problems facing the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector, we hope to provide guidance on where academics and practitioners should direct their research efforts.

Project Team

  • Dr Aaron Opdyke
  • Briar Goldwyn (University of Colorado Boulder)
  • Dr Amy Javernick-Will (University of Colorado Boulder)

Research Questions

  • What are the most important research priorities for the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector?

Research Methods

As a preliminary step, this research solicited an online survey to humanitarian shelter and settlements practitioners in late 2017.  Survey response were then qualitatively coded in Nvivo software, grouping similar themes together. Next, an expert panel of practitioners was assembled and asked to list research needs. These responses were similarly coded and combined with initial survey data to create a comprehensive list of research topics.

Subsequently, this research will employ the Delphi method, which will solicit opinions on research needs from expert panellists over three rounds of on-line surveys. During the first round we will first ask each panellist to verify the compiled list of research topics. During the second round, the complete list of topics will be sent to each panellist and they will be asked to rate the relative importance of each research topic. The research team will then analyse and summarise the responses for common trends and identification of outliers, followed by the redistribution of this analysis to the panellists for rating and comment in the third round, with each panellist having the opportunity to change their answers based on comments made by other panellists. All responses during the survey will be anonymous to the other participants.

Findings

By more clearly defining the problems facing the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector, we hope to provide guidance on where academics and practitioners should direct their research efforts. We will disseminate our findings to participating organisations through a free, online report and aim to publish the results in a peer-reviewed academic journal. We may also present results at forums, workshops, or conferences.

Global Goals and Targets

While this research contributes to many of the global targets, the following goals, targets, and priorities are expected contributions from this research.

Sustainable Development Goals​​

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere​

1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.
11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations.
11.B By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction​​

This research contributes to Priority 4: Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.​​

Target A

Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower the average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020–2030 compared to the period 2005– 2015.

Target F

Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of the present Framework by 2030.