Timber roof truss under construction

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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Briefing Note

Prioritising Key Messages for Safer Humanitarian Shelter

The ‘8 Build Back Safer Key Messages’ developed by the Global Shelter Cluster in 2014 following Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines have proved valuable in offering a ‘minimum checklist of disaster risk reduction construction techniques for owner-driven self-recovery.’ However, limited resources and misunderstanding often result in households selectively applying the concepts and there is a need to prioritise these messages in future responses. Current formats make distilling the relative importance of components difficult and there is a need to more systematically distinguish the messages. This research conducted a Delphi survey of 12 humanitarian shelter and structural engineering experts using the Analytical Hierarchy Process, a method that uses pairwise comparisons to rank items, to aid in further understanding the relative importance of humanitarian shelter key messages.

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Timber framed wall of house under construction

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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Timber posts laying on ground

Characterizing Post-Disaster Shelter Design and Material Selections: Lessons from Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines

Following a disaster, communities, governments, and organizations are required to make rapid decisions that will govern the path towards long-term recovery. Hazard-resistant shelter designs have long been heralded as necessary for facilitating resilient and sustainable reconstruction; however, there is sparse documentation of designs implemented. We examine the case of design and building material selection for 20 shelter projects following Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, using photo documentation, interview data and field observations as a means to document rates of design adoption and choices in material selection. Findings use the shelter cluster ‘8 Key Messages’ as a framework to assess level of improved shelter design. Results highlight improved foundations, roofing, building shape and site selection and identify deficits in structural elements, including connections, bracing, and joints. Findings quantify design features that saw poor uptake by organizations and hold potential to inform future practice that encourages hazard-resistant design in the Philippines and other future international disaster responses.

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Blog Posts


Sheltering and housing displaced population special issue

Special Issue on Sheltering and Housing Displaced Populations in Sustainability

Dr. Aaron Opdyke and Dr Amy Javernick-Will (University of Colorado Boulder) are editing a special issue for the journal Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050, IF 2.592), entitled “Sheltering and Housing Displaced Populations.” This special issue seeks contributions focusing on sheltering and housing in post-disaster settlements. We seek contributions that bridge the humanitarian–development

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