Source image above: Global Shelter Cluster

With this terrible tragedy in Indonesia, I felt it appropriate to share this compiled study of “best practices” ( I rather talk about lessons learnt) for a “Shelter and Settlements approaches” in post-disaster relief and recovery programs.The STUDY was produced by the Global Shelter Cluster.

settlemtns approach cover-publication

The humanitarian relief and reconstruction phase following a disaster both need to look beyond simple shelter approaches (solely quantifying success to a number of shelters provided or enabled), beyond the simple definition of ‘four walls and a roof,’ and encompass the larger scale of the neighborhood, the community, and the city as well as integrate the multiple dynamics and sectors that touch on housing and development (including the architecture, skillsets and materials used, basic services and infrastructure, public space and amenities, security of tenure, local governance aspects, capacity building, finance, employment opportunities, etc.). This multi-sectoral and multi-scales approach is even more essential in urban settings where one cannot neglect the surrounding context, infrastructure, networks and linkages (both visible and invisible).

It may sound very obvious to look at a larger scale and go beyond “the shelter” if you have an architecture, urban planning or urban studies background- unfortunately, this needs to be reinforced in a disaster response, as there is usually a disconnect (in backgrounds and experience) between those doing humanitarian relief and those primarily working on reconstruction/long-term development. The need to close that gap is essential!


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