Browse by Theme: Shelter

As the climate crisis makes natural disasters a daily reality for people around the world, communities and humanitarian organisations are looking for ways to mitigate risks and build resilience. In 2019, in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai – which ravaged the coast of southern Africa – CARE’s Emergency Shelter Advisor, Crystal Whitaker, travelled to Malawi to support recovery and learn how communities were using simple savings groups to break the devastating cycle where repeat floods would wipe out homes and livelihoods, forcing families to start over again and again. Below she shares seven lessons for practitioners looking to build longer-term risk mitigation measures into shorter emergency or preparedness programmes.

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CARE’s Emergency Shelter Team provides technical expertise in emergency shelter and reconstruction. In the financial year July 2018 - June 2019, CARE implemented 73 projects around the world with a shelter and housing component and two projects involving camp coordination and camp management. Around 1.6 million people received direct shelter assistance and a further 1.4 million people benefited indirectly from those projects. 54% of people reached were women and girls. The Emergency Shelter Team Annual Review 2019 sets out the ways that the team can support shelter responses around the world, and highlights a selection of shelter programme responses from the last financial year that reflect the scope and impact of CARE’s work.

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As a researcher, I see that humanitarian practitioners listen to and involve local women and women’s groups when delivering programmes on the ground – or at least, if they don’t, they know that they should. But if we are really serious about localisation and gender equality, we also need to invite women from the countries where we deliver programmes to come to our learning and practice workshops back in our home countries.

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This report analyses the self-recovery process in the Philippines following super-typhoon Haiyan. The report presents the findings from a peer exchange event hosted by World Habitat which reflected on the lessons learned and the implications for supporting self-recovery in humanitarian shelter practice. The report makes recommendations on: needs assessment or context analysis; project design and implementation; monitoring and evaluation; and community organising for disaster risk reduction.

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“Here, we have six seasons,” explained CARE’s Shelter Programme Manager, Shah Suja, as we raced along the road that connects Cox’s Bazar town to the refugee camps. Those “six seasons” bring searing heat, torrential rain, cyclones and storm surges – and with nearly a million refugees now living in this hilly and fragile terrain, with no immediate prospects of returning home and yet prohibited from using durable construction materials, creating and maintaining safe shelters is a real challenge.

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This paper presents the findings from a real time research project which sought to understand the impact of Cyclone Idai on urban households and communities as well as the options for shelter actors seeking to support their recovery.

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This discussion paper explores the ethics of balancing building back safer with respecting people’s autonomy, and their right to choose their own route to recovery, with reference to a ‘self-recovery’ approach to post-disaster shelter responses.

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