The recovery of housing after rapid-onset disasters as well as protracted conflict and displacement is referred to as ‘shelter’. The shelter sector is coordinated by the Global Shelter Cluster, jointly led by the IFRC and UNHCR.
The Promoting Safer Building team is a research collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute, CARE International UK, University College London, the British Geological Survey and Loughborough University.
The author, who is a qualified architect and a builder, draws on fourteen years of experience working as a practitioner in the shelter sector. While the views expressed here are his own, they are informed by the field work, a continuing debate on the definition of Build Back Better and the increasing interest in self-recovery.
A much fuller analysis of the urban data will be published shortly in the Journal of the British Academy.
The author uses this exercise during the Shelter after Disaster module of the Development and Emergency Practice MA, Oxford Brookes University.
The analysis in this section is from the findings of the Promoting Safer Building urban study in Tacloban, Philippines.
Estimates vary, but around 6,300 are known to have died, the majority in Tacloban (IFRC).
The author is indebted to Professor Anastasios Sextos, Bristol University, for inspiring conversations that helped inform this debate. There is quantitative engineering analysis that shows that improving the margin of safety is more cost effective than insisting on safe. Sadly, it is beyond the scope of this paper.
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