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Shelter Projects 2013 - 2014

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Shelter Projects 2013-2014 is the fifth edition in the series which began in 2008. This book adds 27 new shelter case studies and overviews, bringing the total number of project articles to over 150. This valuable repository of project examples and response overviews represents a significant body of experience offering unique reference material for shelter and settlement practitioners worldwide.
To quote Albert Einstein, “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”, and the objective of this publication has always been to encourage the sharing of lessons learned, both good and bad, and to advocate the following of best practices. Such knowledge sharing helps practitioners to be more accountable to crisis affected communities by implementing effective shelter responses and to show impact to donors by ensuring adequacy in our settlement and shelter interventions.

Shelter programming should operate in accordance with recognized shelter best practice while enabling those displaced to return to their homes or equivalent living space in a timely manner encouraging community recovery and building resilience to possible future shocks. Participation and promoting a sense of ownership is the key to achieving successful projects.

The introduction section of this publication provides and overview of the emergencies which have continued to require large-scale settlement and shelter responses since the last edition. The on-going and widening conflict in Syria, vast destruction left in the wake of tropical storms Sandy in the Americas and Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines and recurring flooding in Pakistan prompted this edition to include four overview pieces to complement the geographic spread of the selected case studies.

The international humanitarian community is dealing with unprecedented levels of displacement and scale of natural disaster. This implies a requirement for increased shelter needs, larger mobilization of resources and projects requiring improved models of delivery as well as innovative, cost-effective solutions which incorporate best practice as well as positioning the persons of concern at the forefront of response interventions.

The topics of the opinion pieces in Section B were decided on through discussion with a technical advisory group. The pieces are written by experts with specific interests and experiences and we are extremely grateful for their invaluable contribution. The topics include the importance of assessment in shelter, evaluating cash-for-rent subsidies, security of tenure and humanitarian shelter, supporting host families as shelter options and urban settings, all of significant current relevance and interest in the settlement and shelter domain.

These new case studies remind us of the similarities yet uniqueness every crisis presents. It is important not to ‘re-invent the wheel’ with every emergency and this publication acts as a tool for building on and improving on the successes of completed shelter projects. The case studies address common issues emerging in shelter response, outline different approaches to addressing shelter needs and assist in evaluating the impact on affected communities. They provide an excellent resource against which to gauge proposed shelter interventions and possible outcomes.

The Shelter Projects website - - has been updated with the latest edition and provides an easy way to search the repository of case studies, overviews and project updates.
We are once again indebted to everyone who contributed case studies and to the technical advisory group for their valuable time and expert input.

We trust that the reader will find this edition of ‘Shelter projects’ relevant and thought-provoking, leading to improved settlement and shelter solutions for affected communities.