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GSC Coordination Toolkit


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4B: Reconstruction

Section A of Phase 3 contains a limited selection of Cluster written guides to reconstruction.  This section introduces nine of the best general guidelines, books and papers on reconstruction written by other institutions and agencies.  There is a wealth of knowledge and experience available and much is very context specific and so readers are encouraged to search for resources from other contexts similar to their own.

  • 4Bi: Shelter Centre 2011 - Transitional Shelter Guidelines. The definitive guide to transition shelter.
  • 4Bii: IFRC 2011 - Transitional Shelters Eight Designs. Using eight case studies, the book reviews transitional shelter designs that have been built in significant numbers. It is intended that this information will support the early stages of shelter programmes and inform transitional shelter decision making.
  • 4Biii: UNHCR 2016 – Shelter Design Catalogue. This is a collection of a number of shelter designs developed across a variety of locations, contexts and climates. The catalogue will assist sector specialists in implementing a phased shelter response through more predictable planning and implementation.
  • 4Biv: BRE 2008 – Cyclone Resistant Houses for Developing Countries. A technical guide produced by the Building Research Establishment ( Based in the UK the BRE are an innovative group of researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians who share a common goal – to make the built environment better for all. As well as developing the BREEAM concept of sustainability, BRE is also involved with QSAND working in partnership with IFRC ( promoting sustainable shelter and settlements.
  • 4Bv: IFRC 2010 – Owner Driven Housing Reconstruction Guidelines. These guidelines, produced with substantial contributions from many National Societies, capitalise on the expertise developed within the Movement through a number of post-disaster reconstruction projects. More specifically, they have been created following the successful post-tsunami programme developed in Sri Lanka within a partnership framework, which resulted in community-oriented processes that served to design spatial forms, enable livelihoods and build social infrastructures.
  • 4Bvi: IOM 2016 – Rehabilitating, Repairing and Upgrading Critical Shelters and Damaged Houses, Iraq. From hands-on experience on the ground, this technical booklet presents Shelter guidelines that aim to offer step-by-step guidance in repairing and upgrading critical shelters and damaged houses.
  • 4Bvii: ECB 2013 – Shelter Accountability Resources. A guide to improving accountability to disaster-affected populations during the implementation of humanitarian shelter programmes. The resource helps project managers and decision-makers, as well as those monitoring projects, to plan, implement and monitor shelter activities in a manner that is accountable.
  • 4Bviii: Kashmir 2005 – Learning from the Shelter Response and Rural Housing Recovery. Rarely do we document what we learnt from a response and document the key lessons and so this example, demonstrates how we can capture these in an easy to read appealing format. The lessons from 2005 - 2009 or are still relevant and act as a great aide-memoir.
  • 4Bix: IOM 2011 - One Room Shelter program Pakistan. Where do you begin when there are 1.7 million houses damaged or destroyed? The one room shelter strategy was devised in response to the massive early recovery shelter needs across the country. The one room shelter strategy aimed to support the most vulnerable of those with a completely destroyed house to rebuild one durable flood‐resistant room, according to local designs and materials, promoting self‐recovery and coping strategies wherever possible. This relatively short guide acts as an introduction to the concept and so those interested should refer to other documentation building on the one-room or core-room philosophy.
  • 4Bx: UNHCR 2021- Shelter and SustainabilityThis document developed by UNHCR provides a technical and environmental comparative overview of common shelter typologies found in settlements across UNHCR operations. This document is a comparative overview of different shelter typologies, which were recently implemented in various field locations and in different stages of a humanitarian response to forced displacement. Using established criteria to determine the technical performance, habitability,
    affordability as well as the environmental impact of each shelter design, this study outlines the real costs of shelter interventions taking into consideration the specificities of each context and material used. It is a useful technical insight into how to determine shelter outcomes and additional criteria when designing and selecting an appropriate shelter response.
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