4. Shelter

When people lose their homes, they lose their security and belongings, and they lose dignity and privacy. Emergency shelter protects vulnerable people from danger, suffering and exploitation.

When people lose their homes they also lose their largest financial and social assets; they lose their sense of belonging and family heritage. The home may be the work-place, and they may lose the ability to earn. Exposure to the elements, over-crowding and a lack of washing facilities makes people ill. An unfamiliar environment and the lack of privacy can be traumatic. Poverty and the loss of livelihood makes rebuilding and recovery hard. Supporting vulnerable people to recover adequate and dignified housing after disaster is central to CARE’s mission to defeat poverty and achieve social justice.

Shelter activities can have multiple positive effects. Restoring housing can improve physical and mental health. It can empower people to provide for themselves through livelihood activities. In addition, shelter activities themselves create further benefits. Construction creates temporary employment for those who are unable to access their normal livelihoods through labouring and manufacture of building materials. This can boost the economy that has been affected by the emergency. Repair and reconstruction can lift community morale. Emergencies can also provide an opportunity to sensitively redress inequalities in control and ownership of assets, land and property.

1.1 What is humanitarian shelter?

1.2 CARE’s shelter principles

1.3 Coordination

1.4 Shelter terminology & jargon

2.1 Gender analysis & shelter programmes

3.1 Supporting self-recovery and shelter programmes

3.1 What you need to know & understand

3.2 Rapid needs assessment

3.3 Damage assessment

3.4 Detailed assessments & analysis

3.5 Knowledge & Attitudes Surveys

3.6 Markets assessment

3.7 Participatory assessment approaches

3.8 Joint assessments

4.1 Introduction to Response Options

4.1 Tarps, tents & kits

4.2 Clothes & household NFIs

4.3 Cash for shelter

4.4 Training & technical assistance

4.5 Recovery support

4.7 Temporary houses

4.8 Construction

4.9 Collective centres

4.10 Camps

4.11 Housing, Land and Property and other legal assistance

4.12 Urban responses

4.13 Support to host families & communities

4.14 Resettlement

5.1 Protection & GBV

5.2 WASH

5.3 Livelihoods

7.1 Indicators for shelter programmes

Always ask for help. The shelter team based at CARE UK is there to support County Offices. It can call on its roster of experts for specialist advice if there is a need.

Specialist assistance may be required in an advisory short-term role, or for longer duration especially in a response to a major disaster. Specialist assistance and the knowledge of previous shelter programmes is invaluable when the strategy is being developed, and to help predict and manage risks. Further specialist staff is usually required for implementation. Properly and appropriately qualified engineers are always required for the construction and management of all public buildings. National knowledge is essential for compliance with local codes and regulations.

The focal point for the shelter sector in CARE is the Shelter Team Leader. Country Offices should contact the UK-based shelter team for advice and revision before submitting funding proposals, and to access support and lessons learned from CARE’s previous shelter programmes. The shelter team can offer technical advice on assessing shelter needs and resources, integrating the shelter strategy with other sectors, identifying and budgeting for appropriate staff, and ensuring that good opportunities in shelter response are not missed. Anticipated support, deployments and evaluations should be included in all budgets.