4.9 Collective centres

Collective shelters are often used when displacement occurs inside a city, or when displaced people move to an urban area. However they are equally common in rural settings.  They include existing structures, such as community centres, town halls, schools, disused factories and unfinished buildings. They can also be purpose-built (eg the ‘barracks’ in Aceh, after the Indian Ocean tsunami; ‘bunkhouses’ in the Philippines). Collective shelters are usually only appropriate for the short term while other settlement options are arranged. Collective shelters should have appropriate services and support, including conditions to ensure dignity, privacy and adequate sanitary conditions.

CARE may support communities in collective centres by:

  1. assessing the suitability of the building, and providing plans and materials to improve it, for example, dividing a school classroom into bedrooms
  2. providing cooking equipment, health care, water and sanitation services.
  3. supporting governments and communities in management of the sites.

See also this Guidance Notes for Delivering and Managing Collective Shelters (specifically for Syria, but much is applicable in other contexts).