Huge levels of aid are spent on reconstructing housing after disasters but have these houses withstood the test of time and hazard? Often aid agencies don’t go back to assess the impact of reconstruction in the longer term.
During 2013 and 2014 World Habitat undertook a research project to make a contribution towards filling this gap.
This research looked at the themes of user satisfaction, replication, technical performance, beneficiary targeting and impact on livelihood to understand the reconstruction projects’ changes over time and their impact on beneficiaries.
Seven previous winners or finalists of the World Habitat Awards and four additional cases on reconstruction were studied with the organisations involved returning to the field to find out about the current situation.
In January 2014, in partnership with the Centre for Disaster Management and Hazard Research (CDMHR), World Habitat held a conference entitled “Looking Back at Reconstruction: A Need for a Longer Term Approach in Housing” at Coventry University, UK. Resources from the conference are available to download via the links below.
At the conference, the results of the fieldwork were presented by speakers who had revisited reconstruction projects established between 1976 and 2009. The sessions focused on reconstruction projects from India and Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia and across Latin America.
Still Standing? published by Practical Action Publishing following the research, describes the stories of the project beneficiaries and how their houses have changed, within contexts that have kept changing too.
Still Standing? can be purchased via Practical Action Publishing’s online bookshop