Promoting Safer Building
A workshop of the Working Group “Promoting Safer Building” takes place in CRAterre-ENSAG on October 2018, the 25 & 26th.
The Working Group “Promoting Safer Building” is an activity endorsed by the Global Shelter Cluster. It is formed of members from a diversity of agencies and organisations, and includes some academics and independent practitioners.
It is co-led by CARE International UK and CRAterre. The group is connected to a wider Promoting Safer Building Consortium that has several interconnected projects seeking to better understand self-recovery, safer building and the improvement of humanitarian shelter response after disasters. http://promotingsaferbuilding.org/
Background to PSB and self-recovery:
Poorly constructed buildings are often the largest cause of serious injury, trauma and death in the event of a natural disaster. After a disaster, most families rebuild their houses relying on their own resources, with little or no support from formal institutions or the humanitarian community. They “self-recover”. An analysis of statistics shows that the impact of aid agencies on housing recovery rarely reaches more than 20% of affected families and is frequently in single figures. Moreover, much of that support is in the form of temporary or transitional housing that is not intended to last more than a few years. Therefore, we know that 80%, or more, self-recover.
The challenge for the humanitarian community, as well as national and local institutions, is to support this inevitable process of self-recovery. Evidence from many post-disaster needs-assessments shows that families rapidly rebuild with little or no knowledge of safer building techniques. There is also evidence that the demand for technical assistance can be very high in the early days after a rapid onset disaster. However, as things stand, these homes are too often rebuilt using the same pre-disaster bad practice that caused so much death, injury and economic damage in the first place.
Currently we lack the skills to contextualize each unique situation, arrive rapidly and reliably at key technical messages and to systematically and effectively transmit those messages in an accessible way that allows informed choice and ensures maximum acceptance by the affected population. We know that simply informing people does not result in better, safer building; we also know that there are no universal solutions.
Many recent experiences in Africa, Latin America, Caribbean, and Asia have confirmed the relevance of a self-recovery approach and of the tools that have been developed so far to support it The recent World Habitat Award won by CARE Philippines for its post typhoon Haiyan housing project is further testimony to the impact of this approach.
In 2017 / 2018, the Promoting Safer Building Consortium was endorsed by the Global Shelter Cluster as an official Cluster Working Group specifically mandated to address the development of the project’s outputs regarding the understanding and selection of effective and appropriate Build Back Safer messages.
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