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Urban Housing Recovery: Compilation of Case Studies from Nepal and Beyond (July 2020)

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Executive Summary

The case studies in this document are set in different scales and geographies, tackling a wide realm of issues connected to urban housing recovery — locally in Nepal and globally. The case studies are categorized into three:

  1. case studies from partner organizations

  2. case studies from households’ perspective

  3. global case studies

Five years after Nepal’s earthquake, as we are nearing the end of NRA’s tenure and amidst the protracted COVID-19 crisis, partners and NRA are exploring NRA’s handover and the shift from recovery actors to institutions of development and disaster risk resilience. Considering the progress so far and the challenges and potentials ahead, central themes have been extracted from the case studies in this document on the critical components that have impacted and will continue to impact urban housing recovery.

a) Effective Governance

• Decentralized Decision-making

In Chile’s earthquake recovery (Chapter 4.3), the centre played a facilitation role and provided resources, but the main authority to implement and set budgets was with the local authorities. In Nepal, local governance systems are evolving, many of them having been set up only 3 years ago. However, they have still played a considerable role in some aspects of the recovery process, in communication and in implementation of provisions such as Avilekhikaran and Sarjamin as explained in the case studies (3.6, 3.7). More investment in capacity building and granting of more authority to municipalities is required.

• Linking to long-term development

NRA’s existing provisions need to be more effectively linked to longer-term development.
Example: as joint-ownership is applicable only in heritage housing areas, core-urban areas are left out, which also face issues of multiple ownership and small plots of land. As seen in the Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Program by CRS (4.1), for NGOs to exit a project area in a sustainable way there must be a recipient governance and community system, as a prerequisite to scaling of the impact. At the local level, this has been witnessed in NSET’s Baliyo Ghar program which has effectively linked to the municipalities in its implementation areas. In Haiti’s Rental Programming (4.4), one of the major drawbacks was its insufficient linkage to a larger urban vision for the city’s reconstruction. On the other hand, as seen in the case study from Kabul, Afghanistan (4.5), the success of the integrated shelter approach can be greatly attributed to linking of the project to different governance levels: such as community councils, municipalities and districts.