Lessons from Typhoon Haiyan: Supporting shelter self-recovery in the Philippines

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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Victoria Maynard & Elizabeth Parker

Executive summary

On 8 November 2013 super typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) devastated the central regions of the Philippines. More than 6,000 people lost their lives, 14 million were affected and approximately four million displaced. A total of 1,012,790 houses were damaged or destroyed by the super typhoon - 493,912 partially damaged and 518,878 totally damaged. Within a month of the typhoon almost 80% of households had already started rebuilding their homes but around 50% said they would be unable to complete repairs without assistance.

In March 2014 the Shelter Cluster’s Strategic Operational Framework identified ‘support for household self-recovery’ as one of its three strategic objectives. The Shelter Cluster aimed to provide shelter materials, tools, cash and technical assistance to 500,000 households within the first year of the response. By October 2014 approximately 160,000 households had received support for ‘repairs and retrofit’ (or SSSR) while organisations had confirmed funding to support a further 80,000 households. The majority of these programmes were completed within the first 18-36 months of the response. Collectively the six programmes included in this study supported 76,407 households or around one third of the 240,000 households assisted by agencies reporting to the Shelter Cluster during the response to super typhoon Haiyan.

The number and diversity of SSSR programmes implemented following super typhoon Haiyan provides a unique opportunity to capture lessons, challenges and best practice. This research aimed to synthesise learning from several SSSR programmes in order to improve policy and practice in future humanitarian responses. Drawing on lessons from previous research by the authors into SSSR this study adopted a simplified evidence synthesis approach. This involved: searching for and screening potential documents for inclusion; extracting and synthesising data; reporting and review.

The research was completed between November 2016 and February 2018.

Specific research questions included:

Interventions, outputs and outcomes

  1. What combinations of assistance were provided?
  2. How did the programmes balance coverage, speed and cost?
  3. What were the outputs and outcomes?

Process of implementation

  1. What were the primary contributions of households?
  2. Programming: what worked well and what was not as effective?
  3. Context: what factors helped or hindered implementation?