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Shelter Projects 2017 - 2018: Case studies of humanitarian shelter and settlement responses

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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Shelter Projects 2017–2018 has been written by practitioners for practitioners to help them understand what worked and what did not work in previous shelter responses. In a world where global humanitarian shelter needs greatly exceed the capacities and resources of agencies to support those people requiring assistance, there is a clear need to learn from the past so that we can better respond in the future.

Shelter Projects is written through a collaborative and consultative process. This edition began with an inception workshop where lessons from the development of past editions were reviewed. This process was followed by regional shelter fora during which practitioners, government representatives and academics reviewed past editions and agreed on how this edition could be improved. Over the course of two years, the Global Shelter Cluster Shelter Projects Working Group, composed of international shelter experts from several humanitarian organizations and institutions, met to discuss the approach and to compile and review cases studies.

Previous editions of Shelter Projects have a proven broad audience of people who are involved in humanitarian shelter programming. They have been used by humanitarian staff, from both relief and development agencies. This includes shelter specialists and generalist programme managers, in developing shelter projects and proposals and in reviewing what has previously been done in country or in similar contexts. They have been used for global advocacy on issues such as cash in shelter programming. They have been used to promote shelter programmatic approaches and prove that there is a precedent for government strategies at the highest ministerial levels. They have been used in discussions with civil protection agencies and local municipal authorities in preparedness and response, to show what can be done. They have been used with private sector organizations to explain what shelter is (as a process, not a product), and they have been used in humanitarian trainings, and by universities as core reference in courses and as a basis for further research.

Given this broad range of uses, and although readers may have very specific information needs, we would encourage you to browse through the publication to get an idea of the broad spectrum of types of shelter programmes that have been implemented. Case studies and overviews aim to showcase different response options and reflect on the internal strengths and shortcomings of each, as well as on the wider impacts of projects and the lessons that can be learned.

Although it can be read as a standalone document, and individual case studies can be read in isolation, Shelter Projects is intended to complement other publications, such as the Sphere Handbook and the State of Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements Report.

This is the seventh edition in the series of publications that started over ten years ago. It contains 31 new case studies and four overviews of responses, contributing to a total repository of over 230 project examples and response overviews, from programmes of 60 agencies in almost 80 countries overall. The case studies vary greatly in scale, cost, duration, response phase and project design. Although they are not statistically representative of all shelter responses, this growing body of knowledge represents a source of learning and reflects the highly contextual nature of individual shelter and settlements responses. Overall, and reinforced by more rigorous analysis and review process than previous editions, it reflects many years of experience of about 500 field practitioners who have contributed across the editions.

Shelter Projects is written with the understanding that the primary responders to all crises are the affected people themselves. Whilst case studies are written from the perspective of agencies that aim to assist, we hope that readers of the publication will recognize the central and active role of the people that the projects seek to assist.

The Global Shelter Cluster
Shelter Projects Working Group,
April 2019.