Shelter is critical to the survival of people affected by humanitarian crises as it provides safety and security, protection from the climate and resistance to ill health and disease (The Sphere Project, 2011; Zetter, 2012). Having somewhere safe, secure and healthy to live, with access to livelihood opportunities, healthcare and education is also fundamental to sustaining family and community life during post-crisis recovery and reconstruction or displacement, return and resettlement.
Humanitarian aid is largely guided by anecdotes rather than evidence. Currently, the humanitarian system shows significant weaknesses in data collection, analysis and response in all stages of a crisis or emergency. As a result, the present humanitarian system is much less evidence-driven than it should be and than it would like to be.