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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T015160/1
Title: Self-recovery housing for development: scaling up crisis preparedness and humanitarian shelter response
Principal Investigator: Brun, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Faculty of Tech, Design and Environment
Organisation: Oxford Brookes University
Scheme: UKRI
Starts: 01 October 2019 Ends: 31 March 2021 Value (£): 690,143
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Development Studies Economic Development
Nat Resources, Env & Rural Dev Social policy and Development
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Aug 2019 GCRF GRTA Panel19 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project builds directly upon two previous GCRF awards:

1 NERC Resilience Foundation Award: Promoting Safer Building - Using science, technology, communication and humanitarian practice to support family and community self-recovery.

2 British Academy Cities and Infrastructure: Safer self-recovery: promoting resilient urban reconstruction after disasters.

The key findings of both these projects are described in the Business Case. For more on the findings of previous GCRF awards see: https://www.odi.org/publications/10963-self-recovery-disasters-interdisciplinary-perspective

Earthquakes, storms, floods, and conflict cause untold damage to infrastructure, services, agriculture and livelihoods. The destruction of housing is often most visible, and the most devastating to the families, with often hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed. Householders themselves are invariably the first to respond; they are never passive, and signs of shelter recovery are very apparent from the first days after a disaster. The majority - as many as 80 or 90% - receive little or no assistance from the international community and are the main drivers of their own recovery process. This process has been termed 'self-recovery'.

The previous GCRF awards supported interdisciplinary teams led by ODI in collaboration with CARE International UK, BGS, UCL and Loughborough University. They developed the understanding of the self-recovery process and advanced the theoretical basis for humanitarian assistance to the process of supporting self-recovery in practice . In large part as a result of this work, self-recovery is now a strategic element of the humanitarian shelter sector discourse with many disaster responses purporting to support this inevitable process.

In recognition of the value of a people-centred approach that moves away from the convention product-based modalities, the CARE Philippines post-cyclone self-recovery project won the 2018 World Habitat Award in acknowledgment of its self-recovery focus. Sixteen thousand houses were built, each one unique and reflecting the priorities and means of each family. https://www.world-habitat.org/world-habitat-awards/winners-and-finalists/post-haiyan-self-recovery-housing-programme/

The self-recovery approach that respects the primacy of agency and choice aligns well with current humanitarian and development concerns such as the 'humanitarian development nexus', the Grand Bargain's emphasis on localisation, participation and cash-based responses, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Shelter Cluster strategy. This is further explained in the Business Case.

However, very little has been done to develop guidance for practice. With the exception of the protocol 'Informing Choice for Better Shelter' that delivers a guide for the development of technical educational material, there are no published tools nor guidelines that provide an implementation framework for self-recovery in shelter projects.

This project addresses this gap. The protocol will be adapted to become a preparedness tool. A methodology for 'context analysis' will be designed to incorporate the adaptability and diversity essential to a self-recovery approach. Monitoring and evaluation tools will be developed that focus on survivor-led indicators and that include a broad definition of good shelter programming that includes health, livelihoods, sanitation, protection and gender-based violence as well as the conventional focus on structural safety and construction quality.

The methodology will include field-work and case studies as well as action research, or real time research, that will directly support rapid-onset disaster responses contributing directly to development of strategies in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. All outputs will be thoroughly scrutinised by the humanitarian sector and incorporated directly into practice.

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Organisation Website: http://www.brookes.ac.uk