Self-recovery in post-disaster shelter is not the exception but the norm. Following earthquake, flood or storm, the majority
of affected families will inevitably rebuild their homes themselves, using their own resources, but there is little support
from the international community to encourage good safe building practice. While the communication of key messages
about safer building has been carried out effectively in development contexts, it rarely forms a major part of
humanitarian response programming. If the humanitarian shelter sector is committed to the principles of Disaster Risk
Reduction (DRR), more can be done to support the process of safer reconstruction among self-rebuilders. This paper
argues the case for the humanitarian community to link post-disaster shelter programming with the more developmental
approach of communicating building safety to a much wider audience than just the most vulnerable beneficiaries.
It proposes the shelter sector and the donor community direct more resources towards support for this process, which
would augment the effectiveness and impact of a shelter response.
Keywords: Building for Safety, Early Recovery, Post-Disaster Shelter, Self-Rebuilding, Reconstruction.
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