Dilemmas and Challenges for the Shelter Sector: Lessons Learned from the Sphere Revision Process

Saunders, G.
Publication language
Date published
01 Jan 2004
Disasters, 28 (2)
Shelter and housing, Standards

Key dilemmas and challenges for those involved in the shelter sector are described, based on issues that emerged from the extensive global consultative process undertaken to inform the revision of the Sphere handbook. The range of perspectives on the major themes is presented, with suggestions as to how these issues could be progressed. Themes include the poor definition of the sector and the lack of a consistent approach among the leading shelter actors; the absence of a common terminology; the conflict between "temporary" versus "durable" solutions; the disconnect between technical advisers and the field; the need for greater recognition of local coping strategies and the local context; the involvement of recipients and host governments in policy development; the need for better "how-to" guidance; and the limited incorporation of the emerging themes of livelihoods etc. to date.