Holistic Transitional Approach of Humanitarian Shelters Through The Implementation of Adaptable Design Strategies.

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The issue of forcibly displaced portions of a population has become an emerging global trend that is driven by significantly increased numbers of displaced people. This is caused by increases in natural disasters due to global warming, war, and other conflicts. It is also driven by the growing average displacement time (ADT) due to a decline in the durable solutions available due to widespread insecurity, ongoing conflicts, small numbers being accepted for population resettlement, and the struggle of host communities in the integration of displaced populations. In addition to this, the most recent movement restrictions and the suspension of some solution programmes due to the COVID 19 pandemic, coupled with poor performance of provided sheltering solutions, ineffective humanitarian response, and recovery delays, exasperated the effect it has had on the displaced population, host communities, and their environment. Whilst the aim of international community to provide some relief in this area is not new, there has been renewed efforts to try to link relief to recovery in an effort to provide more durable solutions and sustainable development. The models that have been suggested and which have evolved over time in order to address this aim include Build Back Better, LRRD (linking relief, rehabilitation and development), and the concept of Early Recovery. However, many researchers have identified a gap between the international aim to effective transition, and the inefficient implementation in reality, as the process tends to divide the humanitarian response into separate stages due to the different nature, tools, and aims of each stage. Moreover, rigid solutions lack the required adaptable capacity to allow a smooth transit to recovery and sustainable development. This causes multiple and repeatable humanitarian efforts and results in increased waste, costs and time. This escalates the unwelcomed results and environmental impacts and fails in achieving population recovery, community resilience and self-reliance. Therefore, this research has investigated the alternative Humanitarian Sheltering Response (HSR) approaches and solutions. The overall aim is to provide recommendations that would lead to an increase in the adaptable capacity of the sheltering solutions and enhance the transition capability of the HSR. A literature review has been conducted which discusses the provision of adequate shelter as a human right, and specifies the adequacy means, the terminologies of the different sheltering solutions, and the different approaches of response. Additionally, it identifies the characteristics of adaptable design strategies (ADS) for adaptable shelters, and its correlated principle panels. Furthermore, an extensive review has been carried out on more than 43 projects, case studies, and solutions , both existing and novel, from a variety of trusted resources such as the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and IFRC (The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) reports, global shelter clusters, shelter projects, and shelter centers. All of these different climate conditions, response stages, vulnerability levels and crisis types. This was done in order initiate a reliable and holistic case study to avoid obtaining biased results. The reviewed case studies have been categorised according to the type/nature of the solutions and the specified solutions terminologies. The categorised solutions have been evaluated using a pros and cons list for each category as a logical decision-making tool against the specified evaluation themes that are specified in the literature review. They were then compared to each other using a strength and weakness comparison table. The table shows that there is no single sheltering solution that can be considered appropriate for the whole life span of the displacement and shows a clear difference in the strengths and weaknesses of the response between global and local solutions. Global solutions are more likely to be suitable for the relief aim of a response and local solutions are more likely to be suitable in achieving the aim of early recovery and sustainable development. This result highlights the importance of a transitional approach in providing more adaptable sheltering solutions. As a result, further investigation was carried out to identify the potential transition enablers of adaptable shelters from the reviewed case studies. As a direct result of this, ERD (Entity relationships diagrams) was used as a data analysis tool which uses a logical hierarchy flow chart to graphically represent how entities relate to each other. This helps to determine their potential role in the transitional process. Thirteen ERDs have been created that present two different types of transition - hybrid transition and integrated transition. It also identifies the self-supported BUR (Build, upgrade, and repair) as a key transition enabler. In addition to this, extended lifespan, liable structure, technical ease, LAMs (locally available materials), and local building skills and training are identified as core enablers and additional enablers that help to expand the adaptable capacity of the shelters as the following: Ease of dismantled & reassemble, transportable, expandable designs, and the integration of the renewables & passive strategies. Additionally, a further 28 sub-enablers have been identified. Based on that, an integrated aim model (IRRD Model) of relief, early recovery, and sustainable development has been proposed and visualised. The model shows that all stages are related to each other and allows for the understanding that each stage of response is part of the other stages, all whilst focusing on the purpose of each stage. It also prepares the groundwork for the purpose of other stages. Additionally, it does consider the potential for alteration in the process due to the varied people and circumstances and defines the targets for vulnerability reduction, adequacy enhancements and self reliance strengthening through the transition process. This integrated aim requires a transitional approach (hybrid and/or integrated) with adaptable sheltering solutions and its ADS characteristics to maximise the adaptable capacity of the proposed sheltering solutions to the status of transition and use the transition enablers to facilitate the smooth transition of the adaptable shelter solutions within the proposed holistic approach of HSR.
holistic transitional approach, humanitarian shelters, adaptable design strategies, Average Displacement Time (ADT), displaced populations, COVID 19, Humanitarian Sheltering Response (HSR), sustainable development