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BA (Arch) DipArch
School of Architecture
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
Bill's main interest is in Shelter after Disaster. He is an architect and a builder, particularly experienced in domestic scale building in timber and green construction techniques. His working life has been divided between design and build in the UK and development and humanitarian work in three continents. For nine years he worked in Central America and Mexico in appropriate technology and human rights, before returning to the UK to specialise in Shelter after Disaster. In recent years he has worked in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cuba, Western Sahara. He also enjoys studio teaching.
Shelter after Disaster, construction (especially timber), environmental (green) design.
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 it argues would augment the effectiveness and impact of a shelter response.