Key Messages

  • Shelter is more than a roof. It is a means of ensuring people’s rights to physical security, health, privacy and dignity. As such, it is an important component of protection. 
  • The Camp Management Agency, together with the Camp Administration, the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster/Sector Lead Agency, must ensure that shelter programmes are closely linked to other services in the camp. 
  • The Camp Management Agency should recognise that shelter needs and usage change over time. People may need support to maintain, reuse and/or upgrade their shelter. Materials and designs should be durable and flexible. 
  • International shelter standards are helpful in providing guidance to help improve temporary housing/living conditions. Country level adjustments to international standards can be requested from the Shelter Cluster. Shelter design should be based primarily on the camp population’s needs, cultural norms, the duration of use and national standards. Special attention must be given to the needs of vulnerable groups. 
  • Organisations implementing shelter programmes should assess which building materials and skills are used and are locally available for shelter construction. They should consider possible issues around their environmental sustainability and the consequences of increased material harvesting from the local area. 
  • It is important to incorporate risk management measures into shelter programmes. This can be done by reducing threat multipliers that can cause public health outbreaks, fire, violence, theft or damage from seasonal climatic changes and extremes of weather such as flooding and high winds. These risk management measures should contribute to avoidance of protection concerns and the risk of increasing the vulnerability of displaced families. 
  • The Camp Management Agency should not underestimate the need for strong technical support for shelter activities. The Camp Management Agency and shelter providers need to ensure that sufficient skilled staff is available for effective programme design, technical supervision of shelter construction and monitoring of usage and occupancy.