Western Sahara 2010

This was an evaluation of Oxfam Solidarité's ECHO funded project to address disaster preparedness and mitigation in Sahrawi camps. It was written by Dave Holmes, Rowan Salim and Dipti Hingorani and reviewed by me.

Shelter Decisions

We insisted on looking at preparedness and mitigation in the context of sheltering processes at settlement and household level.

This allowed the field team to develop a shelter decision tree to represent some of the choices faced by householders as they sought to change their shelter situation. It helped to illustrate: why people build in a particular place and in a particular way; who decides; who builds; who pays; who checks on what is being built; and what aesthetic, cultural or structural standards do they check against.

The algorithm in technical guidance almost always starts with selecting a safe site but the decision tree shows a different sequence of choices for households.


Training: power to influence outcomes and interest in achieving them

We insisted on looking at communication, targeting and training in terms of:

  • Gender: who was targeted with what information or training and how much interest or influence did they have in changing building practices? 
  • Technology: how complex were the changes to buildings and how effective were the changes in coping with floods?.

Illustrated building glossary in 5 languages

The multilingual field team produced an illustrated glossary with builders and householders.

Shelter decision tree from household perspective