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For low rise domestic housing I would recommend working with local contractors. This would have the advantage of involving the private sector in the early stages of the response, and may contribute towards early recovery, promoting employment of skilled labour. The added advantage of this approach would be the familiarity local contractors would have with existing local building codes. Working with local contractors would also give you access to established local networks, including knowledge of planning and zoning regulations. Such a network will be invaluable as the situation normalises.

From the perspective of quality control and project management, I would look for someone with some experience of construction project management, and ideally some experience of FIDIC contract forms.

For public buildings such as schools, hospitals etc., I would agree with the reply posted by Chris Nixon. Such buildings require someone with specific knowledge, training and experience, and the early objective for the response should be to coordinate with local authorities and institutions such as the National Society of Earthquake Technology. Also have a look at the Earthquake Risk Reduction & Recovery Preparedness resources (Gov't of Nepal & UNDP)

ALNAP have produced an assessment of the Haiti shelter response which contains useful lesson learnt from a panning and programme design perspective. If I were in your position I would try an use as many local resources s possible in the initial stages. These are likely to be cost effective, quick and efficient.

Best of luck.

John Cody

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