Is it feasible as a small organisation to construct 100 new types of aid shelter in Haiti?
We have developed a basic shelter for longer term housing. We want to construct some in Haiti and donate these to the local people. Is there a place where we can do this where land ownership is not an issue. Are there any local-experienced organisations we can partner with for this project?
Without a lot more information it is very difficult to answer your question with anything specific.
However, it is never a good idea to develop a shelter design without reference to the context (and I don't mean 'Haiti', I mean particular site and community). The geography, local needs and choices and materials are all vital to consider. The design should respond to needs, you should not be starting with a design and then looking for a location. You would never do this in the UK, it's also totally inappropriate elsewhere.
If, as I assume you would like to, you want to help the most in need, you will not be able to avoid land issues. Doing so in a place like Haiti will just end up giving free things to landowners who are unlikely to be the poorest, unless you go somewhere really remote.
You would be much better just giving the cash you have to people in Haiti, they will know better than you how to use it. Your impact will be bigger. Frankly, the time for foreign-designed basic shelters (if there ever was one) was in 2010, not in 2016.
Hello Peter. May I ask why you would want to give away 100 houses, and which criteria you would use? When organisations (private / NGOs / public) are trying to promote housing and debate the use of subsidies and so on, it can be very disruptive if another organisation comes in and offers things for free. For emergency shelter it is OK for but long-term housing, the main issue is typically not so much the actual housing structure but land (which can get very political, but are the only way to address long-term problems), finance (availability of housing finance...), infrastructure...
You could get in touch with IFRC, the contact point now that the Shelter Cluster has finished (see this page). The Shelter Cluster website can also give you an idea of the local actors involved.
Hello Remi, Thank you for your answer. Thanks also for the IFRC website suggestion.
May I ask why you would want to give away 100 houses, and which criteria you would use?
To get a new form of design seen. The Criteria by local NGO´s. We developed the transitional structure design in the wake of this disaster. Understandably, the larger NGO´s were focussed on organising the immediate response, smaller NGO´s re-directed us to the larger NGO´s. With few resources, I was forced to give up. Recently, I had an aid coordinator stay at our innovation and design centre in Spain to learn and exchange information. He confirmed the clear value in what I was offering and said immediate construction may be a good choice, at the time we were referring to Nepal. The design I have is a transitional structure, he said that there is a very clear need for these in the world. Something far more robust than a tent, faster and lower cost than a house. It can be removed with low-no no environmental cost. The design is designed to compliment and provide new options, and not to replace any other design. It solves three of the four challenges as cited on the IFRC website. Those are. 1. Debris- (The constructions are made in part from upcycling debris. (metal, wood, broken stone, brick broken tiles ) 2. Land (This is the challenge that is not answered and why I have tested the water by posting this on here.) 3. Accessibility. ( Fewer materials need to be brought in, it is possible to cheaply construct in areas where there is no road access due to fallen buildings for example and potentially without electricity and very basic tool requirements. 4. Need for replacement. (They can be demolished and replaced when required, yet potentially can stand for decades and be far stronger and more flood proof which is important when considering constructions on a flood plain area. Our design could be more weather proof than the temporary shelter shown on the website and adapt particularly well to the weather conditions of Haiti. They can either be constructed with the use of cement or through using agricultural crops and still be as strong as cement. The construction method can be taught in a morning and unskilled people can construct them if supervised.
(When organisations (private / NGOs / public) are trying to promote housing and debate the use of subsidies and so on, it can be very disruptive if another organisation comes in and offers things for free.) Agreed. That is why we are writing an entry here and asking for partners and not going directly to Haiti. The objective is to communicate a methodology that we think could be faster, cheaper, stronger than what is currently known of or applied.
(For emergency shelter it is OK for but long-term housing, the main issue is typically not so much the actual housing structure but land (which can get very political, but are ... (more)
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