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International Recovery Platform

Self-recovery from disasters: an interdisciplinary perspective

This working paper presents the findings from a pilot research project that investigated how disaster-affected households in low- and middle-income countries rebuild their homes in situations where little or no support is available from humanitarian agencies. The project was an interdisciplinary collaboration involving social scientists, geoscientists, structural engineers and humanitarian practitioners. The work was broad in scope. It investigated households’ self-recovery trajectories and the wide range of technical, environmental, institutional and socioeconomic factors influencing them over time. It also considered how safer construction practices can be more effectively integrated into humanitarian shelter responses.

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