Systematic Review


Do you have documents which describe the outcomes and impacts of humanitarian interventions supporting shelter self-recovery?  

Please email them to us at by the 26th February 2016 for inclusion in the review.


The Humanitarian Evidence Programme is a DFID-funded partnership between Oxfam GB and the Feinstein International Center (FIC) at Tufts University.  The Programme aims to synthesise research in the humanitarian sector and communicate the findings to key stakeholders.  Its ultimate goal is improving humanitarian policy and practice.

The programme will commission a series of reviews to distill evidence in areas of interest to the humanitarian sector and support research uptake.  Between November 2015 and June 2016 Habitat for Humanity and University College London (the Review Team) will complete a systematic review on the ‘impacts of different shelter and settlement strategies’.

Why is this research important?

This type of study has not been done before for the shelter sector.  It can generate robust conclusions (by identifying common findings from a number of studies) and make existing knowledge more accessible.  The process may also broaden thinking about how research is undertaken in the humanitarian shelter sector and will certainly highlight a number of potential topics for further research.

What has been done so far?

Firstly, the Review Team undertook a scoping assessment in order to:

  • map the breadth, depth and nature of documentation available in the shelter and settlements sector
  • engage with, and collect feedback from stakeholders to understand where there is demand for evidence synthesis (or primary research).

The scoping assessment identified that there is both evidence available, and stakeholder interest in, evidence synthesis on the topic of humanitarian interventions that aim to support affected populations’ own shelter self-recovery processes.

For the purposes of this research, interventions supporting shelter self-recovery following humanitarian crises have been defined as those:

‘providing a combination of material, financial and technical assistance; during the relief and/or recovery phase; to enable affected households to repair, build or rebuild their own shelters themselves or through using the local building sector. Material assistance includes the provision of construction materials, tools and support for salvaging and re-use of debris. Financial assistance includes the provision of cash or vouchers. Technical assistance can include (but is not limited to) the provision of guidance on construction through training, guidelines or mass communications’.

Secondly, the Review Team completed a research protocol.  This document describes the background and rationale for the study, the research questions and the proposed methodology for completing the research.

 How can I support this research?

The Review Team are currently searching for and screening documents for potential inclusion in the study.  We are particularly interested in finding high quality documents (primarily evaluations or academic research) which describe the outcomes and impacts of humanitarian interventions supporting shelter self-recovery.  This includes ‘owner-driven reconstruction’ programmes if they were implemented in the relief/recovery phase.

If you have suitable documents please email them to us at by the 26th February 2016.

If you have concerns about sharing previously unpublished evaluations please contact us as it is possible for us to include programmes while retaining their anonymity (for example by removing references to specific agencies/locations etc.).

How can I find out more information?

Please download the research protocol.  You can also email us at for further information.