S&S Assessments: Shelter Option Feasibility

The objective of this step is to assess the feasibility of proposed assistance options within the local context. It may require:

  • Rapid Market Assessments: An initial markets assessment will be fundamental in identifying which assistance options are feasible in your context.
  • Tenure Security Assessment: Security of tenure means that people can live in their homes without fear of forced eviction, whether in communal settlement situations, informal settlements, host communities or after return. It is the foundation of the right to adequate housing and many other human rights.  Standard 6 of Sphere’s Shelter and Settlement sector makes specific reference to this need.
  • Environmental Risk Assessment: This section introduces a risk assessment framework and risk register tool that will help to identify immediate environmental risks during the initial phases of a response and manage mitigation measures moving forwards.

  1.3.a)  Rapid Markets Assessments

An initial markets assessment will be fundamental in identifying which assistance options are feasible in your context. For shelter and settlements interventions markets assessments may look not only at materials locally available but also the labor market, assessing the availability of skilled and non-skilled labor and service providers for construction activities (masons, carpenters, foremen, local construction firms, transporters etc.).

Where possible CRS prefers to use market-based solutions, supporting local economies and utilizing materials, products, skills and systems with which people are already familiar.  However, there will be circumstances where the quality and/or quantity of materials needed cannot be procured locally and materials will need to be provided in-kind.

EMMAs are standard market assessments used to look at specific market systems and usually more in depth and aligned with the detailed assessment phase.

Tools & Examples

1.3.b) Tenure Security and Property Rights Assessments

Land tenure and property rights issues should be examined as early as possible because without clear rights to a given piece of land, programs based on rebuilding infrastructure or resettling displaced populations will be subject to conflict, delay and increased costs (USAID, Land Tenure and Property Portal – Land Tenure and Disasters, October 2014).

It is advisable to engage specialist legal and social expertise in the mapping of the formal or informal framework of rules and institutions that determine access to, and control over, land and resources.  The objective of the tenure security and property rights assessment will be to assess the feasibility of the shelter assistance options proposed in terms of the legal and social framework, understanding the rights and responsibilities of both tenants.

IFRC’s Rapid Tenure Assessment Guidelines provide a good entry point for developing a context specific assessment.

Tools and Examples

  1.3.c)    Environmental Risk Assessment

The Environmental Risk Register tool will help establish immediate environmental risks during the initial phases of a new CRS country program or on-going programs following initial rapid risk assessment of the context, community, weather and environmental factors. Furthermore, the tool can be developed and utilized as an environmental database for the particular region for all future CRS programs, ensuring environmental awareness from the onset of a program.

Tools & Examples