To meet agreed standards and best practices the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) develops and produces technical resources in the form of manuals, guidelines and specifications available through publications and the internet.
Examples include specifications for shelter items including tents, building materials and tools, booklets on the appropriate use of tents, shelter kits and materials such as plastic sheeting and timber. The IFRC can also provide guidance on the resources required to implement a particular activity, and checklists on key issues for example on minimising the environmental impact of construction activities and material sourcing.
Supporting shelter activities after disasters
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has a significant shelter disaster response capacity. The IFRC has achieved this through
- pre-positioning of shelter relief items at regional and country level
- agreements with regional and local suppliers for shelter relief items as required
- the provision of trained personnel with appropriate local technical knowledge and language skills to support disaster operations.
The IFRC provides guidance on agreed best practices and appropriate shelter and settlement solutions to inform shelter activities after disasters. This relief role is complemented by knowledge of safe shelter and settlement solutions to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to future disasters and the promotion of shelter recovery activities.
Innovation in shelter
Shelter solutions, building technologies and the use of materials for construction typically reflect the local context and available skills and resources. The IFRC recognises the need to ensure that shelter assistance is informed by new ideas – new technologies and solutions as well as improvements in the use of locally familiar types of shelter and materials. Research and development initiatives at local and global level are supported by testing new ideas and by working with other humanitarian agencies, research institutes and innovators.
Where additional capacity, expertise or other technical resources are required to support shelter activities, the IFRC is able to draw upon its extensive network of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, humanitarian agency partners and independent institutions and shelter specialists. Formal agreements and partnership arrangements have been established at global and local levels. Additional resources can be provided through links with complementary networks of design and construction, professional institutes and the construction industry.