SAM is a shelter design assessment tool. It lists the issues we have identified from our field works and, where possible, provides guidance in the form of a tool, a short PDF or a pointer to a report or academic paper. This guidance will be particularly useful if you are new to the shelter, or to a topic, for example, ventilation. It scores a shelter in terms of a series of 9 design criteria, for example, privacy. Each design criteria is broken down into sub-issues for you to judge a shelter by. The separate design criteria scores are not than combined into an overall score for a shelter. This is because the criticality of any criteria will be context-dependent, however, it does allow a series of shelters to be compared issue by issue and for design or tender teams to see where a shelter is particularly strong or weak with respect to these issues. SAM can be used for the following tasks:
1. Education and overview of the issues. Shelter designers, particularly those relatively new to the topic, will hopefully find that by reading the list of "sub-issues" on each sheet they might become aware of things they might not have considered.
2. Shelter designers can score their design (if built-in one location), and hence see where it can be improved.
3. Thinking about where a solution is suitable, and where not. This might be to do with thermal comfort for example or cultural considerations.
4. Compiling a list of shelter requirements or a tender document. In this case, you might want to ignore some of the "sub-issues" or adjust them, or the scoring philosophy, to meet local conditions. For example, the maximum cost of a shelter you are willing to consider.
5. Assessing or comparing a group of shelters (in one location), or tenders.
6. Determining where the shelters in a camp need effort spent on them, or where the issues are, or what can be learnt from a SAM analysis of the pre-existing accommodation in a camp.