An examination of decision making in post disaster housing reconstruction

Carolyn S. Hayles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the key challenges facing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during decision making in post disaster housing reconstruction. Design/methodology/approach: An extensive literature review was undertaken to establish the key challenges facing disaster management practitioners. Following this review, practitioners from leading NGOs were asked to discuss their experiences of post disaster housing reconstruction including the issues of hazard risk and appropriate mitigation including increasing vulnerability due to climate change, end-users and stakeholder consultation in planning and design, technological solutions, and constructing the build; as these were identified in the literature as the principal challenges being faced by practitioners in the pursuit of sustainable construction. Findings: The research results presented in this paper provide clear insights into the decision-making practices of these NGOs and establish where improvements need to be made. The results also establish that knowledge management activities need to be more focused to ensure that lessons learnt previously are implemented elsewhere; critical in hazard mitigation and meeting the challenges of increased vulnerability due to climate change. Research limitations/implications: The paper includes recommendations for improved knowledge transfer and dissemination of "lessons learnt" in order to capture knowledge gained on projects. Future research will build on this through a detailed examination of the project management process applied to recently completed case studies. Key intervention points in the life cycle of projects will be identified and anticipated knowledge requirements for each stage mapped. Originality/value: Interviews with practitioners reporting first hand on the challenges they face in the field. Useful for those supporting practitioners through research and development as well as donor organisations as it has been revealed that a lot of issues arise as a result of the way projects are funded.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-122
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010


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