Retrofitting “The Bridge to Nowhere”: Redefining Post-Disaster Sheltering Programs for the Developing World

Faculty Research Grant
Grant Year

As much as the 2010 Haiti Earthquake exposed the frailty and vulnerability of the Haitian housing sector and the local capacity supporting it, it also exposed the frailty and vulnerability of the widely adopted donor-driven post-disaster sheltering programs of major international nonprofits. This sadly revealed that there is no one universal model for post-disaster sheltering, but rather demonstrated that the scale of the disaster and the resilience of the community affected may warrant multi-phase programming that encompasses both initial phase transitory sheltering as well as a second phase of contextually-appropriate capacity building toward permanent solutions. This proposal seeks funding to convene an interdisciplinary working group on Notre Dame’s campus to allow students and faculty to explore a series of compelling questions surrounding this issue and develop appropriate recommendations, contextualized in the lessons learned in post-quake Haiti. The interdisciplinary working group will also participate in the Haitian Studies Association Conference held on campus in November.