About Us


Defining a Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements Research Agenda Survey

The University of Colorado Boulder is surveying organizations working in the area of humanitarian shelter and settlements to identify pressing research needs. This survey seeks to identify key areas for future research and define a research agenda to guide NGOs, governments, and academic institutions. The results are expected to create a platform that can prioritize research to better address current knowledge gaps in the sector.

As a representative of an organization that works in humanitarian shelter and settlements, we would like to invite you to participate in this research via an short online survey. We anticipate that the survey will take approximately 10 minutes. Your participation in this research is voluntary, and your responses will be completely confidential. The survey will be open until December 1.

Please visit the following link to complete the survey online: Defining a Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements Research Agenda Survey

If you have any questions about the survey or wish to contact the research team, please email Dr. Aaron Opdyke at aaron.opdyke@colorado.edu, Casie Venable at casie.venable@colorado.edu, Shaye Palagi at shaye.palagi@colorado.edu, or Dr. Amy Javernick-Will at amy.javernick@colorado.edu.

You may sign up to receive a copy of the results via email at the end of the survey.

Global Projects & Organizations Research Group

University of Colorado Boulder

Draft 2 of the Sphere Handbook now ready for review and feedback

The first phase of the revision process was the most inclusive in Sphere’s history. Sphere and its partners analyzed 2,500 comments as well as input received from 1,200 participants in consultation events across 40 countries. Over the summer, we worked with authors to review and integrate the rich feedback and recommendations into the first draft.

Thanks to this global effort, a new draft of the Sphere Handbook 2018 – for the first time in its entirety – is now available for you to download and review.
We look forward to your help to refine the text: download the draft and submit your comments by using one of the three means available below. Help us shape the future Sphere standards now!

A webinar on Disaster Reduction (IDDR) 

A free webinar in support of UNISDR’s International Day of Disaster Reduction (IDDR) will be conducted on Friday 13th October. It will focus on shelter solutions which promote disaster resilience and will provide an overview of the humanitarian demonstration shelter build by CRS now at BRE’s Innovation Park and say a little about QSAND and how this tool can support disaster resilience. More information is available at: http://www.qsand.org/2017/09/28/iddr-2017/

State of the Humanitarian System report

ALNAP needs your help for the 2018 edition of the State of the Humanitarian System report, there are two ways in which you can help:

  1. Complete the survey ONLY if you have been directly involved in a specific operational humanitarian response since 2015. French, Spanish and Arabic versions also available.
  2. Disseminate the survey within your networks. This could include circulating it through communities of practice, listservs and/or mentioning it in your website, newsletter or via social media (#SOHS2018).


People in Need (PIN) just finalized www.indikit.net, an on-line M&E guide on the effective use of hundreds of indicators across different sectors, including shelter, food security, WASH, education, DRR, and many other. With two or three clicks, you can access useful, step-by-step guidance prepared based on actual field experience. Its content is in line with the existing standards and was reviewed by a range of INGO, UN, academic and freelance experts. Similarly to Wikipedia, any relief and development practitioner can propose new content and improve the existing guidance. Please share this new M&E tool with your colleagues and promote it on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. 


Profile Shelter Cluster Coordinator - UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Closing date: 31 Dec 2017

Coordinator of the Housing, Land and Property Area of Responsibility - NRC. Closing date: 14 Dec 2017


Forced Migration Review issue 55 with a major feature on ‘Shelter in displacement’ 

All displaced people need some form of shelter. Whatever the type of shelter which is found, provided or built, it needs to answer multiple needs: protection from the elements, physical security, safety, comfort, emotional security, some mitigation of risk and unease, and even, as time passes, some semblance of home and community. This latest issue of FMR looks at the complexity of approaches to shelter both as a physical object in a physical location and as a response to essential human needs.

It also contains a selection of ‘general’ articles on other forced migration topics.

Read the full issue or individual articles online at www.fmreview.org/shelter (audio/podcast versions also available via this link) or email fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk to request print copies for your organisation, or for onward distribution or for use in training. (If requesting print copies, please remember to send us your full postal address.)

This issue will be available in English, Arabic, French and Spanish.

Thanks to the following for their financial support for this issue: Better Shelter, Happold Foundation, Hunter and Stephanie Hunt, Norwegian Refugee Council, Open Society Foundations, Suricatta Systems, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, UN-Habitat and UNHCR (DPSM).

Shelter Projects 2015-2016

Spanning humanitarian responses from all over the world, Shelter Projects 2015-2016 is the sixth in a series of compilations of shelter case studies, overviews of emergencies and opinion pieces. The projects represent responses to conflict, natural disasters and complex or multiple crises, demonstrating some of the implementation and response options available. The book is intended to support learning by highlighting the strengths, weaknesses and some of the lessons that can be learned from different projects, which try to maximize emergency funds to safeguard the health, security and dignity of affected people, whilst – wherever possible – supporting longer-term shelter needs and sustainable recovery. The target audience is humanitarian managers and shelter programme staff from local, national and international organizations at all levels of experience. Shelter Projects is also a useful resource for advocacy purposes, showcasing the work done by the sector, as well as for research and capacity-building activities.