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Developing Alternative Temporary Shelter (ATS) Solutions As Interim Coping Mechanism for the Displaced among Urban Poor Communities

Each year, floods force thousands of urban poor families living in informal settlements along the Tullahan River into the role of internally displaced persons (IDPs) evacuating in covered courts, community halls, churches, and schools. Oftentimes, these places lack the space and facilities needed by the evacuees, which leads to significant health, privacy, and safety issues. To help communities and local government units address these issues, contingency plans and emergency evacuation centers of twelve partner communities in Malabon, Valenzuela, and Quezon City were assessed along with local capacities through a combination of scientific and participatory approaches including focus group discussions, interviews, community surveys, and ocular inspections. The study yielded the need to develop context-appropriate alternative temporary shelter (ATS) models to address the massive supply-demand gap. Collaboration between stakeholders from public-private-people sectors facilitated the development of home-grown ATS solutions to meet these needs. This paper focuses on the process by which the "ATS menu of options" was conceptualized and developed by combining local technical expertise with community-based knowledge and capacities in a bid to uphold human dignity during disasters. It also points toward strategies that will significantly improve evacuation shelter planning in urban areas where there is a scarcity of space. Keywords: disaster response; evacuation; temporary shelter; community-based disaster management, participatory design, and development This work is part of the Moving Urban Poor Communities towards Resilience (MOVE-UP) Project, a European Commission - Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)-funded project being implemented by Action Against Hunger (ACF) together with CARE Philippines, local partner Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development (ACCORD Inc.) and Plan International with technical assistance from the United Architects of the Philippines- Emergency Architects.


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