Building back better after disasters leads to more resilient, capable communities

Practical Action encourages humanitarian agencies to embrace the goal of “building back better”. This means much more than just leaving people with stronger physical structures. It means helping families, communities, social networks and local markets emerge from crises more capable to cope and adapt to future threats.

To achieve this resilience people affected by disaster need as large a role as practicable in the decision-making and management of humanitarian resources. The processes of reconstruction planning and implementation often matter just as much as their outcomes. Putting crisis-survivors at the centre of these processes empowers them, strengthens their capabilities and confidence.

Early attention to recovery and reconstruction is also important. Decisions taken during the ‘emergency relief’ phase of disasters, can have a major impact later on the prospects for sustainable recovery of people’s livelihoods and communities.

Principles of 'building back better'

We aim for more resilient, capable communities in the aftermath of disasters. To encourage this, we promote seven principles that underpin our recovery and reconstruction work.

Explore the values that inform Practical Action’s approach

'Building back better' in practice

In the aftermath of disasters, Practical Action aims to encourage the emergence of more resilient, capable communities and households.  We have built up a body of experience and practical tools for post-disaster programming, that are relevant to different themes.

Find out more about Practical Action’s recovery and reconstruction work

Practical tools for 'building back better'

Our technical information service offers free downloads on a range of topics related to reconstruction.

We also have a technical enquiry service where anyone working in poverty reduction, or on small-scale technology projects, can ask a question and receive a response from our local experts free of charge

Download tools and other resources for people-centred reconstruction

Related content

Lorem ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse ultrices libero sit amet nunc posuere fringilla. Praesent semper mattis sem, ut lacinia velit volutpat gravida.

Lorem ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse ultrices libero sit amet nunc posuere fringilla. Praesent semper mattis sem, ut lacinia velit volutpat gravida.

Lorem ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse ultrices libero sit amet nunc posuere fringilla. Praesent semper mattis sem, ut lacinia velit volutpat gravida.

Practical Answers

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse ultrices libero sit amet nunc posuere fringilla. Praesent semper mattis sem, ut lacinia velit volutpat gravida.

Blogs - disaster risk reduction

Loss and Damage, why it’s vital to get it right.

At the COP21 Paris climate talks the issue of Loss and Damage was firmly cemented in the global agreement under Article 8[1]. This agreement sets the agenda for climate action and the inclusion of a separate article on loss and damage recognises that for many people climate change is already a re...
Read more

Nepal earthquake - the children's hope

I have just returned from Nepal. It's a country I have visited many times before. I first travelled there in my early twenties, an experience that shaped my future. The people I met touched my heart, they were kind, proud, hard working people. After that trip I decided I wanted to work in interna...
Read more

Seeing the impact of innovations in Bangladesh

I’m back from a visit to Bangladesh with new trustee, Helena Wayth to see Practical Action’s work first hand.  What a lot of innovative work we saw! First we headed northwest to Rangpur to see the amazing sandbar cropping, a smart, successful and sustainable technique which Practical Action pi...
Read more

A flood warning system to reduce economic loss in disasters

Md. A. Halim Miah [1]and Mohammad Kamrul Islam Bhuiyan[2] Weather Forecasting Display Board:  This Weather Forecasting Display Board (WFDB) is both attractive and useful to the local community, especially to those who are vulnerable to flooding and other climatic disruptions. The results...
Read more

Weather information board enhancing community resilience

This is a story of a youth Assistant Badghar Ashish Kumar Chaudhary (Badghar is an elected leader in Tharu community) from Tighara, Rajapur. He explains how the Zurich Foundation funded Nepal Flood Resilience Project (NFRP) weather board is helping his family and the villagers to take farming dec...
Read more

no comments