Recovery and reconstruction
After natural disasters, conflicts or other crisis, it is vital to start thinking as early as possible about processes of reconstruction and recovery. The best approaches help communities emerge more resilient to future disasters.
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.
'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.
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
Blogs - disaster risk reduction
Insights from a flood vulnerable community in Sirajganj
As interest in resilience gathers momentum on the international stage, the need to address the question what do we understand by resilience becomes more important. To explore this question I recently visited flood victims in Sirajganj, Ba...
The year has been marked by a number of unusual climate events. Not only was 2015 the hottest year on record, with 2016 appearing on track to exceed this, but the year has also been unusually wet. In the US state of Louisiana, 13 people died and large areas are still struggling to cope when...
“Sustainable…Participatory…Resilience”…I have to admit that I hate buzzwords - they get thrown about so much that they can often lose their real meaning and ability to do any good. That is why to me the work of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance is so important. The Alliance works not ...
Let me start by writing about the recent disaster in Nepal in Bhote Koshi River that originates from Tibet (China). A sudden flood on 5 July 2016 damaged roads and houses along the river. The pictures from the field show that multi-storey houses were build at the foot of the fragile hills which w...
8 schools, 90 girls, 15 volunteers from industry; loads of junk modelling material, water and a Practical Action STEM challenge …the perfect combination for a National Women in Engineering and the Build Environment Day event at Birmingham City University. #NWED2016
The girls had an engineerin...