What we are trying to do (working draft)
The problem we are trying to solve:
  • Lack of a common, generic, simple and rigorous shelter vulnerability classification hampers strategic decision-making.
(From our proposal): “There is currently no agreed upon protocol within the shelter sector, to classify the nature and severity of vulnerability.r. As a result, it is difficult to compare vulnerability [and as a consequence, the need for support] between different situations, the quality of analysis varies from country to country and even though needs assessments are often undertaken, it is not always clear on what information strategic decisions are ultimately based. 
This lack of clarity is problematic because such a classification does not only inform strategic decisions such as response options, it could also determine the source and scale of funding, the type of planning process and the roles of different stakeholders. This means that its absence can lead to [and likely has lead to] misallocations  of scarce resources, and in the worst case scenario, even loss of lives.”

How are we trying to solve this:
  • By developing and operationalising a common shelter vulnerability classification – this includes:

  1. An overarching theoretical/conceptual framework - identifying:
  • Main factors that create and influence shelter vulnerability
  • The assumed (causal) relationships between the main factors i.e. how are they linked (essentially a Theory of Change, see IPC Analytical Framework for example from another sector) → which will help determine where interventions are most needed /can have the highest impact.
How: through a review of key existing frameworks and development of a draft framework – this is ongoing.     

  1. A toolbox for implementation of the theoretical / conceptual framework - including:
  • Recommended indicators that can measure each of the main factors
  • Existing datasets that contain variables that can be used to measure recommended indicators
  • Question bank of questionnaire questions that are tailored to measure the recommended indicators - i.e. providing recommended questionnaire questions for each indicator, as a starting point for further contextualisation depending on the context.
  • Recommended methodologies for implementation of questions (how to best implement primary data collection)
How: through a review of existing indicators, questions and methodologies from shelter cluster assessment, monitoring and evaluation exercises, to identify strong best practice examples that can be used outright or be tweaked to fit purpose. Design of new indicators / questions only where unavoidable/not already existing (unlikely).

  1. Data analysis plan that outlines how to populate the theoretical / conceptual framework with the indicators i.e. how to go from data to findings.
How: through operationalisation of framework and indicators / questions /methodologies, for an example of similar operationalisation exercises see REACH MSNA data analysis plan guidance developed for 2018 MSNAs.

Key definitions
  • Shelter vulnerability: “…..classification of shelter and settlement related aspects that compromise the safety as well as resilience of the inhabitants, thus creating or adding to their vulnerability towards hazards.”  (e.g. structurally weak or unsafe buildings, settlements in flood prone areas, insecure land tenure arrangements etc)