An evaluation of shelter projects and policies for refugees and displaced persons within the Republic of Croatia
The subject of this thesis is the provision of shelter for refugees and displaced persons in a war-tom, developed nation with a cold climate. It aims to develop a set of working recommendations that can be utilised by implementing agencies in the field to provide improved shelter response. The reconunendations are not provided to be universally applicable or as a definitive document, but as a 'stepping stone' on the path towards improved shelter response in similar situations, such as the current crisis in the Caucasus countries. The rcconm1cndations are a practical application of the academic evaluation of shelter contained within this thesis. This research was carried out using literature reviews, periods of field study and constant peer review. It was driven by the following question: How can emergency shelter be provided in a way that supports the innate coping mechanisms of refugees from, and persons displaced by intrastate war in a developed nation, whilst addressing the social, political and economic constraints and concerns of the humanitarian community, the host community and the host government? This research question directed the evaluation and analysis of a complete range of shelter solutions in use in the Republic of Croatia. A framework of issues surrounding shelter provision in war was developed from the review of the literature covering firstly, humanitarian action in natural disasters and refugee situations and secondly, wars. The framework is divided into two central discourses which were identified from the literature: Vulnerability and capacity Integration The framework of issues was used to conduct a comprehensive and critical evaluation of a range of shelter types from camps to private accommodations within Croatia. Through evaluating the shelter in an holistic manner, from the perspectives of the user, the provider and the facilitator, enabling and disabling policies and practices were identified. Through the subsequent agglomeration of good practice and enabling interventions, a set of working recommendations have been developed that advocate the concept of shelter as a mechanism for supporting innate capacity and promoting long term recovery and development.