Haiti 2010: Transitional Schools as a Vehicle for Disaster Risk Reduction, Safer Construction and Capacity Building

Kate Cheyne

(De Montfort University)

Schools are an exemplary building typology for growth of community knowledge and inter-generational learning and understanding around Disaster Risk Reduction. This presentation reflects back to 2010 and working on transitional schools for Save the Children, USA post earthquake in Haiti. Kate worked with Development Workshop (DWF) a specialist NGO brought in by ‘Save’ as consultants to harness over 30 years of experience in providing training and technical assistance to enable local people to deal with environmental challenges and natural disasters. The founders, having trained as architects, use buildings and construction techniques as the vehicle to capacity build and improve lives and livelihoods. Through ‘building back better’ programmes, school reconstruction is the opportunity to grow the right skills to ensure sustainable solutions in response to climate change. It is also the ideal place to build on, and further develop local knowledge of safer construction techniques. The work in Haiti highlights the problems embedded within large scale, Global NGO responses to disasters, but also the small wins, and capability to make large scale change with meaningful impact.