Shelters/Climate Resilient Housing

JO-CREWSnet is working wtih BRAC to develop an evidence-based approach to providing shelter from tropical cyclones and extreme heat events in southwest Bangladesh. 

Problem Statement

In the future, extreme heat and severe storms will threaten lives and livelihoods for tens of millions of people in southwest Bangladesh. The nature and severity of effects will vary across demographics and geographies. There is need for a system of shelters investment in structures that enable future generations to be resilient to future hazards.

Over the last few decades, the Government of Bangladesh and NGOs have built shelters intended for use during cyclones. Several concerns have been raised:

  • Social barriers to use include distance from home, gender sensitivity, separation of families within shelters, and accessibility.
  • People do not want to abandon assets during storms, including livestock and agricultural commodities.
  • For multi-purpose shelters (e.g. houses of worship cum shelter) gender equality and loss of primary function are concerns.
  • Maintenance and financing need to be sustainable.
  • We anticipate that there are not currently enough shelters to meet future needs.
  • We anticipate that many existing shelters are inadequate to meet future needs.


Ensure access to adequate structures, according to community needs and preferences, in order to protect lives and livelihoods against future extreme climate conditions.


Our approach is to iteratively design, analyze, evaluate, and advocate for a system of nature-sensitive, adequate, accessible, and sustainable shelters that leverages multiple “implementation models” to meet the needs and preferences of diverse communities.

  1. Propose initial concepts for viable “implementation models” (i.e. various approaches to climate resilient structures, such as house cum shelter, entrepreneurship, improved building codes) and their applicability across southwest Bangladesh
  2. Assess needs and gaps
  3. Systematically analyze approaches to meeting future needs via climate resilient structures in southwest Bangladesh
  4. Develop analysis-based proposals and recommendations
  5. Implement and evaluate pilot structures based on community engagement and analysis tools