Call for papers – Shelter in displacement | Forced Migration Review

Due out June 2017

Deadline for submission of articles: Monday 13th February 2017

Displaced people all need some form of shelter – whether emergency, temporary or more permanent, and whether self-settled or in planned settings, whether in rural or urban contexts. The form of shelter and settlement that people find or are provided with profoundly affects their experience of displacement. Shelter and settlement should first support survival and safety. However, support for return or reconstruction options is important for credible longer-term solutions.

According to the Sphere Handbook, “Beyond survival, shelter is necessary to provide security and personal safety, protection from the climate and enhanced resistance to ill health and disease. It is also important for human dignity and to sustain family and community life as far as possible in difficult circumstances.” Achieving this has posed a challenge to the assistance sector for decades, with responses continuing to change and develop. In terms of assistance, shelter is not only about architectural or technical design but also matters of community planning and with a focus with significant links to other sectors.

This issue of FMR will cover the variety of shelter and settlement responses found, employed and created by, and created for, displaced people. It will look at the possibilities and limitations of community planning and design in responses to displacement and at examples of good practice, in order to improve understanding of and practice in offering shelter and settlement support for people displaced into whatever circumstances.

This issue of FMR will provide a forum for practitioners, advocates, policymakers and researchers to share experience, debate perspectives and offer recommendations. In particular, the FMR Editors are looking for practice-oriented submissions, reflecting a diverse range of experience and opinions, which address questions such as the following:

  • How do displaced people experience the various forms of shelter and settlement that they may find, use or are offered through programme interventions? How can the social and political dynamics best be managed in urban areas and camps?
  • How do displaced people inhabit, transform and adapt to the shelter and settlement they are in?
  • How can or does shelter conform to people’s notions of home and belonging?
  • Are there any general points that can be made about intrinsic variables such as culture, climate and duration of displacement?
  • How has support to shelter and settlement developed over time?
  • What is the role for architecture and design in the provision of emergency shelter?
  • Can the provision of shelter after natural disasters teach us lessons for the provision of shelter after conflict?
  • How are emergency shelter and settlement for displaced people designed and conceived? How do design considerations relate to the social and cultural reality of the planned inhabitants?
  • What is the significance of the (often brief) intervention by international capacities? How do people manage their shelter in the various phases of displacement, including return or recovery, without external or international intervention?
  • What roles can or do people take in making their own shelter, even when support or materials are offered?
  • How can external actors assist displaced people to adapt or improve the shelter that people find or make for themselves?
  • Are the needs of women, men, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, specific social groups and livestock incorporated into shelter design and provision?
  • By supporting safer reconstruction and recovery is it possible to reduce communities’ vulnerability?
  • What are the contributions and implications of the growing involvement of the private sector in the provision of shelter in displacement?
  • Are there limitations to the ways or degrees that displaced people can be consulted over the shelter and settlement they live in?
  • What are the impacts upon host populations and how are they supported?
  • How can the shelter sector best integrate or coordinate with other related sectors, such as WASH, camp management and protection?
  • What are the political and legal constraints on shelter and settlement for displaced people and what are the implications for the well-being of displaced people?
  • What has been the contribution of the various shelter and settlement standards and guidelines drawn up in recent decades?
  • How do displaced people, their hosts, aid providers and designers evaluate shelters? Are the parameters the same?


While we are looking for examples of good, replicable practice and experience as well as sound analysis of the issues at stake, we also urge writers to discuss failures and difficulties: what does/did not work so well, and why.

We are particularly keen to reflect the experiences and knowledge of communities and individuals directly affected by these questions. And authors are reminded that FMR seeks to include articles with a gendered approach or a gender analysis as part of them.

Maximum length: 2,500 words.

Please note that space is always at a premium in FMR and that published articles are usually shorter than this maximum length. Your article, if accepted for publication, may well be shortened but you will of course be consulted about any editing changes.

Deadline for submission of articles: 13th February 2017

If you are interested in contributing, please email the Editors at to discuss your ideas for an article. If you have suggestions of colleagues or community representatives who may wish to contribute, please do email us; we are happy to work with individuals to help them develop an article and very keen to have displaced people’s perspectives reflected in the magazine.

If you are planning to write, please take note of our guidelines for authors at

Source : Shelter in displacement | Forced Migration Review

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