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Mind the gap: state of the art on decision-making related to post-disaster housing assistance

Pezzica, Camilla ORCID:, Cutini, Valerio and Bleil de Souza, Clarice ORCID: 2021. Mind the gap: state of the art on decision-making related to post-disaster housing assistance. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 53 , 101975. 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101975

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A growing awareness of the long-term impact of disaster relief plans is shifting the focus of post-disaster housing studies towards integrated recovery and development. These would benefit from knowledge about decision-making challenges and dichotomies which determine the success or failure of housing assistance programs, and of methods and tools that can support their holistic resolution. To establish common grounds in this area, this paper systematically reviewed the literature on temporary housing built after sudden natural hazards, from a decision-making perspective, using reflexive thematic analysis methods. This enabled the identification of critical decision-making components (i.e. open challenges, trade-offs, dilemmas and contradictions) and necessary synergies at three levels: the operational, the managerial and the strategic. Results highlight the value of a meta-analysis of the literature to identify decision-making gaps and opportunities for knowledge integration across domains, besides the need of a constructive decision-making alignment at all decision-making levels to enable holistic recovery planning. Additionally, they show the importance of an in-depth examination of decision-making dichotomies for developing novel methods and tools, which respond to contextual needs and local dynamics. Being one of a few studies in a rather underexplored area of research, the primary aim of this review is to offer a broad and structured overview of decision-making issues documented in the literature to date, which connects both theory and practice. The results could be operationalised in future research aimed at supporting Build Back Better efforts towards a truly human-centred housing assistance culture, by investigating the connected decision-making dynamics in specific contexts.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2212-4209
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 16 November 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 03:16

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