Shelter Meeting

Details of the last Shelter Meeting may be found here.

Details of previous Shelter Meeting may be found using the list of Meetings on the left

Shelters Meetings are suspended until further notice

The Shelter Meeting supported technical discussions worldwide over good practice and prioritisation, involving donors, United Nations bodies, International Organisations, the Red Cross Movement, NGOs, independent humanitarian shelter specialists and academic and research institutions, as well as five IASC clusters: CCCM, Early Recovery, Global Shelter, Protection and WASH. The mature community of practice met twice a year in Geneva and online. National and regional participation was supported through live videoconferencing and posting presentations on the Shelter Meeting webpages, with presentations from each event viewed tens of thousands of times, constituting an on-going resource of the state-of-the-art within the sector.

Since DFID funding ended in 2011, opportunities for sustainability were explored at every Meeting and, as a result, a series of further meetings were held ad hoc, supported by donors and partners. A series of funding applications were submitted to all of the major donors, however no sustainable solution has yet been identified. The Meeting is valued by partners and there is broader interest in expanding its scope to support technical discussions across all sectors and clusters, including holding events at national and regional levels.

The Shelter Meeting will be maintained with its current ethos, scope and format once a more sustainable solution is found.

The Shelter Meeting


The Shelter Meeting is a biannual conference for the humanitarian shelter sector, with participation from governments, donors, IASC clusters, UN bodies, IOs, the Red Cross Movement, NGOs, independent humanitarian shelter specialists and academic research bodies.

Participants use the Shelter Meeting as a community of practice, in order to:

  • engage and support all stakeholders in the global shelter sector
  •  link all coordination supporting the shelter sector, including IASC clusters
  • engage, link and support other events and initiatives in the shelter sector
  • engage, link and support the events and initiatives of other humanitarian sectors and cross-cutting issues
  • support consensus on policy, standards, specifications & operating procedures
  • share programmatic and technical good practice on on-going field operations
  • share information on project activities valuable for the global shelter sector
  • agree and prioritise further project activities valuable for the global shelter sector
  • form external working groups to support project activities
  • review project activities


Participation is encouraged from around the world using live interactive videoconferencing. Those unable to attend in person or online are encouraged to view participants’ presentations through this website, which captures the state-of-the-art of the sector.

Eligible to attend the Shelter Meeting are the humanitarian departments of governments, donors, IASC clusters, UN bodies, IOs, the Red Cross Movement, NGOs, independent humanitarian shelter specialists, as well as academic and non-profit research bodies.

Shelter Meeting participants have voted that ineligible to attend currently are all profit making organisations, including the commercial private sector. Proactive efforts have been made to engage the private sector, such as through the Shelter Partners Forum, and Shelter Centre is open to receiving expressions of interest for further supporting linkages between the humanitarian and private sectors through independent fora.

Although presenters normally allow their presentations to be summarised and uploaded to the Shelter Meeting webpages, the Shelter Meetings are held generally under the Chatham House Rule:

 “When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.”

Presentations and summary notes are posted on this website for public use, with the permission of the presenters.

Hosting and themes

Hosting organisations and themes are agreed for each Meeting, enabling host organisations to highlight their own priorities for the sector, both internal to their organisation and to their colleagues within the sector. Past hosts have included CARE International, Habitat for Humanity International, the IASC Global Shelter Cluster, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Médecins Sans Frontières Belgium (MSF), Norwegian Refugee council (NRC), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation / Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SDC/SHA), Swiss Solidarity, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Development Programme / Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (UNDP/BCPR), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN/OCHA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Agency for International Development / Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

Past themes have included Agreeing a Recovery Plan, Inter-sector Priorities, Knowledge Management, Natural Disaster Preparedness, Private Sector Engagement & Haiti, Shelter & Settlement Reconstruction and Recovery from Day 1, Shelter After Disaster, Transitional Settlement: Displaced Populations.


The Shelter Meeting developed into a global sector forum from peer review meetings for the publication Transitional Settlement: Displaced Populations, managed by the University of Cambridge shelterproject. The first Shelter Meeting was held in 2004, hosted by UNDP. Today, the Shelter Meeting is facilitated by Shelter Centre.


Previous Shelter Meeting participants have included the following.

Government representatives

Government of Maharashtra, India

Humanitarian bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors

Department For International Development Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department Operations Team (DFID CHAD-OT)
European Commission Humanitarian aid Office (ECHO)
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
United States Agency for International Development/ Office of the United States Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID OFDA)
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation/Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SDC/HA)

World Bank

IASC Clusters


Early Recovery


Emergency Shelter and NFI



United Nations bodies

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR)
United Nations Joint Logistics Center (UNJLC)
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN/OCHA)

International organisations

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
American Red Cross

British Red Cross

Australian Red Cross

French Red Cross

Netherlands Red Cross

Norwegian Red Cross

Spanish Red Cross

Non-governmental organizations


AMURT International

Architects for Aid
Architecture Sans Frontieres (ASF)

Architecture & Developpement
Caritas Switzerland

Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD)
CARE International
Catholic Relief Services(CRS)
Centre On Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)

Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF)
Engineers Without Borders (EWB)

Groupe Urgence Rehabiliation Developement
Habitat for Humanity International

Islamic Relief
Medecins Sans Frontieres, Belgium (MSF-B)
Medecins Sans Frontieres, Netherlands (MSF-H)
Medecins Sans Frontieres, Switzerland (MSF-CH)
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-International)
Muslim Aid
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Oxfam GB
Practical Action
ProVention Consortium
Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief (RedR)

Save The Children Fund (SCF)
Shelter for Life (SFL)

SOS Altitude
The Sphere Project

The Border Consortium

The ProAct Network
Swiss Solidarity
Urbanistes sans Frontieres
World Shelters

World Vision


Academic iInstitutions and non-profit research bodies UPDATE

Benfield Hazard Research Centre, UCL

Eindhoven University of Technology

IFRC Shelter Research Unit

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Technische Universität Berlin

University College London

Université de Genève

University of Cambridge