Tri – University Symposium – ‘Conflict Studies’
Presentation entitled "Managing Housing Needs in Post Conflict Housing Reconstruction"
Post conflict reconstruction contributes to overcome the legacies of conflict through reconstructing the enabling conditions for a functioning peacetime society. Among the post conflict reconstruction interventions, post conflict housing reconstruction plays a vital role in establishing the development and peace in conflict affected countries.
Despite the importance, the success of post conflict housing reconstruction is hindered by a number of issues. Consequently these issues have led to dissatisfy the users and to remodel or abandon the post conflict housing. Furthermore, it has been revealed that the inconsideration of housing needs in post conflict housing reconstruction has directly or indirectly given rise for most of these issues. On the other hand, the countries emerging from conflicts have different characteristics that add a different dimension to post conflict housing reconstruction. Therefore it is worthwhile to understand how the housing needs can be effectively addressed in post conflict housing reconstruction.
Therefore, the main study, on which this paper is based on, aims to explore the management of housing needs in post conflict housing reconstruction. As Sri Lanka’s long lasted conflict came to an end in 2009, Sri Lanka provides a sound basis for this study. Therefore this study is centered in Sri Lanka.
As part of this main study, this paper focuses on exploring the challenges in managing housing needs. The study adopted grounded theory approach to collect and analyze the data. Thirty seven in-depth interviews were conducted with policy makers, practitioners, academics and housing beneficiaries in Sri Lanka. Data that was collected through in-depth interviews was verified through a documents review.
This presentation reveals that the management of housing needs in post conflict housing reconstruction is mainly challenged by the socio economic profile of conflict affected people, conflict sensitive issues, donors’ requirements, limited availability of finance, weakened government administration, extent of housing and infrastructure damage, attitudes of affected people, land related issues and shortage of labour and materials.
These findings are useful for policy makers to understand the challenges in managing housing needs in post conflict housing reconstruction and to develop strategies in response to these challenges.