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Extending Impact: Factors Influencing Households to Adopt Disaster-Resistant Practices in Post-disaster Settings


CRS has helped more than 165,000 families in disaster‑affected communities to reconstruct their homes using specific hazard-resistant practices over the past decade. This report outlines the findings of a study conducted by CRS to examine the use of these practices by individuals without program support.

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With the increase in the magnitude and frequency of disasters, coupled with diminishing funding available for post‑disaster reconstruction, it is very rare that 100 percent of disaster‑affected households will be offered housing reconstruction assistance. Humanitarian and development organizations must use targeting methods to make efficient use of the resources they have, channeling support to the most vulnerable, hoping that those with some resources will be able to recover and reconstruct with their own means. Unfortunately, many of those who do not benefit from disaster recovery assistance often build back in ways that render them more vulnerable to future disasters. Others, however, are motivated and able to “build back safer”. Before this study, CRS had limited knowledge of what differentiated these two groups.

CRS used the Designing for Behavior Change methodology to conduct a study on people’s perceptions of using CRS‑recommended hazard‑resistant construction practices in communities in five countries where CRS had implemented post‑disaster reconstruction projects in the last six years: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Madagascar.

The findings of this study present an uncommon perspective on what determines the choices people make during reconstruction and how more people might be encouraged to adopt hazard-resistant construction practices of their own accord. By sharing these findings and related recommendations, CRS aims to deepen understanding of what constrains, motivates and enables people to make such choices, and to inspire organizations working with communities at risk of disasters to explore new ways to approach resilience-building.


Key Terms & Abbreviations vi
Forward vii
Executive Summary viii
Introduction xii
How the Study Was Conducted 1
    Study Framework 1
    Data Collection 1
    The 12 Determinants of Behavior 2
    Participants 3
    Analysis Process 3
Program Information 5
Program Areas 6
    Bangladesh 6
    India 7
    Madagascar 8
    Pakistan 9
    Philippines 10
Structural Components of Hazard-Resistant Construction 11
Hazard-Resistant Construction Practices Recommended by CRS 12
Results 14
    Cues for Action 15
    Access 19
    Perceived Risk 24
    Perceived Positive Consequences 26
    Perceived Self-Efficacy 29
    Perceived Negative Consequences 32
    Perceived Severity 35
    Perceived Action Efficacy 38
    Culture 41
    Perceived Social Norms 44
    Perceived Divine Will 47
    Policy 49
    Universal Motivators 52
Conclusions and Recommendations 55

Publication details

Authors: Marilise Turnbull, Charlotte L. Sterrett, Seki Hirano, and Amy Hilleboe
Publisher: Catholic Relief Services (April 2015)
Case study: 72 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 8.27 x 11.69 inches

Posted on July 25, 2013

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