Global registry of voluntary commitments & multi-stakeholder partnerships
No Family Without Shelter
Description/achievement of initiative

To enable the provision of shelter and non-food items to 1 million people per year by 2015; who are affected by natural and manmade disasters. Our sturdy green ShelterBoxes contain a family-sized tent, solar lights, water storage and purification equipment, thermal blankets and cooking utensils that protects people from the elements and provides them a safe space to recover from physical and emotional trauma and helps them start the process of creating a home. Our ShelterKits contain materials such as ropes, fixings and heavy-duty tarpaulins that can be used to make emergency shelters and repair damaged buildings.

Implementation methodologies

ShelterBox has 16 years’ experience in the delivery of shelter and non-food items. In the last five years, we have responded to 132 emergencies, in 103 countries enabling more than 86,000 families to start the process of recovery. Our goal is to provide 1 million people every year with shelter by 2025. We achieve this through the delivery of ShelterBoxes, ShelterKits and SchoolBoxes, in partnership with national and local organisations, affected communities and volunteers. A ‘ShelterBox’ contains equipment for a family and can include: a disaster-relief tent; water storage and purification equipment; blankets; mosquito nets; and cooking equipment; a tool kit; and children's packs. Using the ShelterBox as the unit of delivery has often made it possible for us to reach very remote areas and through the provision of a complete kit prevented the need for multi-agency intervention and logistics duplication. We keep a range of items in stock and respond according to need. We also stock the IFRC/UNHCR compliant family tent which is more appropriate for use in long-term displacement situations, such as planned refugee and IDP camps, and the IFRC Shelter Kit. Reduced risk of exposure: ShelterBox shelter provides lifesaving protection from wind, rain, snow and sun. ShelterBox provision tents and blankets provides emergency protection from the elements even during winter. Reduced risk of infections: ShelterBox tents can provide a sanitized environment for high-priority patients recovering from amputations or injuries and mothers with new born babies. Overcrowding is a risk factor for communicable diseases. Our tents reduce overcrowding and the associated risks. Access to clean water: We send either water purification tablets or Thirst Aid Station, a tough water purification system that can supply a family of 4 with safe water for a month. It purifies and removes 99.9% of pathogens. We send 15 litre water carriers, and a ShelterBox can be used to store up to 185 litres of water. Reduced risk of vector-borne diseases: We send chemically-treated mosquito nets which provide protection from mosquitoes which can transmit malaria and dengue fever. Reduced stress and anxiety –The provision of shelter kits enable households to build a safe and durable shelter on their homesites, reducing stress and anxiety. Tools to improve living conditions: A ShelterBox toolkit contains an axe, a hoe head, pliers, rope, saw and a hammer. These tools have helped families to improve their immediate environment and helped them rebuild their houses.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

ShelterBox Response Team composed of local and international volunteers, and staff provides affected families with training on the use of the kits and tools we provide. Aim at helping them effectively use the supplied materials in improving their lives, even after the SRTs have left their communities. We do this on our own and in coordination with other humanitarian actors in field. We also provide support in needs assessments and beneficiary selection. In Ecuador in April 2016, ShelterBox worked with two partners, Habitat for Humanity and Fundacion Progad (a local NGO). ShelterBox staff provided training on needs assessments, shelter construction and distribution methodologies to Progad staff, who cascaded this to community leaders. Our evaluation showed that this built community capacity by providing them with a focussed response to the disaster. Following Hurricane Mathew which hit Haiti in 2016 ShelterBox partnered with local community based organisations engaged in development projects. Community leaders were trained in undertaking needs assessments, selecting beneficiaries, distributing and providing training on the use of the Shelter Kit and collecting beneficiary data. This empowered leaders to manage the response to the disaster, supporting the government’s edict of Haitians helping Haitians.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

ShelterBox has a collaborative approach to disaster relief, works partners around the world, and builds relationships with others to enhance the effectiveness of our response. Our strategic plan 2017-2019, outlines the importance of global partnerships through the creation and management of relevant and effective partnerships that support our strategic objectives. Our strategic plan targets include: recruitment of new affiliates, more rotary field engagement, and development of more key strategic partnerships. Local networks/partners: In Ecuador we worked with Fundacion Progad, in a project sponsored and supported by Habitat for Humanity. Staff and volunteers from ShelterBox defined the parameters by which beneficiaries were selected, and then in close collaboration with Fundacion Progad set about developing a training and distribution package that could be cascaded down to the community. Fundacion Progad connected with local action groups, whose representatives selected beneficiaries, organised and facilitated training, distributed aid and monitored the construction of shelters. Although guidance was provided by ShelterBox and Fundacion Progad, ultimately it was the affected community who owned and managed their own early. We have a close relationship with Rotary clubs worldwide and can contact Rotarians and their network of 35,000 clubs in 200 countries. ShelterBox has been the Rotary International’s only project partner in disaster relief since 2012. Since 2006 approximately 90% of our deployment have had Rotary support. In Thailand, the local Rotary network has provided our ShelterBox Response Teams with translators, domestic transport, and local contacts which have aided the speed of our response. Local/national governments: At ShelterBox we recognise that our role is to support local and national government’s response strategy. In almost every disaster location we engage with the local or national government. Following flooding in Colombia, we worked with the Colombian Government’s National Department for Disaster Prevention and Assistance (SNPAD). SNPAD provided information on the worst-affected areas, logistical support, and put our teams in contact with local mayors who assisted with the distributions. UN cluster system/inter-agency initiatives: Wherever possible we operate in the UN Cluster System with a focus on the Shelter Cluster, but with additional liaison with other cluster sectors for the maximum impact for beneficiaries. ShelterBox have committed staff to undergo the required training to support the Shelter Cluster as Cluster Coordinators, with staff seconding to IFRC to support the cluster during the response to flooding in Malawi in 2015, and to UNHCR in Iraq in response to conflict related displacement.


ShelterBox ShelterBox Affiliates in Canada, US, South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belux, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland Rotary International
Updates to initiatives
Goal 1
Goal 13
Goal 17
January 2025
Enabling the provision of shelter for 1 million people per year
Other, please specify
We plan to develop and manage partnerships that support our strategic objective
Staff / Technical expertise
We plan to increase ShelterBox's operational capacity to enable timely and effective delivery of aid to more people.

This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 January - 2025 January
ShelterBox ShelterBox Affiliates in Canada, US, South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belux, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland Rotary International
Contact information
Jose de la Cruz, Institutional Fundraiser,
United Nations