In April and May 2015, Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake and series of aftershocks that destroyed or damaged in excess of 800,000 homes and affected over 6 million people (source: Shelter Projects Nepal Earthquake Overview). The severity of the earthquakes, the scale of the damage, and the approaching winter presented serious challenges to relief and recovery efforts. Immediately following the disaster, a major international response was mobilised. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) were among the organisations to respond, with in-country and international staff involved in recovery efforts in Gorkha District, one of the worst-affected areas.
To aid their response, amongst other tools CRS used QSAND to measure their performance on issues related to community-sensitive design (including inclusivity and accessibility), community ownership and sustainable management, material properties and specification, skills and capabilities, and construction approach. As Minar Thapa Magar, National Coordination Officer for CRS and HRRP-Nepal, explained: “CRS have a strong Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning system in place. QSAND contributed to this by helping to identify indicators to be adopted in the program framework which are periodically evaluated and monitored to improve program quality. The QSAND assessment process gave significant support to our self-reflection of sustainability issues to be addressed in every phase of the project.”
Due to the likely scale of QSAND application in the district and numbers of stakeholders involved (CRS staff, implementing partners, local and national government representatives, other NGOs etc) a partnership was formed between CRS and BRE to support the project. “The CRS Recovery and Resilience Programme in Gorkha has been designed from the beginning with emphasis on environmental and community factors relating to resilience and sustainability. Using QSAND has helped to identify and confirm the good work that has been done so far and has helped improved the planning, design and implementation the programme” Said Yetunde Abdul, QSAND Programme Manager.
The outputs of the QSAND application in the programme have been captured in a case study now available on the QSAND website to view here.
The work that CRS has undertaken in Gorkha has supported local communities to rebuild their lives, and we are proud that QSAND has proven useful and shown “real potential in supporting and in some cases enhancing the sustainability of our activities and benefits for the affected communities.” (Adeel Javaid, Shelter and Wash Programme Manager at CRS). We look forward to continuing our work with CRS, and hope that QSAND can benefit many other reconstruction programmes globally in the future.