Case 4: Using Check Consultants to control the Quality of Reconstruction
The Joseph N. France Hospital is the main health facility of St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean. When
Hurricane Georges struck the islands in 1998, this was the tenth time the hospital was seriously damaged
since it opened in 1966. After each hurricane the hospital was rebuilt or repaired, only to be damaged
again by the next one. Following Hurricane Georges it was proposed to rebuild the paediatric ward entirely
to act as a model for later redevelopment of other departments. It was recognised that the hospital had
originally been built according to national building codes, but the monitoring of the quality of construction
work might have been deficient. For the reconstruction, it was proposed to engage independent check
consultants to maintain the quality of construction. The check consultants functions include reviewing
building designs, auditing contractors and builders undertaking the work, and carrying out regular site
visits to provide supervision and advice. Of note is that on the neighbouring island of Saint Martin, under
joint French and Dutch administration, the area under French control usually experienced less extensive
damage in hurricanes than the Dutch area. This was attributed to a greater use of check consultants to
monitor construction on the French side. Check consultants were subsequently also used in the rebuilding
of a home for the elders in Grenada following Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
See: UNISDR and WHO (2008) in the Practical Resources section.
Case 5: Guidelines and Checklists for Reconstruction
Where official standards for particular types of construction do not exist or apply, or are too complicated
for artisans or self-builders to understand, organisations such as NGOs with adequate technical skills in
construction can produce simplified guidelines and checklists for builders and building materials producers
to improve quality. Following the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, Practical Action produced a set of guidelines
as well as checklists to assist masons, carpenters and users of concrete to produce adequate quality work,
as well as maintenance checklists for households. The process guidelines cover testing, storage and use
of building materials and a description and illustration of construction details. They are presented in an
easy to follow point-by-point format that covers the essentials for the construction of a one or two-storey
reinforced concrete frame masonry house with a pitched roof.
See: Practical Action South Asia (2005) and (2006) in the Practical Resources section
The Toolkit on PCR has been developed through
institutional collaboration between Practical Action
and the International Federation of Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies. The collaborators
are particularly thankful to Otto Ruskulis, who
produced an early draft of this tool, and to Sophie
Ault, Vasant Pullenayegem and Aziza Usoof for their
contributions and comments.
Relevant resources on quality control in post-
disaster reconstruction tend to follow two themes:
• Discussion of why quality control is important,
factors that have contributed to poor quality
and disaster-prone construction in the past, and
what needs to be done to improve quality in
post-disaster reconstruction. These are referred
to as general resources.
• Specific details, instructions and guidelines on
how to rebuild safely following disaster. These
are called practical resources.
1. Benson, C and J. Twigg, with T. Rossetto (2007)
Tools for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction:
Guidance Notes for Development Organisations, IFRC/
ProVention Consortium, Geneva.
2. Parker, Jinx (1994) Building Codes: The failure of
public policyto institutionalize good practice. OAS
Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CDMP), also
published in Environmental and Urban Issues, Vol.
XXI, No. 4, Summer 1994.
3. Schilderman, T. (2004) Adapting Traditional
Shelter for Disaster Mitigation and Reconstruction:
experiences with community-based approaches, in
Building Research & Information 32 (5), pp. 414-