Exploring good practice knowledge transfer related to post-tsunami housing (re-)construction in Sri Lanka

Bingunath Ingirige, Richard Haigh, Chamindi Malalgoda, Roshani Palliyaguru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Sri Lanka was badly affected by the tsunami that occurred on 26 th December 2004. The tsunami destroyed about two-thirds of the Sri Lankan coastline and affected more than 1,000,000 people. It does not only affected the lives of the community, but also had a devastating effect on their housing and livelihoods. The overall loss of 100,000 or more houses due to the tsunami proved to be a major challenge to the emergency response teams and disaster planners. Although several major disasters of varying magnitudes have occurred in the world, the body of knowledge related to post-disaster housing reconstruction and rehabilitation appears fragmented and poorly integrated. This paper attempts to fill this theoretical gap by focusing on the extent to which good practice knowledge transfer helps in overcoming this problem for more effective and efficient delivery of post-tsunami housing in Sri Lanka. The paper applied knowledge transfer principles within the context of the two housing reconstruction strategies employed in post-tsunami housing reconstruction in Sri Lanka; namely donor-driven housing and owner driven housing. The results of this study reveal that the knowledge transfer within this context cannot be simply copied and inserted from one context without any localisation. Therefore, the paper proposes a high-level abstraction of the core principles of community engagement through participatory techniques associated with appropriate capacity and capability building techniques that will enable the various stakeholders to create a new application to suit the appropriate context of the transfer destination (post-tsunami context in Sri Lanka).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-42
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Construction in Developing Countries
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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