Dataset for "Analysing experiences and issues in self-built shelters in Bangladesh using transdisciplinary approach"

This dataset includes the data resulting from a household level assessment (HLA) survey of 1594 households in the Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, along with air temperature readings from 9 shelters within the camp over a period of 11 days. The team conducting the study included general humanitarian staff, agency engineering staff, building physicists and an anthropologist. The findings of this study have resulted in new shelter interventions by the aid sector that were rolled out in over 70,000 shelters.

Temporary shelters, refugee camps, indoor air quality, indoor temperature, Bangladesh

Cite this dataset as:
Klansek, T., Rota, F., Coley, D., Albadra, D., Paszkiewicz, N., Ball, R., 2020. Dataset for "Analysing experiences and issues in self-built shelters in Bangladesh using transdisciplinary approach". Bath: University of Bath Research Data Archive. Available from:


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Household survey.xlsx
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Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0

Surveys of 1594 households in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh on their current self built shelters and future improvements

application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet (91kB)
Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0

Temperature measurements of air temperature in nine shelters at 1.5m above floor level for eleven days from 28th September 2018, using I-button sensors that were placed approximately in the centre of the shelter


Tonja Klansek
International Organisation for Migration

Federico Rota
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

David Coley
University of Bath

Dima Albadra
University of Bath

Natalia Paszkiewicz
University of Bath

Richard Ball
University of Bath


University of Bath
Rights Holder

International Organisation for Migration
Rights Holder


Collection date(s):

From 2018 to 2019


Data collection method:

Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to assess the performance of the shelters and gather the refugees’ perspective, and to allow the transdisciplinary team to show its strengths. The study consisted of seven elements: (i) large-scale household level assessments (HLA), completed by general aid agency staff; (ii) semi-structured interviews (SSI) with 44 households, one family at a time, by an academic anthropologist; (iii) technical field visits to look at the structure of the shelters, by aid agency engineering staff; (iv) focus group discussions (FGD) with technical/field shelter staff, by general aid agency staff; (v) focus group discussions (FGD) with beneficiaries, by general aid agency staff; (vi) measurements of humidity, temperature and air quality in the shelters, by academic building physicists. The HLA was conducted to gather information on households’ perspectives of their shelter. It was conducted in 1,594 households across 26 camps between 23rd of July and 7th of August 2018. The questionnaire was formulated in English (see appendix B) and translated into Bangla then conducted in Chittagonian dialect. It consisted of the following sections: (i) Household information (8 questions and sub-questions when relevant); (ii) Current shelter and shelter materials (8 questions and sub-questions when relevant); (iii) Future shelter (4 questions and sub questions when relevant). In addition, during HLA participants were asked to identify the top three issues they face with their shelter. They could select between fifteen options as well as option ‘’other’’ that could then be further described in a sub question. The semi-structured interviews (SSI) were conducted by researchers from the University of Bath who visited the camps one year after the 2017 Rohingya exodus, and then returned to Cox’s Bazar in the summer of 2019. 44 refugee households were interviewed in 12 camps, namely: Camp 8 East; Shamlapur; Kutupalong Registered; Camp 20 Extension; Camp 7; Camp 4 Extension; Camp 4; Unchiprang; Camp 16; Camp 2; Camp 3; Camp 27. Each interview lasted for about an hour and followed a questionnaire structure exploring respondents’ satisfaction with various aspects of their shelters, such as structural safety, protection against elements, thermal comfort and others, alongside their priorities with regard to shelter design. This was supported by observation of adaptations made by inhabitants and followed by more in-depth questions examining notions of privacy and security (see Appendix C). The focus group discussions with technical/field shelter staff focused on the perceptions of the staff that were implementing the shelter interventions. The FGD with technical staff was aimed at discussing Upgrade Shelter Kit (USK) implementation and suggested improvements for future interventions. In total, three FGDs were held. All the attendees were local staff members. Each FGD consisted of 18 questions, see Appendix D. The focus group discussions with beneficiaries were aimed at providing more in depth understanding of the issues households face in regards to shelter and possible improvements. A total of 24 FGDs with beneficiaries were conducted 26th July and 6th of August 2018: female (6), male (10), extremely vulnerable females (5) and extremely vulnerable males (3) in groups ranging from 10 to 20 participants. In preparation of the FGDs, three pilot FGDs were conducted to ensure validity of questions asked. The FGD lasted approximately 1.5 hour each and consisted of 19 questions. Questions were prepared in English (see Appendix E) and translated to Bangla. Air temperature and relative humidity were monitored in nine shelters at 1.5m above floor level for eleven days from 28th September 2018, using I-button sensors that were placed approximately in the centre of the shelter. Air quality in the shelters was evaluated using a TSI DustTrak DRX Desktop Aerosol Monitor over a sampling period of 30 minutes to measure the level of Particulate Matter (PM). In addition, Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured through active sampling for a period of 30 minutes. Air from within the shelter interior was drawn through Tenax tubes using a calibrated sampling pump according to the Standard EN ISO 16000-6:2011. This effectively trapped VOCs with boiling points between 60 and 280°C on the Tenax adsorbent tubes which were later thermally desorbed and quantitatively analysed by gas chromatography. Major compounds were identified by mass spectrometry.

Data processing and preparation activities:

Households level assessments, focus groups and technical visits were conducted by Shelter/NFI Sector Cox’s Bazar, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and in collaboration with the following organisations: Action Contre la Faim (ACF), Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), CARE, Caritas Bangladesh, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Christian Aid, Danish Refugee Council, International Organization for Migration (IOM), PULSE/People in Need (PIN), RISDA, Save the Children, Solidarités, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Concern /Medair. Households surveys published in this dataset were anonymised and all personal information removed.


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Upgrade Shelter Kit (USK) and Tie Down Kit (TDK) contents lists; Household Level Assessment questionnaire, semi-structured interview questionnaire; focus group plans (technical staff and households).


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Healthy Housing for the Displaced

Publication details

Publication date: 8 October 2020
by: University of Bath

Version: 1


URL for this record:

Related papers and books

Klansek, T., Coley, D. A., Paszkiewicz, N., Albadra, D., Rota, F., and Ball, R. J., 2020. Analysing experiences and issues in self-built shelters in Bangladesh using transdisciplinary approach. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 36(2), 723-757. Available from:

Contact information

Please contact the Research Data Service in the first instance for all matters concerning this item.

Contact person: Natalia Paszkiewicz


Faculty of Engineering & Design
Architecture & Civil Engineering

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Social & Policy Sciences

Research Centres & Institutes
Centre for Energy and the Design of Environments (EDEn)