The state of multi-purpose cyclone shelters in Bangladesh

Document Type


Publication details

Mahmood, MN, Dhakal, SP & Keast, RL 2014, 'The state of multi-purpose cyclone shelters in Bangladesh', Facilities, vol. 32, no. 9/10, pp. 522-532.

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Peer Reviewed




– The purpose of this paper is to explore the state of management practices of existing multi-purpose cyclone shelters (MPCS) facilities across the 16 coastal districts in the country, in the context of an identified need for 5,500 new MPCS facilities in Bangladesh.


– A “multi-capitals” framework – a conceptual model for appraising the state of MPCS facilities based on seven forms of capital resources – is adopted.


– MPCS facilities are not equitably distributed across the 16 coastal districts to cater to the needs of the highly vulnerable population. Nearly 9 per cent of the existing shelters are unusable in the event of cyclones. Once built, MPCS facilities have no maintenance funding and only around 19 per cent of shelters have a governance mechanism that enables community participation. A strong correlation (r = 0.65) was detected between the availability of maintenance funds and provision for community participation.

Research limitations/implications

– The potential of a multi-capitals framework to assess the management practices of existing MPCS facilities in a holistic way was limited by the secondary nature of data on the four forms of capital: built, cultural, financial and political. The significance of the other three forms of capital: human, natural and social and their implications in the context of MPCS facilities are discussed.

Practical implications

– If the existing and new MPCS facilities are to become a vital component of disaster management strategies, MPCS governance mechanisms are likely to be enhanced by embracing the principles of community-based facilities management.


– The paper introduces the utility of a multi-capitals framework to assess the existing management issues surrounding MPCS facilities and offers potential solutions in the context of developing countries. The value of the framework is in understanding the utility of an MPCS as more than just a facility.

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