In the latest HCRI Policy Brief, Azadeh Sobout makes recommendations for international agencies on the integration of art in post-disaster urban reconstruction.

Download the four page Policy Brief or check out a short summary and recommendations below.

Azadeh Sobout is a former Research Associate in Department of Politics, University of Manchester. Visit the HCRI website for the full Policy Brief series.

Brief summary

The value of involving the arts in reconstruction programmes is currently overlooked by humanitarian organisations and funding agencies. This policy brief makes a case for artistic interventions as a critical aspect of integrating and articulating community needs within the process of (post-)disaster reconstruction.

The evidence is drawn from research in post-blast Lebanon and suggests that many artists have developed an extensive array of techniques and practices that foster community building, social and physical reconstruction.

Building on the Post-Disaster Needs Assessments and the Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery framework, aligning reconstruction plans with principles of Build Back Better and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this document offers practical guidance for engaging artists in designing creative approaches to post-disaster reconstruction.

It proposes an Arts-led Reconstruction Framework to advance the inclusion of artists in reconstruction programmes with suggestions on how to integrate artistic interventions into the reconstruction process.


  • Recommends the development of a comprehensive framework that reconnects people, places, and policies through artistic and creative practices in the post-disaster context.
  • Calls for humanitarian organisations and donors to engage with artists and creative practitioners in shaping and co-designing reconstruction programmes;
  • Recommends the creation of art and cultural funding programmes hosted by relevant international donors such as the UN and EU to work towards post-disaster reconstruction objectives in more context-specific ways.
  • Suggests that post-disaster reconstruction programmes should offer immediate and rapid aid to the affected artistic communities and space.

Download the Policy Brief

Download the four page Policy Brief on ‘The Arts as a Medium of Reconstruction in Beirut’