Optimizing workflow is a goal for lean construction implementation. Applying lean thinking on projects managed by the United Nations’ (UN) agencies is challenging due to limited resources, harsh living conditions and political turmoil. This paper will study the construction workflow for the “Camp and Shelter Rehabilitation” project sponsored by the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the near east (UNRWA), and funded by the European Union. The project aims to rehabilitate 736 shelters in refugee camps located in Lebanon using a new approach called “Self-help.” In this approach the families are involved directly of their shelters’ rehabilitation under the continuous supervision of UNRWA engineers. Rehabilitation work proceeds under a harsh working environment and extreme constraints such as: short time interval (8-14 weeks), limited budget, limited space, unstable security and poor safety. This paper will focus on a section of the project involving 30 shelters, study the causes of disruption in workflow and recommend possible methods to improve project performance. Using process modeling and simulation analysis, different scenarios were examined to optimize construction workflow taking into account the various constraints. The ultimate goal is to increase the value delivered to the beneficiaries of the project.
Construction Workflow, Self-Help, Refugee Camps, UNRWA projects.