While the idiosyncrasies that affected the speed of recovery in American Samoa are unique to its geography, the challenges shelter represents post-disaster are not. Finding a shelter solution that's cheap, readily available, culturally appropriate, easy to put together, durable, can quickly be distributed, and can withstand the elements, are only a small set of obstacles that need to be overcome when figuring out how to get people out of camps and back to their communities.
The pressure to quickly implement a solution coupled with an organizational need to be "doing" while creating "impact," are part of the reason some shelter solutions fall short of their intended goals. A great example of this was witnessed when an International NGO implemented a shelter program in Haiti in 2010/2011. Shelters were distributed throughout the community but rarely used because they had no ventilation, the tarp walls provided no security, and they didn't come with doors. What seemed like a slam dunk on paper failed to gain any traction with the people it was intended to help.
Due to the host of requirements structures need to fulfill, hitting the mark can be exceedingly difficult when it comes to shelter following an event. That doesn't mean however that there isn't a shortage of innovative ideas that try to meet as many of the requirements as possible.
One such idea belongs to the I-BEAM architecture and design, with their pallet structure concept:
the ideas that I find interesting. For case studies on shelter designs following conflict and natural disaster check out: Sheltercasestudies.org, a great resource for examining a wealth of case history regarding shelter in dynamic environments.
While the magic shelter bullet remains an elusive ideal that many organizations covet, there isn't a shortfall of innovative ideas to spur the next round of implementation...if concept design intrigues you, I would suggest looking into Architecture for humanity and their book Design like you Give a Damn, where you will find no shortage of unique perspectives on post-disaster housing solutions.