Many times tarps alone do not provide sufficient shelter for humanitarian relief operations, while tents may not be available or cost effective. What is often needed is a simple family shelter solution that is easy to transport and erect, less expensive than tents and uses standard materials that are globally available.
The building concept outlined here consists of sandbag (earthbag) walls filled with sand or soil from the site, and tarps for roofing. These emergency shelters would only be slightly more expensive than tarps by themselves, but provide superior protection against wind, rain, heat, cold, snow, bullets, fire, flooding, hurricanes and noise.
The complete report by Owen Geiger and Patti Stouter, An Emergency Earthbag Shelter Proposal, is available here.