This paper aims to:

  1. Highlight the work of local churches as key actors in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience building.It does this by:
    • using existing evidence to identify opportunities, gaps and challenges
    • collecting further evidence
    • generating discussion and engagement among peer agencies
    • informing and influencing different stakeholder groups
    • encouraging church involvement in DRR and collaboration with aid and development organisations
  2. Promote research and discussion.This paper is part of Tearfund’s ongoing programme of research and discussion on the role of churches in resilience and DRR. It builds on Tearfund’s long experience of supporting local churches to manage shocks and stresses in disaster-prone areas. Unfortunately, evidence on the roles played by the local church in DRR and resilience building is rarely used to inform decision-making by donors, governments, international organisations or other peer non-religious agencies; nor do such organisations necessarily encourage the local church to consider itself a key actor in DRR and resilience. This ‘application gap’ needs to be overcome.

    In response to this, the findings from this work will help to reinforce the existing evidence base of activities carried out by local churches in disaster management and DRR, raise their profile as key DRR actors, and make the case for greater inclusion of churches and other faith-based organisations (FBOs) in resilience building.

  3. Influence international decision makers.1This compelling evidence demonstrating the roles and impact of the local church in DRR and resilience building has significant potential. Such evidence can inform decision-making by donors, governments, the UN and civil society organisations, encouraging them to partner with local church leaders and faith communities in disaster planning and preparedness. It can also equip and mobilise local churches to consider themselves the world’s largest network of civil society actors in DRR and resilience.

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