Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Effectiveness of Faith Based Organizations in Disaster Response

Data Collection with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) - Photo Credit: Yasir Javed

Faith-based organizations (FBOs) play a key role in disaster response all over the world and their involvement has been rising in the recent past. Different faith-based agencies respond differently to a particular disaster, while disaster response mechanisms differ greatly between faith-based and secular organizations. Faith-based organizations have strong roots in the community and have a good understanding of the priorities of the communities, making them an effective stakeholder in disaster response.

This research is focused on a large-scale study of FBOs in Sri Lanka and Pakistan that provided relief and recovery services after the annual (monsoon) floods. The purpose of the study is to document the resources, networks, and collaborations used to provide relief and recovery services after the floods, and to assess the experiences, successes, and challenges that these organizations have in providing assistance. Two stage data collection and analysis will be used. In the first stage, data from around 100 FBOs from both countries will be collected using survey questionnaires. The second stage will consist of in-depth interviews and case studies will be generated from selected FBOs to achieve the research objectives.