Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Effectiveness of Faith Based Organizations in Disaster Response

Funded through the HI² research seed grant program, 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. The study is particularly interested in FBOs that are not characteristically considered traditional emergency responders. It will address the kinds of services given in the immediate and long-term aftermath of the disasters, the extent of coordination and collaboration among charitable service systems, and how such services were or can be integrated with governmental responses to help the nation’s disaster preparedness agencies better prepare for the next emergency whether from natural or other causes.

Research Questions:

The study will address five research questions:

  1. What are the characteristics of FBOs that provided disaster-related human services?
  2. What services were provided, and to whom?
  3. What resources (monetary, material, and human) were used to deliver services?
  4. What networks facilitated the ability of FBOs to deliver services?
  5. What lessons can be learned from these relief efforts?