In their latest Partnership Note on Faith-based organizations, local faith communities and faith leaders, UNHCR have acknowledged a scoping report, led by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, on the role of Local Faith Communities (LFCs) in promoting resilience. The Note is a follow-up to the High Commissioner's Dialogue on Faith and Protection, held in December 2012, which 'highlighted the important role that faith-based organizations and local religious communities play in protecting asylum-seekers, refugees, the internally displaced and stateless people.'
The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities completed a scoping survey in 2012 examining the evidence for the contribution of LFCs to resilience in humanitarian crises and situations of forced displacement. Entitled 'Local faith communities and the promotion of resilience in humanitarian situations: a scoping study', it sought to address the challenges faced by the mainstream humanitarian community in forming partnerships with LFCs in order to carry out humanitarian work. The survey was edited by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Alistair Ager.
UNHCR recognised the central importance of the survey to its conclusions:
UNHCR was also inspired by the evidence-based research produced by the Joint Learning Initiative on Local and Faith Communities (JLI). Its Scoping Review on ‘Local faith communities and the promotion of resilience in humanitarian situations’ was important to the thinking behind all areas of the follow-up to the Dialogue on Faith and Protection.
Also included as key references in the Note were a special issue of the Journal of Refugee Studies on 'Faith-based humanitarianism in contexts of forced displacement', edited by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, as well as the RSC Policy Note on 'Local faith communities and resilience in humanitarian situations' which abstracts from the JLI report and summarises its findings.
Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities