Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 February 2020
The aim of this systematic review is to analyze the relevant research on religious organizations’ participation in disasters risk management and to understand the ways in which these organizations impact on disaster management. Today, community-based disaster risk management is emphasized as a very effective approach. Religious organizations are one of the most important components of community. They have access to resources that can be critical to help government agencies to manage disasters successfully.
This systematic review was conducted since August 2018 to investigate the role of religious institutions in disasters management and was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. PubMed, Web of Science (WOS), Scopus, Proquest, Embase, and Google scholar were the primary databases used for search of literature. Keywords used in this review were “religious institution,” “disaster management,” and their equivalents were obtained from Mesh, Emtree, or extracted from related articles. The papers from a broad range of disciplines related to keywords were included, and those articles that focus on response to disaster based on religious beliefs’ and religion rather than participation of religious institutions in disaster risk management were excluded. From the 18,071 records identified through database searching in the early stage, 22 articles were selected for this review followed by analysis of the characteristics and content analysis of the included studies to answer the study questions.
The findings of this systematic review that emerged from content analysis are summarized in 11 themes: religious institutions’ potential for disaster management, preparedness of religious institutions for disasters, response, recovery, the social capital, partnership with all stakeholders, collaboration and communication between mental health professionals and faith-based organization leaders, unity of information and message, religious institution shelters, dealing with disaster in old and new approaches, and barriers and challenges.
Religious institutions have a vital role and great potential in disasters management. They often contribute in response and recovery phases of disasters, although these services are valuable but the great potential of these groups should also be recruited to participate in preparedness and mitigation efforts as part of disasters cycle. Coordination and collaboration of all stakeholders is essential in this way.