The Faith-Based Advantage: A Case Study on the Adventist Development & Relief Agency’s Response to Humanitarian Impacts of COVID-19 as a Faith-Based Organization




Faith-Based Organizations, Humanitarian Response, COVID-19, Seventh-Day Adventist, Global Health


Large-scale health emergencies like COVID-19 oftentimes result in widespread humanitarian impacts. Due to their long-standing relationships and involvement within local communities, along with extensive networks and support from faith-affiliated institutions, faith-based NGOs carry a unique advantage in reaching the most vulnerable during such crises. The Adventist Development & Relief Agency’s (ADRA) experience during its global COVID-19 response showcases how keeping a local presence in-country and fostering partnerships with affiliated faith institutions and constituents can result in a wide reach of programming. By providing dedicated personnel and small seed-funding, developing a flexible global strategy involving strong business continuity plans and emphasis on its faith base, and supporting the sharing of information and lessons learned among local offices, faith-based NGOs are capable of quickly delivering life-saving interventions to vulnerable communities. ADRA and the affiliated Seventh-day Adventist Church have proved during the first year of COVID-19 that they are stronger together, highlighting the importance of utilizing faith base when implementing humanitarian interventions.

Author Biographies

Emily Hirata, ADRA International

Emily Hirata, MPH, is the Technical Advisor for Health & Nutrition at ADRA International. She supports ADRA’s US-funded health and nutrition programs and co-chairs both the ADRA Health Technical Learning Lab and the ADRA COVID-19 Technical Interest Group. 

Michael Peach, ADRA International

Michael Peach, MPA, serves as ADRA's Global Emergency Coordinator. He also sits on the ADRA Emergency Management Adivsory Committe, bringing with him an extensive background in emergency management both within the nonprofit industry as well as within the Australian government. 

Sharon Tobing, ADRA International

Sharon Tobing, MPH, is the Senior Technical Advisor for Health at ADRA International. She supports ADRA’s US-funded health and programs and serves as an active member within ADRA's Health Technical Learning Lab.


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How to Cite

Hirata, E., Peach, M. ., & Tobing, S. (2021). The Faith-Based Advantage: A Case Study on the Adventist Development & Relief Agency’s Response to Humanitarian Impacts of COVID-19 as a Faith-Based Organization. Christian Journal for Global Health, 8(1), 24–33.