Building Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity in Sri Lanka

The Diocese of Colombo’s Board of Social Responsibility has been long-involved in community development and disaster related activities in Sri Lanka. The Board works through the local Parishes to serve communities who are in need and in distress. With Episcopal Relief & Development resources, the BSR organized a Disaster Risk Reduction Training of Trainers series for the 21 clergy and laity who were based across the country. The training programme and curricula was customized for the Diocese by an external consultant, CASA-India. The training course consisted of 7 modules over an 18-month time frame from 2011 until 2013. Upon completion of training, the participants developed follow-up ground level activities at their respective parishes including working with youth groups, school staff and church committees to implement preparedness and mitigation measures. Additionally, BSR used a core group from the initial training, to develop another programme to expand their regional teams by a further 22 community/parish leaders in 2014. Finally, the BSR develop a diocesan-wide Disaster Plan that included preparedness and response procedures for formats. With the success and wide publicity of the above programme, the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka, has asked the Diocese of Colombo to replicate the Disaster Risk Reduction capacity building program to all of their members. The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) is an ecumenical institution representing 9 protestant denominations, all of which are involved in various faith and community based programs. The NCCSL has a cluster working on relief, rehabilitation, development and social justice programs for decades. It carries out programs through its member partners. The Church of Ceylon – Diocese of Colombo is also a member of the NCCSL and also has a representative in the social empowerment cluster. The NCCSL leadership felt the need to enhance the skills of Churches on systematic approach on preparing and responding to disasters at a local level. This initiation also will help member churches work together as an ecumenical group in the regions. NCCSL-members will be building on their respective histories and experiences of responding to disasters, including floods, landslides, war/conflict and tsunamis. The Diocese of Colombo BSR has developed a 4-module training to be conducted in 9 regions with 272 participants for all denominations, all to be completed in 2015. Following the training the BSR will help monitor parish level implementation of preparedness and mitigation activities.


Develop partnership strategy with all stakeholders to confirm roles and responsibilities of each party, including NCCSL, Diocese of Colombo, member denominations and participants, Recruit and train a dedicated full-time DRR Coordinator, who will manage the training programme and the follow-up community-based activities. This a not a shared position., Develop a participant criteria and application process in order to recruit the most appropriate and sustainable denominational representation for the training programme, Finalize training curricula modules with the Diocesan core group of trainers, and schedule training dates, facilitator schedule, homework assignments and follow-up parish activities, Form a NCCSL Subcommittee, and 9 regional forums comprised of clergy and lay trained participants, Create a monitoring mechanism to ensure that all participants follow-up on their training with at least 1 grassroots, parish level activity, Monitor and manage the finances of the training course and serve as the fiduciary for he programme, Designing a NCCSL Disaster Risk Reduction Manual, utilizing the Pastors and Disasters Toolkit, by December 2016

Cross-cutting issues

Disaster Risk Reduction


  • Sri Lanka>Northern
  • Sri Lanka>Western
  • Sri Lanka>Uva
  • Sri Lanka>Southern
  • Sri Lanka>Eastern
  • Sri Lanka>North Central
  • Sri Lanka>North Western


  • Disaster Prevention and Preparedness
  • Humanitarian Aid

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