Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Skip to content

Our approach

Conflict has been described as development in reverse. If we are to progress in our call to end extreme poverty, violent conflict must be addressed. Tearfund’s peacebuilding work is therefore a vital element of our efforts to build reconciled, peace-filled societies.

Our vision is to address the impact and the systemic causes of violence to bring sustainable peace for ourselves, our neighbours, and the world.

We do this by equipping churches, individuals and communities with the skills and confidence to address tensions within their communities constructively and inclusively, breaking the cycle of violence as they realise the church’s ministry of reconciliation.

We look to build relationships across divides, restoring trust and countering attempts to blame or demonise those that may be different. We pair this with practical development and humanitarian work as part of integrated programmes that address the underlying drivers of violent conflict and support existing drivers of peace and justice such that people are able to live in peace with dignity.

In doing this we look to empower women and young people, ensuring that their voice and contribution are maximised. We also look to connect peacebuilders with each other and with decision-makers and influencers such that changes at the community level can transform underlying policies and practices to bring structural change in favour of an inclusive and just peace.

Discover Tearfund’s resources for conflict-sensitive programming

‘"...Even as global poverty has retreated, the number of desperate people needing emergency aid has doubled since 2020, to 340m. Some 80% of this is driven by conflict.’
The Economist 17 April 2023

Tearfund’s vision for building peace in fragile and conflict-affected states

Tearfund’s Christian ethos and established networks of local partners, faith and interfaith communities around the world mean that peacebuilding can be linked with other Tearfund relief and development initiatives. Our ability to facilitate our work through these widespread networks ensures a deep and sustained reach into communities.

  • We address the root causes of poverty and counter the issues that drive conflict, with a particular emphasis on building resilience and restoring broken relationships.
  • We work through the church as part of an approach we call church and community transformation.
  • We work with individual peacebuilders to nurture, equip and connect them, enabling them to form movements of peacebuilders locally, regionally and nationally.

Read more about Tearfund’s peacebuilding strategy in Tearfund peacebuilding: Reconciling divided communities

Conflict and WASH

When working in conflict contexts, it is important for projects to be sensitive to their impact on the dynamics and drivers of the conflict. In the case of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects it may be possible to design activities to have a positive impact on the conflict itself, rather than just on WASH needs.

Tearfund's conflict-sensitive approach to WASH in conflict-affected and fragile states is based on a growing understanding of the contribution of WASH service delivery to peacebuilding and state-building. WASH programming can provide a key entry point for capacity building (strengthening governance and accountability) and infrastructural development, as well as acting as a vehicle for citizen engagement, community mobilisation and empowerment.

View resources on conflict and WASH

Conflict and SGBV

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is present in communities before a crisis hits, but risks and vulnerability to SGBV increase during emergencies and their aftermath. Those in positions of authority, such as the police, security officials, community leaders, teachers, employers, landlords and humanitarian workers, may abuse their power. During armed conflict, sexual violence may often be used as a weapon of war.

In a crisis, churches and mosques often become places of refuge, and in practice faith leaders are often the first responders. Lack of knowledge or capacity, taboos and harmful beliefs among these leaders can mean they are unable to engage positively in SGBV issues. When meaningfully engaged, faith groups can have a great impact on SGBV prevention in conflict-affected communities.

View resources on conflict and SGBV



Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.