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Research reports

Local church, lasting transformation (2022)

Evidence of the impact of CCT in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe

2023 Available in English

A group of smiling African community members standing in a semi-circle with their hands on a large banana stalk

Members of Zivu community, Rwanda, celebrate the modern banana plantation that they planted as part of CCT. Credit: Marcus Perkins/Tearfund

A smiling African woman wearing a brightly coloured dress pouring tea for a few people seated at a table

From: CCT impact study series

Ongoing research into the impact of church and community transformation (CCT), in partnership with State of Life

In 2022, Tearfund partnered with impact and social value specialists, State of Life, to assess the impact of Church and Community Transformation (CCT) processes in four African countries: Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

This research has shown that CCT brings positive, whole-life transformation to individuals and far-reaching, sustained change within communities. CCT also creates a high social return and is great value for money. Below you can read several resources which explore these compelling conclusions in more detail as well as the methodology used.

This research is part of Tearfund and State of Life’s multi-year study of CCT processes in other countries and regions to build a full picture of the impact of CCT across the world.

Local Church, Lasting Transformation: Evidence of the Impact of Working With the Local Church

Want to know what almost 8,000 people in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe told us about the effectiveness of the church in bringing transformative change in their communities? We’re going to tell you some of the highlights from our pioneering study.

For over 50 years Tearfund has worked with local churches around the world to reduce poverty and seek transformational change for communities. We call this Church and Community Transformation, or ‘CCT’— and we’ve commissioned our largest ever impact study to gather more evidence on the effectiveness of this approach.

The results were amazing!

  • 9 out of every 10 CCT communities had built new community assets, such as schools, water points or roads, or improved existing ones.
  • And 75% of churches taking part in CCT reported an increase in attendance and giving in the last year.

In addition, on average, people in communities taking part in CCT were:

  • 27% more satisfied with their lives*
  • 23 percentage points more likely to have invested in assets like property or livestock in the last year*
  • And 31 percentage points more likely to work on a shared project, such as starting a savings group*

But does this impact last over time?

The research found that partnering with churches is quick to bring real change, which is sustained for many years after Tearfund’s initial involvement.

This research has also shown us what happens to money invested in the local church.

Here’s £1.

When Tearfund invests this pound in CCT, it contributes to training a facilitator to run Bible studies that empower the community to find its own solutions to challenges it faces.

Maybe they decide to save money together to start a business, or campaign for access to clean water.

The research found that  every £1 invested by Tearfund unlocks community resources and time for shared projects worth the equivalent of £7.

But it gets better. The study shows that together this investment ultimately creates a ‘social value’ or ‘social return’ of increased life satisfaction of over £211…This is equivalent to a social return of 1 to 28, showing that CCT is great value and worth investing in.

In short, this research shows that partnering with local churches works. It changes lives. And through it, we believe we can end extreme poverty.

To do this, we have a vision to scale up our work and see hundreds of thousands of churches lead transformation in their communities, to bring freedom from poverty.

Join the journey. Read our research summary to learn more, or get in touch about supporting our work.


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