How to collaborate with Pacific Churches: Our latest guide

Topics Cross-sector partnerships | Research partnerships | Tools & Guidance
Participants at NZIPR Conference at Piula Theological College, Samoa, March 2018.

The RDI Network is pleased to launch its latest publication in a series of resources supporting good practice in cross-sector partnerships for development. How to collaborate with Pacific Churches for development research offers academics and practitioners the tools and knowledge to navigate the unique demands and opportunities of working with Churches and Church-based organisations in the Pacific region.

This new resource was developed in response to demand from members of the RDI Network community and builds upon the foundational guidance offered by the Network’s existing resource, How to Partner for Development Research. It offers context-specific insights and details the particular ethical considerations associated with working with Church bodies. It demystifies Church-related language, identifies potential challenges and offers strategies through first-hand learnings from case studies.

The Church is arguably the most influential institution in the Pacific and has the ability to effect significant societal change. As such, Churches and Church-based organisations are key potential development partners and already work closely with international development actors in a range of different ways. This guide offers a resource for Australian-based researchers and development NGOs (both faith-based and secular) to better understand the principles, context, traditions and protocols of Church-based bodies in the Pacific. It offers highly practical tips, advice and tools to be used throughout the collaboration process, seeking to embed practice which is both ethical and respectful of culture and beliefs.

Collaborating with Churches provides opportunities for Pacific peoples to define research priorities and act as researchers, leaders, advisors, participants, and stakeholders in a research project.
– How to Collaborate with Pacific Churches

The guide was commissioned by a working group of the RDI Network which included representatives from UnitingWorld, James Cook University, UNSW Australia, the Institute for Sustainable Futures–UTS and ADRA Solomon Islands. We acknowledge the significant work – including field research – undertaken by the author, Rebekah Cochrane, to produce this quality resource for the sector.

Whether you are already in the midst of a project working with Pacific Churches or considering exploring a potential collaboration, we invite you to explore the case studies featured in the guide, uncovering actionable learnings from real-world experiences. With the right approach, collaborating with Church actors in the Pacific can be one of the most effective means of achieving development outcomes.

We encourage you to download the guide today and dive in!


You can find the full suite of partnerships resources form the RDI Network on our Learning Hub here.