The Department for World Service (DWS) is the relief and development arm of the LWF. Rooted in Christian values of love, reconciliation and justice, DWS responds to human need throughout the world.
Drawing on a firm commitment to uphold the rights of the poor and oppressed, DWS works together with local and international partners to alleviate suffering, combat injustice and poverty, and lay the foundation for a life in dignity for all.
It serves all people irrespective of ethnicity, gender, religion, race or political conviction.
People of the world living in just societies in peace and dignity, united in diversity, and empowered to achieve their universal rights, to meet basic needs and quality of life.
Inspired by God’s love for humanity, World Service responds to and challenges the causes and consequences of human suffering and poverty.
- Dignity – Justice
- Inclusiveness – Participation
- Accountability – Transparency
- Compassion – Commitment
Bear witness in church and society to God’s healing, reconciliation and justice.
How DWS Works
DWS is committed to an empowering, rights-based and integrated approach. This enables communities to find their own solutions to the problems they are facing, and informs all involved of their rights and responsibilities. It also strives to link different focuses such as emergency intervention, disaster preparedness, reconstruction and development.
DWS’s humanitarian response follows the Principles of Partnership endorsed by the Global Humanitarian Platform.
DWS is a member of Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) and has achieved certification against the 2010 HAP Standard in Accountability and Quality Management.
The DWS Accountability Framework ensures transparency in program administration, governance and implementation.
DWS works in 32 countries through two regional, 16 country and nine associate programs and emergency operations, as well as one program presence. All DWS country programs began at the invitation of local partners in response to emergencies. Where possible, DWS transfers governance to these partners in the form of DWS associate programs.
DWS focuses on six priority areas, adapted to local contexts and informed by local communities. The global struggle to overcome poverty and ensure human rights forms the framework for all DWS work. DWS priority areas are:
- Responding to and preparing for disasters
- Creating sustainable communities
- Combating HIV & AIDS
- Promoting peace, reconciliation and human rights
- Transforming gender relations
- Protecting the environment
DWS is locally rooted and globally connected, working with communities, authorities, organizations, churches and related agencies at both the grassroots and international levels.
World Service collaborates with various United Nations relief, rehabilitation and development agencies.
The LWF is a founding member of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), one of the world’s largest networks of church and church-related humanitarian relief and development organizations.
DWS work is governed by the LWF Council through the Committee for World Service.
World Service dedicates the vast majority of its annual USD 100 million budget to its humanitarian and development programs, allotting just four percent of resources for coordination and administration at its Geneva headquarters.
In 2008, total resources administered on program and emergency support amounted to USD 112.3 million (DWS programs USD 81.8 million and USD 30.5 million for associate programs). Funds come from member churches, related agencies, governments, intergovernmental agencies and individual donors.
DWS personnel include approximately 50 international and 5000 national staff in its field programs, as well as 16 Geneva secretariat staff.
For further information please contact:
Rev. Eberhard Hitzler, DWS Director
Ms Doris Gfeller, Administrative Assistant