The role of faith, and religion in development is a rapidly growing and evolving field. There is growing recognition of the importance of considering the spiritual dimensions of individual, social and community change. World Vision has invested heavily in developing interventions that take participants on what they describe as a “journey of transformation” to prepare them to take a proactive and productive approach to their own development in various areas including livelihoods, nutrition, water and hygiene, and education.

One of these interventions, “Celebrating Families”, focuses on the intersection of faith and family values, and has been found effective in equipping parents and caregivers with skills and sensitivity to support their children’s well-being. However, the curriculum of Celebrating Families has only been tested in a limited number of contexts, and though popular in various religious contexts relies heavily on Christian Biblical content.

The concept of “family values” is in particular contentious and in many narratives associated with patriarchal and restrictive family structures, and yet participants in Celebrating Families have found the concept to be empowering and an enabler for various facets of child well-being.

This PhD studentship will work with World Vision International to develop a project that builds an evidence base contributing to the knowledge base regarding religions and development by exploring the intersection between faith, religion, spirituality, family values, and child well-being using Celebrating Families as a case study. The student will be encouraged to consider how these principles apply in a variety of different settings, with different family structures and/or in different religious contexts. The PhD may look at these concepts within a particular sector of development (such as health or sanitation), in an emergency humanitarian or migration crisis or a more stable setting, and with any of a variety of different religious communities.

How to Apply: Please send your CV and a personal statement to support your application for this studentship to Dr Kathryn Kraft:  k.kraft@uel.ac.uk

You are encouraged to contact Dr Kathryn Kraft, k.kraft@uel.ac.uk, for an informal discussion about the project and your proposal before submitting an application via the online system

Closing Date: March 1, 2021 at 5 pm

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