Marking the anniversary of the Religious Responses to COVID-19 project on March 11, 2021 published by Henry Brill.

The story highlights how do religious communities contribute—both positively and less so—to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? For the last year, the Religious Responses to COVID-19 project has addressed this critical question through groundbreaking research, commentary, and dialogue involving faith actors and development leaders.

The consultation on faith dimensions of the pandemic on March 11, 2020, was the starting point of the Religious Responses to COVID-19 project, a collaboration between the Berkley Center, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI), and World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD). For the past year, the project has explored the diverse—and all-too-often overlooked—ways in which religious communities and faith-inspired organizations around the world are responding to the pandemic.

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JLI’s Role:

  • Project leaders Katherine Marshall, senior fellow at the Berkley Center and WFDD executive director, and Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, director of research at JLI, are working to chart more productive relationships between religious and global health communities during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The project team launched an online Resource Repository to track religious responses to the pandemic. The platform organizes information—from guidance on vaccination to messaging on social distancing in worship settings—in order to foster greater collaboration between development and faith actors.
  • Over the past year, the project has hosted 11 public-facing meetings and two private consultations bringing together religious leaders, representatives of faith-based organizations, and development practitioners to discuss pandemic-related issues.
  • To facilitate better collaboration between faith and development actors, Marshall and Wilkinson recently developed the “Faith and COVID-19 Vaccines Analysis Matrix,” a first-of-its-kind resource. The guide is broken up into two parts: one provides priority questions for health and development practitioners; the other for faith actors.