Global Initiative on Social and Behaviour Change

Religious and Faith-based Contributions to the Well-being of Children

The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) is pleased to announce the initiation of a partnership with UNICEF over the next three years. Faith and Positive Change for Children: Global Initiative on Social and Behaviour Change is a collaboration with the UNICEF Communication for Development in Programme Division and the Civil Society Partnerships Unit in the Division of Communication. The project will look across sectors including health, development, protection, and empowerment of children, especially focusing on the most marginalized, across the life-cycle.


Research Question:

What are the specific roles, caveats, most effective strategies and demonstrated impact of faith actors in social and behavior change related to the health, development, protection, and empowerment of children, especially the most marginalized, across their two decades of life?


2018 partnership achievements

  • literature review- 91 resources reviewed in depth, whittled down from 1600+
  • 17 country-specific case studies from interviews with Faith Actor Partner (e.g. IRCLs, Faith-based Universities, National FBOs and faith-based networks), Government Partner, and UNICEF on partnerships – 42 people interviewed
  • country mapping
  • content review – 27 toolkits reviewed
  • Theory of Change development consultation with 13 institutions

The partners collaborated with Religions for Peace (RfP) to hold a multi-country consultation in Bangkok in July to input into the programmatic framework. Participants included 17 UNICEF Country Offices and 5 RfP Interreligious Councils. Over 100 participants from 20 countries across all regions of the world.

View the Faith and Positive Change for Children Web Platform:

The evidence developed from 2018 from faith-based knowledge, social and behavior change knowledge, Academic and NGO sources culminated in drafting a translated conceptual framework.

This new way of working will be tested in in-country through workshops 2019 to develop principles for systematic engagement with FBOs at scale for social and behavior change, guidelines, and resources.

Through 2019, please see here for resources, 2018 Workshop Report and other documents as the collaboration continues to progress.

Listening to religious leaders in Bangkok

For more information please contact the JLI Director of Research, Dr. Olivia Wilkinson at [email protected]