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JLI is undertaking a process to re-envision its joint learning and knowledge partnerships. The Fair and Equitable Initiative seeks to shift power, resources, and leadership to local, national, and regional levels, by building inclusive and accessible Regional Joint Learning Hubs.
These new Regional Hubs will bring together researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and local faith actors to define and lead their own learning and evidence agendas. Regional Joint Learning Hubs will also:
- be inclusive of national and local languages
- be accessible to different faith communities, including non-dominant faiths
- reach out beyond traditional humanitarian and development organizations
- integrate fair and equitable approaches across research and practice
The initiative was inspired by JLI’s Commitment to Action for Racial Justice and Solidarity, and ultimately aims to create safe, inclusive spaces to confront power inequalities in knowledge and evidence.
Local communities are central agents in their own liberation, yet they continue to be marginalised in decision-making and excluded from equitable resource allocation by the international aid sector. Racist and colonial mindsets continue to permeate aid agencies and systems globally. One symptom is underestimating the capacities and expertise of local faith actors.
Confronting asymmetries of power is uncomfortable and requires Northern organizations to be willing to give up privilege and share power. JLI aims to address issues such as a lack of acknowledgment of colonial legacies, the dominance of Western theological constructs, the marginalization of indigenous knowledge and belief, complicity in broader racist structures in aid and development, and inequity between local and international actors.
Agenda for change
Over the next two years the JLI will focus on the three priorities to develop new models of joint learning. These three pillars feed into restructuring JLI’s leadership and governance.
- Regional Listening Dialogues & Regional Joint Learning Hubs: led by local and national faith actors to critically reflect on the way evidence is generated and used in the region, and the extent to which international research and aid agendas align with local priorities. The Listening Dialogues will lay the foundations for Regional Joint Learning Hubs, creating a platform for regional actors to define and lead their own evidence agendas.
- Global Webinar Series: interactive public learning events, bringing together researchers and practitioners from across different regions and perspectives to share best practice, reflect on research priorities, and discuss critical questions on how to make joint learning more fair and equitable in religions and development research.
- Theological Dialogues: bringing together theologians, scholars, academics and development practitioners from diverse contexts to share different theologies, teachings, spiritual insights and lived experiences of relevance to decolonization.
Each of the three priorities has a working group [See Working Group TORs] to discuss, guide and support the respective activities. The groups mainly engage with local voices, including faith actors, researchers, and practitioners, and seek to be inclusive of different genders, faiths, languages, nationalities, and abilities.
If you are interested in joining one of the working groups, contact JLI’s Fair & Equitable Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions in mind, or would like to join us and embark on the Fair & Equitable Journey, please do not hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.
Follow us on Twitter and stay updated about our progress on the Fair and Equitable Initiative. We will be tweeting with the hashtag #JLIFairEquitable