The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities is delighted to announce Olivia Wilkinson, PhD is joining as the Director of Research.
In this position, she will be ensuring the quality of JLI evidence building, knowledge translation and building collaborations with academic partners. She will work closely with Stacy Nam, the Knowledge Manager and with our members to help grow and share their research.
Olivia has been an academic member of the JLI Resilience, Mobilization of Local Faith Communities, and Refugees and Forced Migration Hubs for a number of years. She has contributed as research consultant to Learning Hub projects, including the 5 evidence briefs brought to the World Humanitarian Summit, and is lead author of the the recent JLI Refugee Hub Scoping Study. She was the coordinating editor on the recent summary of Proceedings of Forum on Localizing Humanitarian Response: the Role of Religious and FBOs and previously published in a number of academic journals. Her PhD research focused on secular and religious responses to disaster following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Please join us in welcoming Olivia to the JLI and reach out to Olivia regarding any evidence building collaboration opportunities at [email protected]
The JLI Board elected Jonathan Duffy as the new co-chair serving with Rob Kilpatrick. Jonathan is the President of the Adventist Development and Relief (ADRA) International.
Jonathan previously served the agency for four years as CEO of ADRA Australia. Prior to joining ADRA, he worked for 28 years in the public health sector, where he gained experience and expertise in community development, health services management and health promotion. During this time, he worked with remote communities in the South Pacific to improve access to health services. He has a passion for helping young people, and has implemented programs, conducted research and published in peer reviewed journals in relation to youth resilience. A champion for social justice, he uses his position to advocate for action on social justice issues and for a human rights based approach to development. He currently serves on the InterAction Board, where he heads the standards review task force, and is also an International Civil Society Center board member.
Joining the Board of Directors
Hiruy Teka is joining as a member of the JLI Board of Directors. He leads the International Disaster Response Programme of Samaritan’s Purse UK. His role includes managing complex refugee and drought relief projects, raising funds from UK and Europe-based institutional donors, managing humanitarian projects and programmes all over the world (with budgets totaling millions of pounds, euros and dollars), and personally responding to disasters from time to time. As an Ethiopian in humanitarian and crisis response, he approaches his job with a great deal of passion and respect for people affected by disasters.
Refugee Hosts Blog call for submissions invites contributions that add to on-going debates about the ‘localisation of aid agenda’, encouraging in particular pieces that help to conceptualise and contextualise ‘the local’ in the context of responses to displacement in the global South:
How is ‘the local’ understood and engaged with in responses to conflict-induced displacement? Neighbourhoods? Municipalities? Nations? Geopolitical regions? What is the relationship between these different ‘scales’ of response?
How are local responses conceptualised, activated, negotiated or resisted by people affected by displacement?
What conceptual, political, policy, pragmatic and ethical challenges and opportunities exist in relation to the ‘localisation agenda’?
What are the roles of history and geography in understanding, implementing and/or critiquing the ‘localisation of aid’ agenda?
Which local actors are supported and viewed as ‘good partners’, and which local actors are viewed with suspicion? Why, by whom, and with what effect?
How are conceptualisations of ‘the local’ framed by assumptions and beliefs about religion and gender (amongst other factors)?
What roles can interdisciplinary research methods – from and beyond the Arts and Humanities, the Social and Political Sciences, and Architecture, Planning and Design – play in informing academic, policy and practitioner engagements with local communities.
They invite contributions in the form of short pieces drawing on original research, creative pieces including poems, soundscapes and artwork, photo essays or reflections from the field. In exploring these questions as part of this series, the Refugee Hosts team is keen to explore the ways that interdisciplinary methods can help us better understand the local, both in policy discussions and in academic and public debates.
HOW TO SUBMIT
Submissions must be a maximum of 900 words and written in a way that is accessible to a wide audience. Pieces must reference using hyperlinks only: our online contributions do not use footnotes or other forms of referencing such as Harvard style referencing. Where necessary, a bibliography can also be included containing the list of sources used.
Submissions are welcome on a rolling basis. Please send your submission, along with a short biography of no more than 100 words, to the Refugee Hosts Project and Communications Coordinator Aydan Greatrick on [email protected].
Faith-based Engagement of the Global Refugee Crisis
The world is currently experiencing the worst refugee crisis in history. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) reports that there are 65 million displaced people globally due to persecution, war, famine or violence. Many face significant health challenges such as psychiatric disorders, infectious diseases and chronic disease in the host-country. Faith based organizations and churches are recognized as key elements in addressing this global crisis, and many have been advocates of “welcoming the stranger.”(Deut 10:19; Mat 25:34-40)
What is a Christian response to these populations scattered among many nations? What kinds of unique health concerns do they face? How can global health workers effectively cross cultures to address needs? What opportunities exist for respectfully demonstrating and proclaiming the gospel in these settings? What resources can be mobilized?
Besides regular general submissions, we call for papers including but not limited to:
Case studies of FBO responses to refugee concerns in areas of conflict or in host countries.
Best practices in improving health outcomes of displaced populations.
Original research on outcomes for health interventions among refugee populations.
Case studies on partnerships with UNHCR or other governmental organizations in serving refugees.
Commentaries on an applied biblical response to the global refugee crisis.
Capacity building for mental health service to build resilience in post-traumatic experiences.
Explorations of the ethics of humanitarian relief and resettlement in context of Christian faith.
On 6 October 2017, the attendees of the World Congress: Child Dignity in the Digital World presented the Declaration of Rome to Pope Francis. The Declaration concludes, “In this era of the internet the world faces unprecedented challenges if it is to preserve the rights and dignity of children and protect them from abuse and exploitation. These challenges require new
thinking and approaches, heightened global awareness and inspired leadership.”
Pope Francis accepted the Declaration and said, “in the Declaration you presented me, you have pointed out a variety of different ways to promote concrete cooperation among all concerned parties working to combat the great challenge of defending the dignity of minors in the digital world. I firmly and enthusiastically support the commitments that you have undertaken.”
The challenge now is to implement those commitments. The task is enormous. We must maintain momentum, provide data to inform and shape policy, and generate the resources necessary for this comprehensive effort. The Centre for Child Protection (CCP) of the Pontifical Gregorian University in partnership with the WePROTECT Global Alliance and SOS Il Telefono Azzurro Onlus will use the Declaration of Rome as a platform on which to build a coalition of the willing.
That coalition will turn the general goals of the Declaration into global action. During the World Congress attendees participated in ten parallel workshops in a search for new and innovative approaches and solutions. This Strategic Plan presents those solutions.
The Mission: To grow a global coalition of representatives from religions, governments, international organisations, the technology industry, academia and the research community, civil society and elsewhere, working together toward a common objective: defending the dignity of minors and vulnerable adults in the digital world. The Vision: To create a digital world where children and vulnerable adults are respected and free to exercise their digital rights and are safe from exploitation and abuse.
The Strategy: To achieve 13 goals recognizing the urgent need for an inter-sectoral strategic collaboration which calls upon technology, political and religious leaders, health and social care professionals and others to share responsibility for achieving them.
Goal 1: To raise awareness of digital risks especially with respect to primary prevention and safeguarding, and undertake new social research.
Goal 2: To mobilise faith leaders to support the implementation of the Declaration.
Goal 3: To revise applicable laws to be more effective in preventing abuse.
Goal 4: To redefine the responsibilities and actions required by technology companies.
Goal 5: To improve provision of child rescue and treatment services.
Goal 6: To improve identification and interventions for children and young people at risk.
Goal 7: To improve the capabilities and collaborative efforts of international law enforcement organisations.
Goal 8: To train clinicians to better serve the needs of victims.
Goal 9: To expand treatment resources for people harmed by abuse.
Goal 10: To research the health impacts on young people of viewing pornographic images.
Goal 11: To set safety standards, agree to a code of conduct, and mandate filtering and age verification to protect children from inappropriate online content.
Goal 12: To improve education of children and young people.
Goal 13: To ensure all citizens are alert to the risks of abuse and know how to report it.
What’s family planning got to do with intimate partner violence? Exchanging with experts at the 2017 SVRI Forum
Courtney J. McLarnon-Silk, Esther Spindler (IRH); Francesca Quirke (Tearfund)
In September 2017, IRH and partners traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to present at the Sexual Violence Research Institute (SVRI) Forum and share experiences with 500 other experts working to prevent and respond to sexual violence. IRH, Tearfund, and Promundo-US co-led a satellite event titled, Exploring the Links between Intimate Partner Violence and Family Planning Use: Building Knowledge for Normative Change to Promote Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Why talk about family planning at SVRI?
Gender-based violence – particularly intimate partner violence (IPV) – is a key barrier to meeting the family planning (FP) needs of women and men worldwide. The links between IPV and family planning are documented, yet we know little of the underlying mechanisms and best practices for responding. Recognizing this gap, the Passages Project has been conducting a landscaping of existing evidence to explore these links, especially as related to social, cultural, and gender norms. The landscaping consists of a literature review, an online survey, and key informant interviews. Our goal is to consolidate the evidence on the IPV-FP relationship and to unpack promising interventions.
The satellite event was an opportunity to share initial findings from the landscaping effort, to exchange ideas, and to learn about new approaches in the field with other experts at SVRI.
What we shared: highlights from the landscaping
Intimate partner violence and family planning are linked. Three systematic reviews have examined the association of IPV with sexual health outcomes, including sexual risk taking, inconsistent condom use, unplanned pregnancy or induced abortion, sexually transmitted infections and sexual dysfunction. The evidence suggests multiple associations between IPV and FP, but the direction and causes of relationships are unclear. Overall, the literature suggests that IPV can have an impact on numerous outcomes, including FP use, reproductive coercion, and unintended pregnancy.
Social norms affect women’s autonomy and reproductive health. Few studies have documented how social norms affect the link between IPV and FP. We know that social norms – the unwritten rules of behavior shared by a group and held in place by social expectations, rewards and punishments – do in fact influence IPV and FP outcomes. For example, patriarchal ideas about male control over women influence FP use and the acceptability of IPV. Overall, norms influence women’s autonomy and control over their reproductive health, particularly when they experience IPV.
Few interventions address IPV and FP. Even fewer have been scaled up. Of the interventions identified, we included 14 approaches that varied from SBC to edutainment, economic empowerment, and service delivery. We found that multi-sectoral programs can be successful; however, few programs documented the pathways in which transforming norms relevant to both IPV and FP were clear. Lack of evidence on what works, for whom, and under what conditions is a challenge to scaling up of promising programs.
What we learned: feedback from experts in the room
During the panel presentations and interactive group work, over 40 experts shared insights about how to move IPV and FP research and practice forward. Suggestions included:
Strengthen the conceptual story. A clear conceptual pathway is needed to link IPV and FP.
Consider other life factors. Experts brought up the need to use a lifecycle approach and the ecological framework, and to consider structural barriers and the influence of other individuals on IPV and PF outcomes.
Engage men responsibly. More evidence is needed to understand how best to engage men, while also ensuring women’s autonomy and lowering potential risk of further IPV (also known as “do no harm”).
Analyze promising interventions to find key components and commonalties.
Capitalize on expert opinions and sharing clear recommendations for policies and funding.
The expert opinions solicited at SVRI will be applied to the final landscaping assessment.
More to come!
The final report will be ready in early 2018. If you’d like more information, please email at [email protected].
The October 25 & 25 meetings of the JLI included 34 board, advisory group and learning hub co-chairs. The two-day meeting objectives were to share the current state of JLI hub evidence, examine JLI’s role considering the external environment and determine JLI’s next steps. Matthew Frost, JLI Board Co-chair for the past few years stepped down at the meeting. Matthew will continue as a general board member. Thanks to Matthew for all the wisdom and gifts shared during your time leading the JLI! With a new board co-chair elected unanimously –Jonathan Duffy, President, ADRA International, JLI will be focusing on how to implement goals identified at the board meeting.
embed local and national voices into the JLI especially learning hubs
Faith leaders, aid agencies around the world join forum on localizing humanitarian response
JLI cohosted the Localizing Response to Humanitarian Need Forum with over 140 participants representing multiple local and global faith networks, faith-based organizations, aid agencies, policy makers, and government representatives have participated in a forum to strengthen partnership and networks in localizing humanitarian response. Focus on documentation of methods and mechanisms of engagement of local faith networks.
On October 20, the new JLI Anti-Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Hub launched at the Anglican Alliance. Gathering a group of core members, the hub discussed the terms of reference and key questions the hub would address. The group focused on areas related to prevention, protection, prosecution, policy, partnerships and participation.
The purpose of this Hub is to be a horizontal learning community and global resource that links academics, policy makers and practitioners working on issues of faith, faith leaders and religious communities to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. The goals are to:
Identify and examine what we know about human trafficking, with respect to the role of faith based actors and religious and cultural values, and the reliability of this research. Work out how we can better communicate existing research.
Identify gaps in knowledge which can be addressed through further research and learning (with an emphasis on practical application afterwards).
Arrive at practical actionable recommendations in these areas (for programmes and policy) that JLI members would be encouraged to implement in their own organisations, use to potentially influence the practice of others, and which could increase effective partnerships/collaboration between members of the Hub (secular and faith based) in ending human trafficking and modern slavery.