EARLY ADOPTERS’ WORKROCK LIBERIA
25-28 NOVEMBER 2019
The ‘Faith for Positive Change for Children’ (FPCC) global initiative aims to build a new form of partnership between UNICEF and faith-based actors, enabling them to work together in a more effective, systemic, and scalable way to bring sustained impact in children’s lives. UNICEF has recognized the value of working with faith actors for many years, but its 2014 mapping showed that its approach across 150 countries often instrumentalized faith groups in partnerships that were ad-hoc, short-term and message-based, rather than working collaboratively to address the complexity of social and behavior change. In response, its Communications for Development (C4D) section began a partnership in 2018 with the ‘Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities’ and ‘Religions for Peace’ to: draw together the global evidence base of what really works; review toolkits; hold a UNICEF and faith partner workshop in Bangkok; document case-studies of UNICEF’s existing work in this area; co-create a ‘Journey of Change’ for how faith actors and UNICEF can partner most effectively to impact children; and set up an advisory group of 20 partner organizations and web platform to share resources. Now they are trialing the Journey of Change in five pilot countries before strategizing the way forward.
The initiative uses the term ‘WorkRock’ instead of ‘workshop’ to emphasize that these are not trainings to impart information, but focus on learning together about the foundations of creating lasting impact for children and finding a new way of partnering. The initial WorkRocks in South Sudan and Malawi affirmed the global ‘Journey of Change’ by developing similar ones from their own learning, taking ownership of the initiative and making shared commitments to action. UNICEF Liberia is the third to host a ‘WorkRock’. 45 faith leaders and organizations, government officers and UNICEF staff came together.