For over five decades, USAID has partnered and collaborated with civil society actors, of which faith-based, faith-inspired and local community organizations play a vital role towards achieving developmental goals.

The United States writ large is an extraordinarily generous country. Faith-based entities in America contribute billions of dollars every year in private funding to international development, as the yearly tracking provided by the Hudson Institute amply demonstrates. In July 2015, the UK medical journal The Lancet conducted an in-depth review of faith-based health care in sub-Saharan Africa, and quoted former World Bank President James Wolfensohn in acknowledging that “half the work in education and health in sub-Saharan Africa is done by the church.” In FY 2015 alone, U.S. faith-based organizations (FBOs) listed total revenues from private sources at $5.75 billion,  which, coupled with their mobilization of substantive numbers of volunteers, provides considerable leverage and matchability to U.S. official development assistance. The Lancet study reaffirmed that faith-based providers play an important role, particularly in fragile states with weakened healthcare systems. Additionally the study shows that “thousands of faith-based, community-based and non-governmental organizations have contributed to the effective implementation of all aspects of HIV/AIDS response.”

This compendium of stories of cooperation with faith-based, faith-inspired and local community organizations and their leaders demonstrates both the significant added value of working together and the considerable potential for scaling up the impact of USAID’s work.


  • Page 10   Religious and Community Leaders as Partners for Communication, Outreach, and Mobility: Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s (ADRA) ASOTRY Project.
  • Page 12   Capacity Building with Local Organizations in Kenya: Aga Khan Foundation’s (AKF) Yetu Initiative.
  • Page 14   Family Planning Advocates: Christian Connections for International Health’s work with Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau.
  • Page 16   Interreligious Foundations for Social Cohesion: The Central African Republic Interfaith Peacebuilding Partnership (CIPP) led by Catholic Relief Services 
  • Page 18   Food Security in Ethiopia: Food for the Hungry’s Ethiopia Development Food Aid Program.
  • Page 20   Overcoming Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: IMA World Health’s USHINDI project.
  • Page 22   Changing Gender Roles in Food Security: Lutheran World Relief’s (LWR) Gender in Agriculture from Policy to Practice (GAPP) Project.
  • Page 24   Interreligious Peacebuilding for Communities: National Peace Council of Sri Lanka’s Reconciling Inter-Ethnic and Inter-Religious Differences Project.
  • Page 26   Changing People’s Practices Towards Malaria: Programa Inter-Religioso Contra a Malaria‘s project on Social and Behavior Change Communication.
  • Page 28   Working with Local Faith Actors in Emergencies: Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Response and Economic Recovery for Eastern DRC.
  • Page 30   Changing the Course of the Ebola Epidemic: World Hope International’s Preventing Ebola Through Faith and Cultural Leadership Project.
  • Page 32   Working with Local Influencers on Family Planning: World Vision International Integrated Birth Spacing Project.
  • Page 34   Community Leaders as Agents of Change for Child Health: World Relief’s “Tangiraneza/Start Well” Innovation Child Survival Project. 

Read the Faith-Based and Community Engagement Impact Stories – Part II

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