This book explores the interplay and dialogue between faith communities and the humanitarian-development community. Faith and religion are key influencers of thought and practice in many communities around the world and development practitioners would not be able to change behaviors for improved health and social relations without the understanding and influence of those with authority in communities, such as religious leaders. Equally, religious leaders feel responsibilities to their communities, but do not necessarily have the technical knowledge and resources at hand to provide the information or services needed to promote the well-being of all in their scope of influence. The book demonstrates that partnerships between humanitarian-development practitioners and religious communities can be mutually beneficial exchanges, but that there are also frequently pitfalls along the way and opportunities for lessons to be learned by each party.


Chapter 1: Identifying the Encounters between Local Faith Communities and International Development Actors, by Olivia J. Wilkinson and Kathryn Kraft

Section 1: Conceptualizing Development in the space between faith and secular approaches

Chapter 2: Mobilisation towards what? Moving beyond an instrumental view of local faith actors in WASH programmes, by Jonathan Wiles and Nathan Mallonee

Chapter 3: From Principles to Praxis: The Worldwide Bahá’í Community’s Approach to Social and Economic Development, by Nava Kavelin and Julia Berger

Chapter 4: The spiritual is political: reflecting on gender, religion and secularism in international development, by Brenda E. Bartelink and Erin K. Wilson

Chapter 5: Social movement and mobilisation approaches – a case study of Tearfund, by Madleina Daehnhardt

Chapter 6: Cascading theology: Experiences of the implementation of a training-of-the-trainers model for faith-based gender-based violence intervention, by Elisabet le Roux and Jill Olivier

Section 2: Practice-based knowledge on partnerships between INGOs and local faith communities

Chapter 7: Mobilising Local Faith Communities: A cross-organisational comparison of the main mechanisms and methods, by Olivia J. Wilkinson, Stacy Nam, and Jean Duff

Chapter 8: Integrating gender-based violence and child protection, an exploration of Islamic Relief’s approaches, by Sandra Iman Pertek, Najah Almugahed and Neelam Fida

Chapter 9: Channels of Hope for Gender: Mobilising Communities to Address GBV across the Pacific and Timor-Leste, by Alina Meyer and Abigail Howe-Will

Chapter 10: The Potential of Faith Leader’s Delivery Platforms: Reaching Underserved Populations in Africa with Reproductive Health Interventions, by Alfonso Rosales and Arielle Dolegui

Chapter 11: Working with data to evolve a community mobilisation process with pastors in the Philippines, by Lincoln Lau

Section 3: Parallel systems: how development actors do and do not engage with each other

Chapter 12: Local Faith Communities and the Sustainable Development Goals in India and Ethiopia, by Emma Tomalin and Jörg Haustein

Chapter 13: The encounter between international donors and Christian faith-based organisations in the Cameroonian health system: Assumptions, influence and effects, by Sybille Herzig van Wees

Chapter 14: “When a child has not made 18 years and you marry her off … don’t bother to invite me! I will not come”: the role and involvement of faith leaders’ wives in child protection issues, by Carola Eyber and Kanykey Jailobaeva

Section 4: Deep engagement in complex issues

Chapter 15: What’s in a name? Identifying the harm in ‘harmful traditional practices’, by Elisabet le Roux and Brenda E. Bartelink

Chapter 16: Faith collaborations in promoting tolerance and social cohesion, by Kathryn Kraft

Chapter 17: Partnering with local faith communities: Learning from the response to internal displacement and sexual violence in Colombia, by Elisabet le Roux and Laura Cadavid Valencia

Find more information about the book here.