- The First South Asia Regional Strategic Faith Engagement Forum for Positive Change for Children (FPCC), Families and Communities was held from the 8th to 10th May 2022 in Kathmandu, Nepal. For a detailed experience of the meeting, please see Annex 1 which captures the proceedings as per the Forum program.
- Participation. This ‘Forum’ brought together over 100 religious leaders, faith actors, faith-based organizations and UNICEF South Asia representatives to develop the first South Asia Regional Faith and Positive Change for Children (FPCC) Strategy. It built on the initial consultations held virtually during the South Asia High-Level Forum for Faith Actors on the 8th December 2021 where commitments to work together on system strengthening of local faith communities for positive change for children, families and communities in South Asia were made.
- The Forum had three objectives. First, providing space for faith actors, UNICEF staff and stakeholders to explore avenues of collaboration and engagement in developing joint plans aligned with commitments to improve outcomes for children. Secondly, participants were expected to bring their experience, insights and knowledge to help develop a robust, practical and effective regional faith engagement strategy and, finally, identify and make practical commitments towards improving outcomes for children, families and communities in South Asia. All meeting presentations, notes and pictures can be accessed in the FPCC Website here.
- The task for which this Report is written is threefold. One, to share the proceedings and outcomes of the Forum. Two, to examine the processes, structures and opportunities available for sustained, evidence based and continued faith engagement. And three, to identify the specific commitments and roles of both faith actors and UNICEF ROSA in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the South Asia Faith Engagement Strategy.
- Results for Children in South Asia. Primarily the Forum was held to interrogate and identify the extent to which multi-religious and multi-stakeholder collaboration can be mobilised to deliver concrete results for the over 650 million children in South Asia by increasing and expanding the participation of faith actors in the new and existing spaces of engagement.
- Methodology and Process. The Forum relied on mixed facilitation approaches with participant-led and driven exercises and activities moderated and facilitated by technical resource persons from Global FPCC Coordinating teams as well as UNICEF ROSA. National Consultations were held in five Religions for Peace Chapters ahead of the Forum and the reports formed the basis of engagement while JLI initiated a partner and context mapping on Faith Engagement to analyse and bring out the evidence. UNICEF provided the regional context and priorities and these conversations and presentations guided the meeting towards developing the draft regional strategy at the end of the Forum. There were three parallel working committees charged with (i) putting together the regional strategy (ii) drafting the conference statement (iii) technical continuity committee in charge of the program.