EARLY ADOPTERS’ WORKROCK SOUTH SUDAN
7-11 OCTOBER 2019
The ‘Faith for Positive Change for Children’ (FPCC) global initiative aims to enable UNICEF and faith-based actors to work together in a more sustainable, systemic, integrated and scalable way to impact children’s lives. UNICEF has a long history of active engagement with local faith actors. Its 2014 mapping showed that its approach across 150 countries was mainly ad-hoc, short-term and message-based. It was instrumentalising faith groups, rather than working collaboratively to address the complexity of social and behaviour change. Its Communications for Development (C4D) section therefore teamed up with the ‘Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities’ and ‘Religions for Peace’ on this initiative. In 2018, they drew together the global evidence base to show what really works, reviewed toolkits, held a UNICEF and faith partner workshop in Bangkok, documented case-studies of UNICEF’s existing work in this area, co-created a theory of change for the initiative, and set up an advisory group of 20 partner organisations and web platform to share resources. Since then, the initiative has developed draft guidance and a package of resources to support roll-out.
UNICEF South Sudan was the first of five early adopter countries in Africa (with Malawi, Liberia, Cameroon and Niger) to host this ‘WorkRock’ – a term that shows that this is not ‘business as usual’ but about figuring out a new way of working together, based on strong foundations in evidence. With the help of the South Sudan Council of Churches and Islamic Council, it brought together 65 faith leaders and organisations, government officers and UNICEF staff.