3 principles to guide DfID-faith groups' work

    A local community health worker gives family planning advice to a mother in India. A paper by U.K. Department for International Development lists three principles to guide and strengthen the agency's relationship with faith groups working in development. Photo by: Pippa Ranger / Department for International Development / CC BY-NC-ND

    How can aid agencies and faith groups work together on sensitive issues such as family planning, gay rights, and HIV and AIDS?

    The challenge is difficult to resolve, but the U.K. Department for International Development’s new Faith Partnership Principles paper may find a way forward in this endeavor.

    Launched June 26, the paper lists three principles to guide and strengthen the agency’s relationship with faith groups working in development: transparency, mutual respect and understanding.

    In practice, the principles can help DfID track how the work of the faith groups it is supporting is affecting poverty reduction and efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals. This can be done by establishing a “community of learning” by October that will map and document faith groups’ work.

    The principles can also benefit faith groups in terms of funding. DfID, the paper says, will help keep faith groups informed of funding opportunities, especially through the Global Poverty Action Fund. DfID will also “look for opportunities” to provide faith groups “additional development support.”

    Moreover, both parties are planning to identify focus countries for the faith groups. The goal is to produce country papers citing case studies and examples of good practices that can guide their discussion on contentious issues.

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    About the author

    • Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.