Faith Works Africa, Abuja Nigeria October 18-20

Co-hosted by the African Council of Religious Leaders, GHR FoundationUSAIDReligions for Peace and The Global Women of Faith Network , under the auspices of Cardinal John Onaiyekan and the Sultan of Sokoto.


300 religious leaders and heads of FBOs gathered to explore activity and contributions to peace and prosperity. A resolution unanimously adopted by the assembly called for interreligious collaboration to end extreme poverty and to address the underlying causes of violent extremism.

JLI moderated a session on humanitarian response, with a short presentation including the 5 Evidence briefs  on religious and faith based response. Religious leaders from across the continent offered specific examples of religious and faith-based response to local humanitarian challenges.

See live stream recordings here

Summary Article 

There were several contiguous meetings:

 The first annual meeting of the Partnership for Religion and Development ( PaRD) gathered gathered some of its 5 bilateral, 10 multilateral members, and 5 guest members for discussion of progress and planning for the work ahead. PaRD elected its first fourteen  FBO partner organizations,  including the JLI, Alliance for Religions and Conservation, Arigatou International, GHR Foundation, and Global Ethics, Religions for Peace and the World Council of Churches.

The Sultan of Sokoto together with IIPC, led by Imam Magid and Imrana A. Umar and UNDP, hosted by top Uluma from seven West African countries for a two day working discussion on how to ramp up religious leadership to counter violent extremism. The Sultan chaired the intense discussions which resulted in the Declaration.

The Network of Religious and Traditional Leaders and IIPC briefed inter religious leaders on the Marrakesh Declaration. The Declaration was a revelation to most of the participants. Muslim and Christian speakers from the floor noted the reciprocal benefits of the Declaration with regard to protection for all religious minorities. The Declaration was warmly received, with calls from Christian leaders to develop an analogous document drawing on Holy Scripture for protection of the rights of minority religions. A USIP fellow announced that he had translated the document from the original Arabic into Hausa.

JLI is honored to be admitted as one of the first partners of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD). PaRD is a network on religion and development to enhance cooperation in achieving the 2030 Agenda together.

PaRD elected its first fourteen  FBO partner organizations,  including the JLI, Alliance for Religions and Conservation, Arigatou International, GHR Foundation, and Foundation, Religions for PeaceBuddhist Global Relief, Danmission, Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, Muslim Hands, Muslims for Progressive Values, Side by Side: Faith Movement for Gender Justice, World Association for Christian Communication, and WCC Armenia Inter-church Charitable Round Table Foundation.

You can become a PaRD partner by submitting an online application at


JLI with the World Bank Faith Initiative co-organized  a panel on Religion and Sustainable Development Evidence for the Capacities, Activities and Contributions of Faith Groups towards achieving the SDGs.

The event including World Bank employees and representatives from faith-based organizations.The panel included:


WB CSO 10-16

See here for more details on the event


New York, September 22, 2016

The Moral Imperative convened to discuss next steps to end extreme poverty by 2030. Previously, the group met to sign the Faith-Based Action Framework, including partners from faith-based organizations and religious groups, World Bank and UN representatives. The three working groups (evidence, advocacy and collaboration) gave updates on work over the past year. The intention of the Working Groups is to foster collaboration among key faith-based leaders and organizations, World Bank and UN agencies to discern the best way to implement the Faith-based Action Framework to End Poverty and Advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

JLI Coordinator, Jean Duff, co-moderates the Evidence Working Group along with Dean Pallant from the Salvation Army. The Evidence Group is comprised of over 20 faith-based organizations and is currently piloting their collaborative Guide.

The morning ended with breakout groups and large group discussion on implications for next steps in meeting the SDGs. Additionally, the afternoon session focused on faith and refugees and forced migration.

For a more comprehensive summary go to World Council of Churches:

JLI in partnership with:

The World Bank Group Faith Initiative, the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Engaging with Faith-Based Organizations for Sustainable Development, the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) as well as religious and faith based organizations including the World Council of Churches, Islamic Relief Worldwide, ACT Alliance, Caritas Internationalis, American Jewish World Service and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance are pleased to invite you to participate in

Moral Imperative Public Invitation Religion and Faith in Addressing Refugees and Forced Migration Event on September 22

  • 2-5:30 pm
  • Salvation Army- 221 E 52nd St NY

Please RSVP to [email protected]



The first World Humanitarian Summit, convening in Istanbul, May 2016, aims to set a new agenda for global humanitarian action.

The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities has actively supported religious engagement in the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) since Fall 2015.

Preparatory Meeting of Religious Leaders & FBO Representatives
May 22, 6:00pm – 8:30pm

The FBO Advisory Group has also advised the UN IATF-hosted Preparatory Meeting of religious leaders and faith-based organizations attending WHS. The Preparatory Meeting will convene on May 22, 2016, the day before the World Humanitarian Summit main program. Attendance is by invitation by the UN IATF only.

JLIF&LC Side Event at the World Humanitarian Summit:
“One Humanity, Shared Responsibilities: Evidence for Religious Groups’ Contributions to Humanitarian Response”
May 23, 8:30am – 10:00am, Rumeli Hall 6, Lufti Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Center

JLIF&LC will host a Side Event on the evidence base for religious activity and contributions to humanitarian response. Co-organizers include: Soka Gakkai International, Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network, Islamic Relief, Malteser International, Religions for Peace, World Evangelical Alliance, and World Vision.

The Side Event will feature five Evidence Briefs, produced by JLIF&LC, as well as case studies from local faith leaders to provide on-the-ground illustrations of the evidence presented. The Peace & Conflict Learning Hub Scoping Paper will also be launched at the Side Event. The Side Event is supported by an Online Information Platform hosted on the JLIF&LC website:

Agenda & More Information: View Side Event Agenda

WHS Special Session on Religious Engagement
May 23, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Istanbul Congress Centre

As a member of an FBO Advisory Group, JLIF&LC has advised the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion & Development on the development of the WHS Special Session on Religious Engagement in Humanitarian Response.

Evidence Briefs on the Contributions of Religious Actors to Humanitarian Response

In preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit, JLIF&LC, led by Resilience Learning Hub Co-Chairs Alastair Ager (Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and Columbia University) and Helen Stawski (Islamic Relief), has produced five evidence briefs linked to the five Core Responsibilities outlined in the Secretary General’s Report One Humanity, Shared Responsibility. JLIF&LC and the Henry R Luce Foundation has provided funding in support of the five Evidence Briefs. Key messages, the five evidence briefs and links to more in-depth resources are available here:

The evidence base includes seven regional meeting reports on religious engagement in humanitarian response and over 30 resources submitted to the WHS by religious leaders and FBOs during the WHS Secretariat’s call for public submissions.

Learn more about the World Humanitarian Summit at:


Faith for International Assistance (FIA) has launched a new website that is a helpful resource for faith groups and the global health and development assistance sectors:

FIA seeks to strengthen U.S. public support and funding for global health and development assistance through the voice and lens of faith. The website and information generated by Faith for International Assistance (FIA) and others, gathered in one place, seeks to be on-going and valuable resource for all.

Check out the resources available at


Berlin – At an international conference entitled “Partners for Change – Religions and the 2030 Agenda”, Minister Gerd Müller of BMZ presented on February 17, 2016 the first-ever strategy on the role of religion and faith communities in German development policy.

Minister Müller said, “Without the involvement of the world’s religions, we will not be able to meet the challenges the world is facing. Especially in these times when religion is used as an argument to justify terrorism and violence, we need to improve cooperation with all religious communities. We must not leave the field clear for the extremists. Rather, we need to strengthen those who are working for peace and development.”

The strategy Religious Communities as Partners for Development Cooperation is the outcome of a broad national and international dialogue which Minister Müller launched right after he assumed office. Together with civil society, religious communities and international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, the BMZ drew up the strategy to serve as guidance in the future for systematically taking cooperation with religious communities into account in the BMZ’s project work.

“A values-based development policy takes the contribution of religion seriously. Wherever we can achieve more by working together, we will increase our cooperation with religious actors. We have laid down clear criteria in our strategy to guide us in this endeavour,” said Müller.

In order to give this effort a push at the international level, too, the BMZ founded the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD), a joint endeavour with other donors and international organisations, for example the US, the UK, Sweden, the United Nations and the World Bank. The purpose of this Partnership is to develop common ideas on how to improve cooperation with faith communities. The Partnership is also open to civil society organisations.

PaRD will be supported by an international secretariat with offices in Bonn and Berlin.


Click here to view our Newsletter!

2015 was a productive year for the JLIF&LC community!

The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities co-convened the Religion & Sustainable Development Conference in Washington, DC with 140 leading policymakers, development practitioners, and academics in attendance. At a follow-on meeting to be hosted February 2016 by the German government, a new bilateral coordinating mechanism to support faith engagement in the SDGs will be launched.

The Gender-Based Violence Learning Hub completed a Scoping Study and Policy Brief on “The Role of Faith Communities and Organizations in Prevention and Response to Sexual and Gender-based Violence”, which was presented at the R&SD Conference. Elisabet Le Roux and other Hub members hosted a session on the Scoping Paper at the SVRI in September 2015. Hub Co-Chairs, now including Veena O’Sullivan (Tearfund/We Will Speak Out), Diana Arango (World Bank Group), and Elizabeth Dartnall (SVRI), are working with members to develop Scope of Work for 2016.

At the R&SD Conference, the Resilience Learning Hub organized a session on evidence for faith engagement in humanitarian response, including a recently completed Report and Policy Brief on local faith communities and the humanitarian responses among refugees in Irbid, Jordan. Now, the Resilience Hub, under Co-Chairs Alastair Ager and Helen Stawski’s continued leadership, is supporting the collation of the evidence base for the World Humanitarian Summit Special Event on Religion.

Peace & Conflict, JLIF&LC’s newest Learning Hub, was launched with over 115 members! Co-Chairs Sarah Pickwick (World Vision), Lucy V. Salek (Islamic Relief Worldwide), and Alpaslan Ozerdem (Coventry University) are coordinating with Hub members to develop a Learning Hub Scoping Paper on the role of religion in faith-based peacebuilding and conflict prevention. They plan to launch the Scoping Paper at the World Humanitarian Summit in May.

More 2015 updates are here in our Annual Report.

Many thanks for your many contributions – scholarly, financial, and advisory – to JLIF&LC! Check out what’s coming next…

Looking ahead to 2016
At the Annual in-person Steering Committee Meeting last October, JLIF&LC’s future directions were discussed. Key outcomes and decisions included:

  • Decision to continue JLIF&LC for at least three additional years
  • Affirmation of JLIF&LC’s core mandate and scope: To serve as a platform for collaborative learning about religious and faith-based activity and contribution to the health and well-being of local communities, and communication of evidence and best practice to policymakers and practitioners to support their full engagement of faith groups
  • Continuation of JLIF&LC’s structure as a coordinating mechanism for existing organizations around evidence, rather than a free-standing organization
  • Agreement to revise governance and membership structures
  • Retirement of inactive Learning Hubs into “Thematic areas” and establishment of new Learning Hubs
  • For more information, please see the Summary of the Steering Committee’s Agreed Actions and Next Steps

Faith-based Series: The Review of Faith & International Affairs

Following on from the Religion & Sustainable Development Conference, a series of articles will be published in a special edition of the Review of Faith & International Affairs Journal in Fall 2016. Jill Olivier is serving on behalf of the JLIF&LC as managing editor, with more than 10 articles on religion’s role in achieving the SDGs currently being planned. We are grateful for funding from DFID to support this work.

Evidence Focus of the World Humanitarian Summit Special Event on Religion

The World Humanitarian Summit, an initiative of the UN Secretary General to be convened in Istanbul on May 23-24, will be hosting a Special Event on Religion as part of its program. The Resilience and the Peace & Conflict Learning Hubs will be actively engaged in collation of evidence for faith-based contributions to humanitarian action, in support of the WHS Special Event on Religion.

Evidence Working Group of Faith-based Action Framework

Jean Duff, Coordinator of JLIF&LC, has been asked to serve as Moderator of the Evidence Working Group of the Joint Faith-based Action Framework. The Framework encourages joint action of faith groups towards ending extreme poverty and realizing the SDGs. The Framework is grounded in three pillars for action: Collaboration, Advocacy, and Evidence. Working groups have been formed around the pillars in order to catalyze joint action and country-level implementation of the Action Framework.

Resource Spotlight

Please continue to share information relating Faith and Local Communities!

We encourage submission of new resources and events to the JLIF&LC Website.

Want to join or learn more about JLIF&LC?

Please contact:

  • Jean Duff, Coordinator, jeanduff (at)
  • Helena Manguerra, Web Administrator, helenamanguerra (at)

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