Faith-Inspired Organizations and Global Development Policy: A Background Review "Mapping" Social and Economic Development Work in Europe and Africa
January 1, 2009
"Faith-Inspired Organizations and Global Development Policy: A Background Review "Mapping" Social and Economic Development Work in Europe and Africa" explores issues confronting organizations working on international development that are, in different ways and to varying degrees, inspired by religious faith. Part of a global review of such work, this particular paper focuses on Europe and Africa. The overall project responds to mounting evidence of the significance of faith dimensions and institutions in development activities and gaps in knowledge about their work. This report has a geographic focus in Africa and Europe, both as distinct entities and with respect to their intersection as a result of historical and contemporary interactions. This report was prepared as background for a consultation focused on faith and development on June 24-25, 2008 at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. A report on that event was published separately.
Religion is a central part of African life. It is thus important that European NGOs, religious or secular, take into account the fabric of religious life and its societal impact when conducting development work. Western religion has helped shape the Europe of today: the drive to create an "ideal" society is strengthened and shaped around religious ideals. European FIOs (faith-inspired organizations) are therefore charged with an important task: to help Europeans understand the importance of religion in development work, and to help develop secular cohesion within immigrant states. With the conflicts that arise between religious populations, European FIOs can help bridge these gaps and move European society forward into a more pluralistic age.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Europe
Religion in Europe
Faith-Inspired Organizations and the EU: ECHO and EuropeAid
Religion in Europe: Demography and Politics
Case Studies by Country
Some Major European Faith-Inspired Organizations
Part 2: Africa
Religious Organizations in Africa: A Brief Historical Overview
A Current Profile of Faith-Inspired Organizations in Africa
International Players in African Development
Emerging Issues Related to Faith and Development in Africa