WFDD Programs & Projects
World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) is a not-for-profit organization working at the intersection of religion and global development. With many mutual interests, WFDD is housed at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and collaborates with them in their Religion and Global Development program. Katherine Marshall serves as the executive director of WFDD and is also a senior fellow at the Berkley Center. WFDD's programs investigate the engagement of religious actors and the role of religion in various development areas such as gender, health, education, and conflict and peacebuilding.
The Berkley Center's Religion and Global Development program, in close collaboration with the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD), tracks the engagement of religious communities and faith-inspired organizations around global policy challenges and brings together stakeholders to examine best practices and advance collaboration.
In conjunction with WFDD's investigation into the links between faith and development in Cambodia, the Berkley Center is spotlighting interviews conducted in Cambodia with the goal of increasing understanding of faith-inspired development work, and of identifying issues and challenges that could be addressed in order to further progress towards development goals.
The Berkley Center and World Faiths Development Dialogue have developed a series of policy briefs that examine the role of faith-based organizations and topics including: corruption, the WASH agenda, human trafficking in Cambodia, Southeast Asia, aid effectiveness, immunization, and reducing maternal mortality. The briefs distill key findings from reports and consultations carried out during the first five years of the Religion and Global Development program. Comments and suggestions on the documents are welcome as the program looks toward the next phase of its work. Please contact Katherine Marshall: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access to safe and reliable sources of modern energy is crucial for achieving sustainable and equitable development for the world's poorest (and often energy deprived) citizens. Without electricity, students have no light for studying at night, hospitals cannot store lifesaving vaccines, and irrigation systems cannot sustain drought-stricken regions. Burning traditional fuels like kerosene and biomass types like wood and manure emit deadly fumes, pose fire hazards, and contribute to environmental degradation. WFDD, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, explore the intersections of faith and energy access, by beginning to map the landscape of actors and to highlight their current approaches.
The Berkley Center and the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) are mapping the activities of faith-inspired organizations across world regions. Through a series of reports, in-depth interviews with practitioners, and international workshops, and an interactive database, the mapping project charts organizations anchored in particular faith traditions or with ecumenical or interfaith approaches that are engaged in global development agendas, including poverty relief, education, and the struggle against HIV/AIDS and malaria.
The Berkley Center and World Faiths Development Dialogue collaborated with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) on a year-long project to assess their interfaith toolkit pilot project.The toolkit, prepared in conjunction with an earlier Berkley Center collaboration, aims to engage local community interfaith groups in HFHI efforts to provide adequate shelter for all. The pilot project aimed to test the toolkit's effectiveness as a component of the HFHI community outreach strategy.
The ethical and values challenges that underlie the Olympic Movement are explored in this series of interviews with leading practitioners. The interviews highlight historical dimensions and contemporary dilemmas such as nationalism versus the universality and the effects of commercial interests. The series also explores the significance of the Paralympics and Special Olympics, the unexploited potential of the Olympic Truce, and the intersection of religion with the Olympic Movement.
The Opus Prize recognizes unsung heroes of any faith tradition, anywhere in the world, solving today’s most persistent social problems. Given annually, this $1 million faith-based humanitarian award and awards for the other finalists are collectively one of the world’s largest faith-based, humanitarian awards for social innovation. Recipients are selected on the basis of their entrepreneurial spirit and abiding faith to address global issues like poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease, and injustice.
"How does faith or religion affect your work?" This series of nearly 400 interviews addresses this question with a wide range of development actors across the world. The assembled in-depth conversations with activists, religious leaders, and policy specialists examine best practices and collaborative strategies across a range of contemporary challenges. Interviews focus on country and regional issues and on leading development topics, including women and peacebuilding, health, education, housing, governance, and gender. View our most recent interviews below or search by name under the Interviewees tab (alphabetical by last name).
Building upon previous projects from the first phase of collaboration with the Luce Foundation, the Berkley Center’s Religion and Global Development Program and World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) are exploring key religion and development work at the country level in Bangladesh, Senegal, Kenya, and Guatemala. This new research will produce pedagogical resources, research publications, and policy briefs, with a core objective to encourage engagement and collaboration with faith-inspired actors to achieve development goals.
In preparation for the November 2011 capstone to reflect on the first phase of the Religion and Global Development project, the Berkley Center and the World Faiths Development Dialogue conducted a series of focused interviews with practitioners and scholars working at the forefront of policy and practice at the intersection of faith and development. As the 2015 Millennium Development Goals deadline approaches, the interview series explores how the efforts of faith-inspired actors can best be harnessed to craft effective policy looking in the years ahead.
The Berkley Center and World Faiths Development Dialogue are conducting a multi-year survey of critical issues at the intersection of religion and development. Project publications and associated events track the engagement of faith-inspired organizations around a set of core policy challenges, with an emphasis on common problems, ethical commitments, and best practices. Thus far the project has addressed HIV/AIDs, Gender, Shelter, Governance, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Water and Sanitation, and Maternal Mortality.
Scholars and practitioners have devoted increasing attention to the roles played by faith communities in negotiating and building peace in the world's conflict zones. Because formal religious leadership tends to be dominated by men, women's engagement in religious peacemaking has received far less attention. To address this knowledge gap, the US Institute of Peace, the Berkley Center, and the World Faiths Development Dialogue are conducting a multiyear exploration of the activities and perspectives of women in peacebuilding and their policy implications.
Women and girls are today a centerpiece of international development. But will increased access to education, employment, healthcare, decisionmaking, and leadership truly bring change to female lives within the home and family? Amidst complex, shifting social norms, religion plays an important role because it can shape gender dynamics within families and society. However, religion’s impact on the family is often overlooked or poorly understood. To better understand the nexus of women, religion, and the family, the Berkley Center and the World Faiths Development Dialogue have launched an initial exploration through diverse essays and interviews. In collaboration with a group of scholars, activists, faith and community leaders, and development practitioners, this collection of work begins to examine challenging topics and puzzling patterns that are often overlooked, neglected, or misunderstood.