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Development in Cambodia: A Mosaic of Faith Engagement

November 14, 2011

Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia's fastest developing countries, notwithstanding one of the world's worst genocides less than a generation ago. Wide international engagement, involving a myriad of actors, touches virtually all sectors, including economic development, education, healthcare, and human rights. Development actors include well-know faith-inspired organizations active throughout the country, engaged on virtually every development challenge. Their work, however, has been less well known. Rarely is the experience of these numerous and very diverse organizations fully captured in policy debates. Few are engaged systematically in efforts to coordinate and harmonize development finance and action.

Princeton University, the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD), Princeton in Asia (PIA), the Center for the Study of Religion, and the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination convened a lunchtime conversation about WFDD and PIA's three-year partnership. WFDD, a small, non-profit, research NGO housed at Georgetown University, explores the complex intersections of faith and development, both in Cambodia and globally. WFDD executive director and Princeton alumna Katherine Marshall (WWS '69GS), former PIA in Cambodia fellow Michael Scharff, and Dean of Religious Life Rev. Alison Boden discussed highlights of Cambodia's unique development challenges, the diverse actors at work there, and present and potential roles of faith-inspired organizations, both in Cambodia and globally, in context.

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