Workshop on Faith-Inspired Development Work in Southeast Asia

December 14-15, 2009

This two-day consultation on the role of faith-inspired practitioners and organizations focused on issues of global development and equity in Southeast Asia. In advance of the consultation, participants contributed to in-depth interviews on their work and experience, with a focus on how their development approach and work was influenced by religion. A draft background report prepared by the Berkley Center and the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) was discussed at the meeting and has now been published in its final form. Discussion was moderated by Katherine Marshall, WFDD executive director, Berkley Center senior fellow, and a senior advisor at the World Bank. Day one raised a broad set of issues and allowed participants to take stock of the salient issues in the region, while the second day concentrated on governance and advocacy roles of faith-inspired institutions in Cambodia.
On day one, the first session focused on the current activities, roles, and scope of organizations throughout Southeast Asia. During session two, the group delved deeper into the practical realities and trends of current engagement of faith and faith-inspired institutions in the development area, broadly defined. The afternoon hosted two sector-specific sessions, the first on conflict and the second on children and youth at risk. Participants finished the sessions optimistic that the consultation would help to invigorate broad-based discussion and cooperation upon return to their home countries and regions. On day two, following introduction and perspectives from WFDD fellows, Michael Scharff and Augustina Delaney, on their work mapping faith-inspired actors and development in Cambodia, discussions turned to the challenging yet dynamic environment in Cambodia. Topics of trust, governance, religious harmony, methodology, coordination, and interfaith dialogue were prominent throughout the session.

The consultation was the fifth in a series of geographically-focused explorations undertaken by the Berkley Center, with support from the Henry R. Luce Foundation, whose objective is both to increase knowledge about institutions and their work and to identify and explore emerging policy issues.

This event was sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the World Faiths Development Dialogue.

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