Mapping the Role of Faith Communities in Development Policy: The U.S. Case in International Perspective

Author: Katherine Marshall

April 1, 2007

This report maps the work of faith-inspired organizations in the United States that are engaged in the international development and relief arena. Secondly, the report reviews major elements in the academic and policy literature that focus explicitly on faith-based organizations and their development work. The report then describes how faith-based NGOs mobilize public support, collaborate with national governments and international institutions, cooperate with secular NGOs, and implement policy on the ground. The report's focus is on U.S.-based NGOs that interact with national governments and international organizations across a range of issue areas, including education, health care, gender, humanitarian relief, microfinance, and the environment. Finally, the report explores emerging issues facing the faith-based NGO community, including the ethical and practical considerations surrounding the proper relationship with public authorities and the problems of proselytization when combined with development work.

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