The Anglican Alliance is engaging with the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) to connect with other faith-based organisations, secular development organisations and universities across the world, building a strong evidence base for its work.
At this week’s JLI board meeting, Revd Rachel Carnegie, Co-Executive Director at the Anglican Alliance, met with representatives from leading universities as well as organisations such as Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Tearfund, American Jewish World Service, World Vision and Oxfam America, to discuss how best to share learning and build effective partnerships. The overarching aim is to see the full and appropriate engagement of faith groups in helping to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.
Formed in 2012 by a broad collaboration of international development organisations, UN agencies, academic institutions and religious bodies, the JLI is an international platform to gather and communicate evidence for faith groups’ activities and contributions to community health and well-being.
It seeks to connect policy makers, practitioners and academics with the knowledge, resources and expertise to understand the role of local faith communities in humanitarian and development contexts.
Learning hubs share knowledge on issues such as gender-based violence, peace and conflict, disaster relief, and refugees and forced migration. And joint research projects build an insight into how local faith communities can best engage.
For example, some of JLI’s recent research, presented at the World Humanitarian Summit in May this year, gave evidence into how religious groups contribute to local humanitarian responses. The reports challenged the conventional views about the relationship between religion and conflict, finding that local faith communities “can act early and effectively for conflict prevention. They also sustain their engagement for the long term.”
JLI’s policy briefs and commitments at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) called for more recognition of the work of faith communities and for more investment into their humanitarian efforts. The JLI’s synthesis briefs gave concrete examples of how the international humanitarian community might achieve its aim to ‘localise’ the delivery of aid.
Anglican Alliance Chair of Trustees and Primate of Central Africa, Archbishop Albert Chama, and Canon Grace Kaiso, General Secretary of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, attended the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016 and were part of the faith coalition advocating on these issues.
JLI’s website contains links to active learning hubs and to the studies and findings of previous hubs which examined the role of local faith communities in the areas of immunisation, HIV and maternal health, child health, and resilience in humanitarian crises.
The Anglican Alliance will continue to participate in the JLI to highlight the role that faith communities play, working with other faith-based organisations and academics to build a strong evidence base for its development, relief and advocacy work.
Rachel Carnegie said, “The JLI is an excellent opportunity for Anglicans engaged in relief and development work to come together with other faith groups and academic institutions to deepen our understanding of what works and why – and also what we can learn from on-going challenges. I encourage Anglicans to join the learning hubs relevant to their work.
“The JLI is also a great platform for joint engagement with policy makers in the UN and bilateral agencies to influence the policy and practice on partnering with faith communities on achieving the SDGs.”
Please contact the Anglican Alliance if you would like to learn more about the JLI. You can also visit the JLI website and register to join a learning hub.
Currently the active learning hubs are on four subject areas:
- Peace and Conflict
- Sexual and Gender-based Violence
- Refugees and Forced Migration
- Capacity Building with Local Faith Communities – including approaches to Asset-Based Community Development and Church and Community Mobilisation (also known as Umoja (‘together’ in Swahili).
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