Religious and Faith-based Contributions to the Well-being of Children
The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) is pleased to announce the initiation of a partnership with UNICEF over the next three years. Faith and Positive Change for Children: Global Initiative on Social and Behaviour Change is a collaboration with the UNICEF Communication for Development in Programme Division and the Civil Society Partnerships Unit in the Division of Communication. The project will look across sectors including health, development, protection, and empowerment of children, especially focusing on the most marginalized, across the life-cycle.
The purpose of the global Initiative is to move beyond a single sector, single denomination and message-based communication to support more focused, systematic and at-scale engagement with faith-based communities and actors to influence positive social and behaviour change towards improving the wellbeing of children, youth, women and families, particularly the most marginalized.
2018 Partnership Achievements
Literature review- 91 resources reviewed in-depth, whittled down from 1600+
17 country-specific case studies from interviews with Faith Actor Partner (e.g. IRCLs, Faith-based Universities, National FBOs and faith-based networks), Government Partner, and UNICEF on partnerships – 42 people interviewed
Content review – 27 toolkits reviewed
Theory of Change development consultation with 13 institutions
The partners collaborated to hold a multi-country consultation in Bangkok in July to input into the programmatic framework. Participants included 17 UNICEF Country Offices and 5 RfP Interreligious Councils. The workshop had over 100 participants from 20 countries across all regions of the world.
The evidence developed from 2018 from faith-based knowledge, social and behavior change knowledge, Academic and NGO sources culminated in drafting a translated conceptual framework.
Listening to religious leaders in Bangkok
This new way of working will be tested in in-country through workshops 2019 to develop principles for systematic engagement with FBOs at scale for social and behavior change, guidelines, and resources.
This draft theory of change sets out a framework to show how faith-based organisations and groups can contribute effectively to social and behaviour change. It forms part of the ‘Faith and Positive Change for Children’ partnership between UNICEF’s Communications for Development (C4D) in the Programme Division, Civil Society Partnerships in the Communications Division, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) and Religions for Peace (RfP).
UNICEF has a long history of working with faith-based organisations (FBOs). However, many partnerships have been short-term and focused on a single sector, rather than taking a more systemic approach, as required to effect change in complex behaviours and social norms. JLI is an international collaboration on evidence for faith groups’ contribution to local community well being and to ending poverty while Religions for Peace (RfP) is the largest multi-religious coalition globally. The partnership vision is to develop the capacity of UNICEF staff and their faith partners to support more effective approaches, specifically in relation to jointly identified priority results for children.
This Theory of Change will be updated following the six in-country workshops in East and West Africa.
Published: 2019Author:UNICEF, Religions for Peace, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities
This report documents the first Global Evidence Review and Regional and Country Planning Workshop held in Bangkok from July 10 to 12, 2017, to launch a new Partnership Initiative on Faith and Positive Change for Children: A Global Initiative on Social and Behaviour Change (FPCC), organized by UNICEF, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities and Religions for Peace.
Over 100 participants from 20 countries across all regions of the world representing different religious congregations and faith-based organizations, long-standing and new partners of UNICEF, as well as UNICEF Officers from HQ, Regional and Country Offices shared their experience in faith-based programming for children in partnership and altogether committed to the global launch of this new partnership initiative.
The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) is working with UNICEF’s Communication for Development Section in Programme Division and the Civil Society Partnerships Unit in the Division of Communication on an initiative , titled the “Faith and Positive Change for Children: Global Initiative on Social and Behaviour Change.”
The project aims to generate knowledge on the specific roles, caveats, effective strategies, and demonstrated impacts of faith-based organizations in social and behavior change communications. The initiative will support faith engagement across sectors including health, development, protection, and empowerment of children throughout the life cycle, with a strong focus on the most marginalized.
One of the most powerful influencers of individual behaviours, social norms and collective action at community and societal level is religion.
To maximize opportunities for more positive and impactful influence towards improving child and family wellbeing, UNICEF (Communication for Development Section and Civil Society Partnerships Unit in NYHQ), the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities and Religions for Peace in 2018 embarked on a new global Initiative on Faith and Positive Change for Children.
Published: 2019Author:UNICEF, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities (JLI) and Religions for Peace
For more information please contact the JLI Director of Research, Dr. Olivia Wilkinson at [email protected]