October 7-11 – Juba, South Sudan

Local faith actors and religious leaders with UNICEF South Sudan, Religions for Peace and the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities launched the first country WorkRock of the Faith and Positive Change for Children Global Initiative on Social Behavior Change (FPCC). The partners gathered for five days to discuss and work for change for children. The opening ceremony on Monday included a welcome from Archbishop Arkangelo Wani Lemi, Chairperson of South Sudan Council of Churches and remarks from Sheikh Juma Saeed, Vice President James Wani Igga and Kerida McDonald, UNICEF Senior Advisor of Communication for Development.

Opening ceremony participants

Students from JCC Primary School with Religions Leaders, UNICEF and partners to launch the first Faith and Positive Change for Children WorkRock ©UNICEF South Sudan/2019/Bullen Chol

“Despite improvements in girls’ education, too many girls are still denied the opportunity to attend school. Lack of education is both a risk factor and a negative result of child marriage. Faith leaders and faith-based organizations are most centrally positioned to influence the ending of child marriage and therefore increasing girls’ education and their chances to fulfill their potential,”
Kerida McDonald, UNICEF’s Senior Advisor for Communication for Development

Children from JCC primary school in Juba performed a skit urging leaders to protect children in South Sudan.

“…I have a bright future inside me

only if you can listen to my cry

I am an African Child

I am a true South Sudanese Child

I am like a lost sheep in the bush without any shepherd to look after

Protect me from hunger

Protect me from sickness

Protect me from child labour…

I need your collective responsibilities all stakeholders

to protect and empower me to realise my dreams and aspirations

as an African South Sudanese child…”


Large group discussions during the WorkRock

Large group discussions during the WorkRock
photo credit: UNICEF/2019/ Sadik Raza

The remaining four days focused on a new way of working with UNICEF and local faith actors and religious leaders. Among attendance included religious leaders, faith actors, government UNICEF C4D officers from the three regions. The final day ended with the partners co-creating an action plan to work together within the regions.

The final day also marked the International Day of the Girl. The partners took a stand with girls in solidarity writing how they would support girls. ©UNICEF South Sudan/2019/Bullen Chol

The final day also marked the International Day of the Girl. The partners took a stand with girls in solidarity writing how they would support girls. ©UNICEF South Sudan/2019/Bullen Chol

The next steps will aim to have a core commitment from the government and to facilitate similar workrocks on regional and state levels. These commitments build on UNICEF and the World Food Programme’s recently signed joint memorandum of understanding with the South Sudan Council of Churches to collaborate for peace and child rights.

The FPCC will be further tested and adapted in consultations with UNICEF and local faith actors in Malawi, Liberia Niger, and Cameroon before the end of the year.


Video recap of the South Sudan FPCC WorkRock





March 11, 2019

By Olivia Wilkinson and Susanna Trotta on the Georgetown University Berkley Center blog

This blog post highlights Education and Refugee Response from the JLIFLC policy brief on the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees with faith actors.

“In the Global Compact on Refugees’ program of action, education falls within a section on meeting needs and supporting communities. The main provision within the compact is for the support of national education systems, which in many cases will include schools that are run by faith-based institutions and operating within national laws and policies. However, refugee children can struggle to gain places (especially in over-burdened systems) and integrate into new education systems. Issues related to which curricula to follow and to accreditation between home, host, and destination curricula have caused problems. Instead, children on the move may seek non-formal education opportunities, which can also be run by faith actors, such as sessions in religious buildings with provisions funded by the faith community.”

See full Georgetown Berkley Center Post Here

The World Council of Churches (WCC) posted the following News article:

21 February 2019

In remarks during a workshop on HIV among migrants and refugees, UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé spoke of the challenge of HIV in what has become a rapidly changing and very unpredictable world.

“We believe you will never be able to reach people when you are born privileged,” Sidibé reflected. “Your job is to cross the road and reach people who are not privileged. What we need are bridges connecting us all to reach other.”

The workshop was organized on 20-21 February by UNAIDS, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Catholic Migration Commission.

“We are living in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world,” said Sidibé. “From my country of Mali to Eastern Europe to South America, the right to health and the right to education is not being upheld in conflict-affected settings.”

We simply cannot think of the challenge of HIV in isolation, he continued. “We need to understand the bigger picture, and the role of faith-based organizations is very critical.”

As more and more people are on the move, faith-based organizations are critical in ensuring people have access to healthcare, said Sidibé, because faith-based groups reach people at the grassroots and know what people are facing in their daily lives.

“We are facing massive political upheaval everywhere, and a lack of economic opportunity for young people, mixed with democratic fatigue,” he said. “We have a divide today and it is a lack of trust, and if people don’t have jobs, they don’t have hope.”

HIV is linked to inequality and to lack of opportunity, Sidibé noted. “What I’m seeing as the biggest problem is social inequality. If you have a breakdown, what will happen is that people will not stay there.”

With 68 million people forced from their homes across the world due to violence, war and conflict, in many places the bulk of health services are being provided by faith-based organizations. “What is happening to people on the move? They are becoming victims of violence, and we really need to understand that. We need to think in a more integrated and practical way.”

Link to WCC News post

JLI New Policy Brief- Faith Actors and Global Compact on Refugees

To maximize the significant opportunities presented by the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), the international community must recognize the experience and capabilities of faith actors (FAs) and break down existing barriers to partnerships to enable a more comprehensive, effective, and durable response.

While the GCR does acknowledge that: “Faith-based actors could support the planning and delivery of arrangements to assist refugees and host communities, including in the areas of conflict prevention, reconciliation, and peacebuilding, as well as other relevant areas,” the critical and comprehensive role that FAs play – as well as their potential for efficient service delivery – warrants a fuller and more nuanced examination.

The following policy brief provides a set of recommendations based on evidence concerning the multiple roles that faith and faith actors play across different stages and spaces of forced displacement. The brief is aligned with the GCR’s sections on Arrangements for Burden- and Responsibility-sharing and its three Areas in Need of Support (Reception and Admission, Meeting Needs and Supporting Communities, and Solutions)

This brief and corresponding resource brief were funded through the Luce Foundation









Read the supporting ‘Resource Brief’ that provides a reading list of articles related to faith, refugees, and the Global Compact

The HERDING project

Sustainable development for pastoralist women in India: heritage, dignity and adaptations in times of rapid change.

Public summary

The HERDING project is funded by the British Academy’s Sustainable Development research programme. The programme, which will run for 20 months from October 2018, brings together a range of research projects that are focusing on the importance of heritage and dignity for ‘sustainable development’. They all contribute to a global pledge to ‘leave no-one behind’ that was made when the Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015.

The HERDING project focuses on women in mobile pastoralist communities in India. India has a wide range of ecosystems that support mobile animal husbandry, and is home to about 30 million pastoralists. Rapidly changing patterns of land use, alongside pressures to become sedentary, are challenging pastoralists’ livelihoods as mobile animal husbanders. Many pastoralists are becoming more vulnerable to poverty, and changes are affecting men and women differently.

The HERDING project brings together academic disciplines of gender studies, development studies and the sociological study of religion to study the complex transformations of pastoralist women’s lives. It investigates the role that their beliefs and practices play in constructing a sense of shared heritage that links them to the land and their animals; and how this heritage is changing. It provides an opportunity to for pastoralist women, whose voices are less heard than the voices of men, to speak about the roles and importance to them of religion, gender, culture and nature. It asks: ‘How do pastoralist women in India live, perceive and mobilise aspects of their religio-cultural heritage to lay claim to sustaining livelihoods of dignity within and outside mobile pastoralism?’.

The project works with four communities of Hindu and Muslim pastoralists in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh. The project partners are the University of Leeds in the UK, and in India the Centre for Pastoralism and four affiliated NGOs who are specialists in pastoralism, and the promotion of women’s wellbeing and empowerment.

The HERDING project aims to advance a view of sustainable development that honours pastoralists’ heritage, interrupts processes of exclusion, and supports India’s Sustainable Development Goal programming.


For further details, please contact Project Team Leader, Professor Caroline Dyer ([email protected]) Co-investigator, Professor Emma Tomalin ([email protected])

Episode 360

Freakonomics interviews David Sutherland, Board Chair for International Care Ministries (ICM) with Economist and Northwestern University, Dean Karlan, Finance Professor at Yale University, James Choi and other guests on ICM randomized controlled trial and the impact of religiosity on economic outcomes in the Philippines.

See below link for podcasts and transcript

Is the Protestant Work Ethic Real? (Ep. 360)

For more on the trial see JLI Webinar and relevant resources here


Introduction and discussion moderated by JLI Coordinator, Jean Duff

Guest Speakers:

  • Missionary Approach to Development, Seamus O’Leary, Learning and Development Manager, Misean Cara
  • The fire from above, and the fire from below- Peacebuilding approaches in the Philippines, Rick van der Woud, CEO, Mensen met een Missie




Relevant Resources

Misean Cara Missionary Approach to Development Interventions (MADI)     Misean Cara Brief Missionary Approach to Development Interventions     Missionary Responses to Ebola Virus Crises- Misean Cara

Global Partners Forum

October 16th-19th


On October 16-19 the Faith Action for Children on the Move Global Partners Forum will be held in Rome, Italy. The Forum provides a platform to bring together a diverse group of faith-based organisations.

The co-organizers, ACT Alliance, ADRA, Anglican Alliance, Arigatou International, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities, Mennonite World Conference,  Micah Global, The Salvation Army, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, World Council of Churches, World Evangelical Alliance and World Vision believe that by working together we can end violence against migrant, refugee, and displaced children and their families.

In preparation for the Forum, the co-organizers along with participating partners reviewed the evidence and approaches on how to work as faith actors. Three themes emerged which will shape the programme and the collective action plan:

  • Spiritual support to children and caregivers as a source of healing and resilience
  • Strengthening the continuum of protection for children on the move
  • Building peaceful societies and combating xenophobia

Forum Goals

  • Learn: Compile and analyse current responses of faith communities, the programme approaches we use, best practices, policy frameworks, advocacy efforts and gaps.
  • Exchange: Discern, share, and build consensus among faith groups, alongside decision makers, children and communities on issues related to violence, migration, displacement, and trafficking.
  • Inform: Produce a publication capturing the essence of the process, key issues, and the plan of action to inform, inspire, and equip others into the future.
  • Plan: Plan action to increase awareness, strengthen partnerships, improve delivery, scale up interventions, and influence decision-making.


Read the Learning Briefs

Learning Brief: Continuum of Protection for Children          Learning Brief: Spiritual Support          Learning Brief: The role of faith in building peaceful societies and combating xenophobia

We invite you to participate in the forum to bring experiences to share on the three themes, or follow along with with us virtually.

Click the link below for further information about the forum, registration, and accommodations can be found below. Please share the information with other colleagues and institutions which may be interested in participating.



To see the Children on the Move resource platform here

*please feel free to upload & send additional resources as well

JLI is happy to announce new board members joining the JLI Board of Directors

Catriona Dejean

Catriona Dejean is Tearfund’s Director of Strategy and Impact, and previously headed up the their Impact and Effectiveness Team. Prior to this, she was a consultant in the social enterprise sector, providing advice to UK and international clients. She has also worked for World Vision on development programmes, and at strategy level – predominantly in Latin America. She started her career in environmental consultancy in the private sector. Catriona also served as a trustee for Cafedirect Producers’ Foundation (now Producers’ Direct) – an award-winning fairtrade enterprise, led by farmers across East Africa and Latin America.


Christo Greyling

Rev Christo Greyling is the Senior Director for Faith – Advocacy and External Engagement for World Vision International. He was co-responsible for the development of the Channels of Hope methodology which has catalysed nearly 500,000 faith leaders in 45 countries to respond to difficult development issues such as child protection, maternal and child health, HIV and gender. He is passionate to build meaningful partnerships and collaborate with faith based agencies and faith actors to meaningfully contribute towards SDG outcomes and child well-being.


Mohammed Shareef

Dr Mohammed Shareef is the Research and Development Manager at the Humanitarian Academy for Development. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (London). He has previously worked for the United Nations and as a Visiting Lecturer in Politics and International Relations of the Middle East at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. He is also a former Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sulaimani in Iraqi Kurdistan. Shareef completed his PhD in International Relations at the University of Durham and has an MSc in International Relations from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.


Thanks and best wishes to Hiruy Teka from Samaritan’s Purse and Lucas Koach from Food for the Hungry who will be leaving the JLI Board of Directors.


Learn more about the JLI Leadership