The African Christian Health Association Platform ( ACHAP) 8th Anniversary meeting

Theme: Evidence for faith-based health care provision

Hosted by the Christian Health Association of Lesotho

The 2017 biennial conference program chaired by Dr Karen Sinchinga Churches Health Association of Zambia, focused on the themes of Building Partnerships for FBO Health Systems Strengthening towards Achieving the SDGs. An important sub theme was building evidence for health systems strengthening for Christian Health Associations (CHAs)

CHAs’ capacities for data collection, and analysis vary widely according to the size and level of development of the CHAs. Many sessions and workshops presented state of the art of health information systems in CHAs, and considered ways to build the evidence capacities of CHAs, and of the collective platform, ACHAP. There was much discussion in formal and informal sessions of the conference on ways to strengthen evidence for CHAs’ activity and contributions.

In a preconference workshop hosted by World Council of Churches, Dr Isabel Phiri delivered a paper setting a context for the development of a comprehensive ecumenical health strategy , and Dr Mwai Makoka who heads the WCC Health and Healing program led an interesting discussion on the process towards developing such a strategy.

Dr Jill Olivier, University of Cape Town gave a comprehensive summary on research on African Faith-based Health providers, and together with her student Eleanor Whyte presented information on diverse models of engagement between the state and faith sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other sessions focused on partnerships for research, and on evidence leading to improved practices. CHAs from across sub-saharan Africa gave excellent presentations.
See here for access to the conference presentations 

At a session on Global Partnership opportunities for Christian Health Associations, moderated by Rick Santos, Ellen Starbird, Director USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health, affirmed the significant role of faith-based organizations in the provision of family planning and/or healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies.

Jean Duff spoke on behalf of the JLI about the value of expanding partnerships with denominational congregational networks for community health, and encouraged CHAs to increase the visibility of their important work by strengthening the data and advocacy capacities of the ACHAP Secretariat

The 10th anniversary meeting was a real celebration of the distinctive capacities of the CHAs and the dedication of their leadership. It was also a time for prophetic re-imagination of the future, for the sustainability and growth of CHAs’ loving service for health for all. A new ACHAP Board, led by Peter Yeboah of Christian Association of Ghana CHAG, now In its 50th year, will lead the CHAs into their next decade.

 

WCC News article

 

Realize: Gender Equity and Diversity for Social and Behavioral Change

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 (all day) to Friday, March 31, 2017 (half day)
Location: Washington, DC

The TOPS Program and CARE International are pleased to announce an expanded Gender Equity and Diversity for Social and Behavioral Change capacity building workshop. This highly participatory workshop includes material from the previous workshop plus additional new content.  The workshop will increase your own understanding of gender equity and diversity and help you to promote lasting change with your teams and in partnership with communities.

This workshop ends at 1 pm EST on Friday, March 31.

Registration is now open. Apply to attend here. 

World Vision Ebola Evaluations Health Webinar Follow up

 

An Exploratory Study to Examine the Effectiveness of Community Based Ebola Virus Disease Prevention and Management Strategies in Bo District Sierra Leone

 The unprecedented Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa was first reported in Sierra Leone in March 2014 and rapidly spread, revealing the failures of the region’s chronically fractured and under-resourced healthcare system. By March 2016, the WHO had documented a total of 14,124 cases of Ebola, including 3,955 deaths, in Sierra Leone – more than any other country. World Vision was actively engaged in implementing preventive activities and case management in 25 of its Area Development Programs, which included 25 Chiefdoms in Bo, Bonthe, Pujehun, and Kono in Sierra Leone. Its Ebola response strategy was designed to work in close collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone to reach a population of 1.6 million through the establishment and mobilization of an extensive network of community providers established, including teachers, paramount chiefs, and faith healers, over a twenty-year period. A review of district level EVD records indicated that not a single Ebola-related fatality was documented among the 59,000 sponsored children or family members supported by World Vision during the outbreak.  Although the Ebola outbreak was successfully contained, the processes were not formally documented nor the impact of impact of World Vision’s effort was not formally documented or assessed.  The remainder of this report is based on findings from a study commissioned to bridge this knowledge-to-practice gap by capturing community members’ perceptions of the effectiveness of specific strategies employed by World Vision in order to increase the evidence of what works in responding to similar outbreaks throughout the West Africa and beyond.    This report is a collaboration between World Vision and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Read the Summary Report  or

FULL REPORT.

 

Protecting the Living - Honouring the Dead

The purpose of this study is to assess the barriers and enablers to community acceptance and implementation of safe burials in Sierra Leone. The Ebola virus continued to spread in Sierra Leone partly because communities were initially resistant to Burial Teams carrying out safe, medical burials. This changed towards the end of 2014 when revised burial procedures were published and renamed the Safe and Dignified Burial Protocol. Confrontations with communities decreased and more requests by communities for the Burial Teams were noted. The SMART Consortium, consisting of Catholic Relief Service (CRS), Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and World Vision as the lead, took over the responsibility for burials in 10 districts across Sierra Leone in November 2014. The Consortium initiated this study to analyse the contribution made by the revised procedures to increased community acceptance of Safe Burials and if there were other factors at play. The results of this study are expected to be used by national and international stakeholders to better respond to future epidemics in Sierra Leone and elsewhere. Read the FULL REPORT. 

 

Other Webinars

  • 24 March – World TB Day Discussions.  WHO Medical Officer, Dr. Kefas Samson, presents an overview to Childhood TB Response Strategy and World Vision Somalia will present their TB Programme overview, best practice and lessons learned.
  • 4 April – Mother-Led MUAC Screening.  Involving mothers in nutrition screening activities recognizes the fact that they are best placed to identify early signs of malnutrition and reinforces their role in protecting and promoting their child’s health. World Vision piloted this approach in Mauritania as part of an Emergency Nutrition and WASH program. This was the first time the approach had been used in Mauritania.

Details for these webinars can be found at: http://wvi.org/hiv-and-infectious-diseases/global-health-community-practice-webinars

February 7-8

WCC-WEA, INERELA, UNAIDS meeting

Faith on the Fast Track: Eliminating Stigma and Discrimination Through Love and Dialogue

More than 120 religious and spiritual leaders, health workers and young people met to focus on strengthening the fight against stigma in the HIV response in Kenya.  Representatives from the Kenyan government, civil society organizations, networks of people living with HIV, and development partners for an event in Nairobi also joined.

The meeting aimed to assess the impact of the Framework for Dialogue methodology which has been implemented in several countries since 2013. The event was organized by the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV Kenya (INERELA+ Kenya) and the World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC-EAA), with the support of United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), among others.

For more information go to the WCC website

Religious leaders and HIV testing

WCC-EAA Live the Promise Campaign

Tearfund recently launched a report, Bridging the Gap: The Role of Local Churches in Fostering Local-Level Social Accountability and Governance

The report forms part of a suite of resources that Tearfund produced to help demonstrate the impact of their Church and Community Mobilisation (CCM) advocacy work, which can be found on Tearfund’s International Learning Zone (TILZ) page.

These resources include:

The JLI Mobilisation of Local Faith Communities Hub met at Trinity College Dublin for a meeting on 8-9th December 2016. Hosted by the Irish School of Ecumenics and the Loyola Institute at the Trinity Long Room Hub, the meeting was held to review prior work around the Theory of Change, share current evidence for the mobilisation of local faith communities from organisations, and discuss future learning objectives for the Hub. All the resources from the meeting, including presentations from case studies and the meeting summary, can be found here.

Over the course of the two days, meeting attendees heard from the Salvation Army, International Care Ministries (ICM), the Organization of African Instituted Churches, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Anglican Alliance, Mother’s Union, Tearfund, the University of Bath, Sarvodaya, and World Vision. The breadth of case studies presented helped participants understand the evidence already available on local faith community mobilisation, as well as the research gaps that still exist.

On the evening before the meeting (7th December), Prof. Alastair Ager, Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, gave a public lecture on “Faith, Secularism, and Humanitarian Engagement.” Attendees also took part in a guided tour around Trinity’s famous old library and exhibition on the Book of Kells.

 

Four recent Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) events promoting use of toilets and clean water-
In Varanasi on the sacred day of the full moon of the month of Kartik, on probably the biggest annual holiday there, GIWA organized a massive event with over 200,000 people. They brought together some of India’s most famous musicians, the interfaith GIWA leaders as well as a delegation of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) that was with us, led by Rabbi Rosen.  They decorated with “Swachhta Kranti” (Clean Revolution) flags (the logo of which is an Indian style toilet!!).  Pujya Swamiji led all the faith leaders, musicians and the whole audience in a massive pledge for WASH, extracting 200,000 promises against open defecation, pollution of ground, air, water etc. This massive annual religious holiday became an opportunity to catalyze awareness and hopefully change in attitude and behavior.
“The sheer beautiful irony of flags with toilets on them being waved while people prayed and sang on the banks of Ganga was amazing.”
-Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
In Rishikesh, GIWA hosted an interfaith event with the AJC, International Buddhist Confederation, International Islamic Sufi Foundation, many of India’s renowned religious leaders and many others again on the theme of WASH and general environmental protection/preservation, particularly of our water bodies. For more information click here-
East Meets West at Major Interfaith Gathering at Parmarth

East Meets West at Major Interfaith Gathering at Parmarth

The day before Mumbai’s first global citizen festival,  GIWA hosted a Roundtable on Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) for All, organised with the technical support of UNICEF India with interfaith leaders, media leaders and corporate leaders. For further notes on the meeting please see their facebook page.
Additionally on November 13, 2016, Pujya Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji joined a beautiful display of interfaith harmony at the famous Ajmer Sharif Shrine- Dargah Shariff of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty during the 33rd General Session of the Jamiat Ulama I Hindi. Some 2 lakh people from Muslim Communities across India and around the world gathered together to hear messages of universal peace and love for all humanity with more than 100,000 in attendance. Click here for more information

The Mobilization of Local Faith Communities (LFCs), formerly Capacity Building, Learning Hub will hold an in-person meeting to reenergize the Hubs work on capturing evidence for activity and outcome of capacity building for LFCs on December 8 and 9th at Trinity College Dublin.

The focus will be on evidence for impact of local faith and community mobilization on aspects of community wellbeing. Our conversation will be informed by the outputs from the upcoming conference at Yale on What Works: Evidence for on the role of Faith in Poverty Reduction

 

Our Goals:

  • Increase understanding of the role, capacities, activities and contributions of LFCs to community development and humanitarian needs
  • Strengthen empowerment of LFCs as agents of change through increased capacities, resources, and
  • Position LFCs for opportunities relating to trend towards “localization of aid”
Please see draft meeting agenda for more information
Schedule: 
Dec 7th- 6-7:30pm, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin: Public lecture “Faith, Secularism and Humanitarian Engagement” Alastair Ager, QMU and Columbia University (optional)
Dec 8th- 9am-5 pm: Learning Hub meeting
12.30-1.30 Lunch break and tour of the Book of Kells
5.30- 7.30 pm drinks and supper
Dec 9th- 9am-12.30 pm Learning Hub Meeting

Hotel Accomodations

 

Please RSVP to [email protected]

Updates from JLI’s Annual Board and Advisory Group Meeting

img_4533At the October 25/26 meeting, JLI’s overall goals were reaffirmed and we were encouraged to prioritize focus on localization, and mechanisms and methods for scalable engagement of local faith networks. Next steps will include updating the operating plan and developing a new communications plan.

Our Goals:

Goal 1: Gather knowledge about the activities, contributions and challenges of faith groups and synthesise into useful outputs through learning hubs

Goal 2: Connect policy makers, practitioners and academics with the knowledge, resources and expertise, with particular responsiveness to their wants and needs, to understand the activity and contribution of faith communities

Goal 3: Support broader global initiatives to catalyse the understanding of the contribution and activity of faith groups

 

Outcomes from the meeting will be posted to our website shortly.

Faith Works Africa, Abuja Nigeria October 18-20

Co-hosted by the African Council of Religious Leaders, GHR FoundationUSAIDReligions for Peace and The Global Women of Faith Network , under the auspices of Cardinal John Onaiyekan and the Sultan of Sokoto.

faithworksafrica

300 religious leaders and heads of FBOs gathered to explore activity and contributions to peace and prosperity. A resolution unanimously adopted by the assembly called for interreligious collaboration to end extreme poverty and to address the underlying causes of violent extremism.

JLI moderated a session on humanitarian response, with a short presentation including the 5 Evidence briefs  on religious and faith based response. Religious leaders from across the continent offered specific examples of religious and faith-based response to local humanitarian challenges.

See live stream recordings here

Summary Article 

There were several contiguous meetings:

 The first annual meeting of the Partnership for Religion and Development ( PaRD) gathered gathered some of its 5 bilateral, 10 multilateral members, and 5 guest members for discussion of progress and planning for the work ahead. PaRD elected its first fourteen  FBO partner organizations,  including the JLI, Alliance for Religions and Conservation, Arigatou International, GHR Foundation, and Global Ethics, Religions for Peace and the World Council of Churches.

The Sultan of Sokoto together with IIPC, led by Imam Magid and Imrana A. Umar and UNDP, hosted by top Uluma from seven West African countries for a two day working discussion on how to ramp up religious leadership to counter violent extremism. The Sultan chaired the intense discussions which resulted in the Declaration.

The Network of Religious and Traditional Leaders and IIPC briefed inter religious leaders on the Marrakesh Declaration. The Declaration was a revelation to most of the participants. Muslim and Christian speakers from the floor noted the reciprocal benefits of the Declaration with regard to protection for all religious minorities. The Declaration was warmly received, with calls from Christian leaders to develop an analogous document drawing on Holy Scripture for protection of the rights of minority religions. A USIP fellow announced that he had translated the document from the original Arabic into Hausa.

JLI is honored to be admitted as one of the first partners of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD). PaRD is a network on religion and development to enhance cooperation in achieving the 2030 Agenda together.

PaRD elected its first fourteen  FBO partner organizations,  including the JLI, Alliance for Religions and Conservation, Arigatou International, GHR Foundation, and Globalethics.net Foundation, Religions for PeaceBuddhist Global Relief, Danmission, Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, Muslim Hands, Muslims for Progressive Values, Side by Side: Faith Movement for Gender Justice, World Association for Christian Communication, and WCC Armenia Inter-church Charitable Round Table Foundation.

You can become a PaRD partner by submitting an online application at www.partner-religion-development.org