- 1. Organisational Strategy
What does the strategy of your organisation say about religion? Is it possible to mainstream faith-sensitivity in organisations by adding a note or two to strategies and policies?
For example, DanChurchAid recently included in its international strategy that “particular attention will be given to understanding the role of Faith-Based Organisations and their potential”. And “Piloting civil society analysis, including the role of Faith-Based Organisations, is a part of all Country Programmes developed”.
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) released a Strategy Paper in 2016 with the title "Religious communities as partners for development cooperation". Here it states that "A value-based development policy takes the contribution of religion seriously. In future, we will therefore seek to better harness the positive potential of religion for sustainable development and peace. And wherever religion is part of the problem, it must also become part of the solution." BMZ presents ten actions in this Strategy Paper, ranging from "increasing cooperation with religious actors" to "addressing discrimination and prejudice by developing culture-sensitive and faith-sensitive teaching materials".
Faith-sensitive planning does not mean that religion always plays a role in development nor that faith actors should be included in every situation. Instead, it reminds us of the importance of "right-sizing" religion (Peter Mandaville) in the planning and implementation of development programmes. It encourages analysis of the role of religion and faith actors in a specific context.
If your organisation prepares for an Appeal or Tender, and the role of faith actors is seen as important, then you might use faith-sensitive criteria in the Appeal or Tender. E.g. in ACT Alliance's Appeal for "Global response to COVID-19 Pandemic" one of the criteria is "Strong relationship with churches and local faith actors" and one of the questions is "Please highlight the role of
local faith actors in the design and implementation of the response".