Over 90 leaders of faith, health and development organizations from across the world gathered at Washington National Cathedral and at a meeting at the White House to recommend new ways to work together to deliver aid and care to the poorest people. The group formally launched the Global Initiative for Faith, Health and Development. More than 40 Task Force members, joined by leaders of faith communities, faith-based and secular development organizations and leaders of other related institutions collaborated on key outcomes including launching the Database Multireligious Collaborations and equipping Task Force members and other participants to disseminate the Strategic Framework for Action Report and related materials, and to use them for their own advocacy and action
On November 23rd the group had its first major advocacy opportunity at a meeting with high level United States Government representatives at the White House. Following a welcome from Reverend Joshua DuBois, and remarks by high-level USG representatives. Bishop Dinis Sengulane of Mozambique, Ruth Messinger of American Jewish World Service, Abed Ayoub of Islamic Relief and Bill O’Keefe of Catholic Relief Services spoke on behalf of GIFHD Task Force and presented specific asks of the USG, including requests for a high level Working Group for ongoing consultation with the faith sector in policy planning, support for the creation of multireligious collaborating mechanisms at the country level, and support for tools and research supporting congregation mobilization for health and development at the local level in developing countries. The group was addressed by Dr. Nils Daulaire, USDHSS; Ms. Gayle Smith, NSC; and Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID. Ms. Smith commended the value of the faith sector approach as a strategy for increased public sector engagement with the faith community, and Dr. Shah called for a roundtable to advise on the implementation of the recommendations at USAID.
Thirty members of the Task Force for the Global Initiative on Faith Health and Development (GIFHD) met on October 8th with the UN Interagency Task Force on Faith Based Organizations at the UNFPA Headquarters in New York City. Thoraya Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director and Amir Dossal, Director of UN Office of Partnerships, co-hosted the meeting, and senior representatives of UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, ECOSOC, WHO and UNAIDS were also in attendance. Support for the GIFHD Task Force and Strategic Framework Report is generously provided by the F.I.S.H. Foundation, which was represented by the Rev. Kathy Nelson at the meeting.
The day was comprised of roundtable and panel discussions and a number of strategy sessions focused on turning recommendations for the Strategic Framework on Faith Health and Development into action items.
To read more about the event, click here .
The Global Initiative for Faith, Health and Development is an international, multi-day process that will produce a framework for the advancing and multiplying of inter-religious collaborations working to alleviate global disease and poverty. As part of the Global Initiative, a two-day Consultation, to showcase innovative and successful interfaith models and announce new partnerships and inter-religious collaborations, will be held at the Washington National Cathedral and at the White House in coordination with the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The Global Initiative supports and responds to President Obama’s call in Cairo to diverse religious communities to work together across faith lines on issues of common concern. It will gather key stakeholders from the public, corporate, faith and the broader NGO sectors, to craft a plan of action to increase the impact of multireligious collaboration against global poverty.
By establishing a robust, high-profile platform for collaboration and engagement between faith communities to achieve common aims, CIFA seeks to encourage a new era of pluralism and inter-religious understanding.
Members from the Task Force to Advance Multireligious Collaboration on Faith, Health and Development gathered at the White House Executive Office Building for the first of a series of meetings. Task Force members represent the religious, academic, philanthropic and public sectors and were brought together in order to develop a new Strategic Framework to Advance Multireligious Collaborations on Faith, Health and Development.
This Strategic Framework will serve as a road map for interfaith and multireligious engagement for health and development. It will also articulate the strategic rationale and propose standards, models and coordinating mechanisms for effective partnerships among faith-based entities and public and private sectors. Task Force members discussed the challenges and benefits of engaging in multireligious collaboration, as well as models from around the world that can be replicated to advance the fight on disease and poverty.
At the two-day Consultation, participants will finalize and present the insights and recommendations of the Strategic Framework at sessions held at the Washington National Cathedral and the White House in November 2010. The goal of the Strategic Framework to Advance Multireligious Collaboration on Global Poverty is to catalyze and accelerate large-scale, interfaith collaboration against disease and poverty, create new models for effective partnerships at the local, national, regional and global levels, generate evidence for the impact of the faith sector, and establish new coordinating and financing mechanisms to support promising and proven approaches.
CIFA will facilitate this effort bringing together leaders of the broader development and faith communities.