How Can We Help?
“The resilience of religion in developing countries is now plain to see.”
Prallagon: We expand on this statement to include countries classified as ‘undeveloped’ and ‘developed’, and others classifications such as 'North’ and 'South’. We cannot deny the importance of religious experience on a majority of humanity, therefore, religion is not exclusive to a particular group. However, the methods used to galvanize religious support may be a unique undertaking based on a particular culture and society.
“In Africa, religion shows no sign of disappearing or diminishing in public importance, as development theorists have generally supposed. The European Union has normally excluded consideration of the religious dimension in formulating development policies towards Africa. This article explores the possible role of religion in Africa’s development. It looks at a number of specific fields that are widely debated in the literature on development to consider ways in which religious ideas may be relevant to development thinking. It concludes with some general considerations on how policymakers might be able to encompass religion as a factor in their strategic outlook.”
—Haar, G., Ellis, S. The Role of Religion in Development: Towards a New Relationship between the European Union and Africa. Eur J Dev Res 18, 351–367 (2006).
For success in development projects we give consideration to the totality of the human experience within a cultural, religious, social, spiritual, and economic context; to include local, regional, and national influences. This process is bottoms-up rather than the traditional top-down approach to place responsibility on development practitioners to understand the forces driving people at the local level and used as a base for project support. It means to show respect for those whom you desire to help.
This process will facilitate learning about development through hands-on experience to foster support and action at all levels of society. It provides for reflection on activities, promotes continuous study and analysis, engages participant consultation, supports the gathering and analysis of data, the systematization of activities, monitoring and followup, and ongoing education and training to enhance project activity to support the mission.
Religion is a primary driver and focal point of human activity that provides purpose in life and stimulates creativity. No matter its source, the purpose is the same—security, self-worth, dedication, and inspiration. Principles inherent to religious teachings have more in common than previously considered. We avoid religious controversies by not becoming involved in philosophic discussions on the merits of a particular religion or a system of religious beliefs. To do so would negate our efforts to promote global human development, rob us of the ability to partner with like-minded individuals to bring into being a cohesive global public policy, and retard long-term planning to realize sustainable achievements. Instead we concentrate our efforts on education and training to enhance the development experience.
“In order to advance the common good, individuals must possess both the capacity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing social structures and the freedom to choose between participating in those structures, working to reform them, or endeavoring to build new ones.” —BIC
The following sources will assist you in your efforts to gain a greater understanding of the complexes associated with religious beliefs in context with development undertakings.
Religion and development. Download and read the entire paper here (PDF). Learn More
Alkire-Religion and development. Download and read the entire paper here (PDF). Learn More