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Report to Congress by the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator on the involvement of faith-based organizations in activities of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
[Washington, D.C.], Office of the United States Global AIDS Coordinator, 2008 May. 40 p.The Administration provides this Report pursuant to Section 625(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (Division J, Public Law 110-161), which requires the U.S. Secretary of State to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations "on the involvement of faith-based organizations in Global Fund Programs. The report shall include (1) on a country-by-country basis -(A) a description of the amount of grants and subgrants provided to faith-based organizations; and (B) a detailed description of the involvement of faith-based organizations in the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) process of the Global Fund; and (2) a description of actions the Global Fund is taking to enhance the involvement of faith-based organizations in the CCM process, particularly in countries in which the involvement of faith-based organizations has been underrepresented.
Last chance for the world to live up to its promises? Why decisive action is needed now on child health and the MDGs. A World Vision policy briefing.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, World Vision International Policy and Advocacy, 2008 Sep. 15 p. (World Vision Policy Briefing)Now is the window of opportunity to ensure that 2015 will be remembered as the year the world lived up to its promise to the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. This short briefing paper considers child health in the context of the three health-focused MDGs, identifies concrete steps needed in the coming months to put the MDGs back on track, and summarises World Vision's own efforts to contribute to their achievement. (Excerpt)
Asia and the Pacific Regional Forum on Strengthening Partnerships with Faith-Based Organisations in Addressing ICPD, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5-6 May, 2008. A report on the conference proceedings.
[New York, New York], United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2008. 60 p.Building on a legacy spanning three decades, UNFPA Country Offices in the Asia-Pacific region and their faith-based partners came together for a two-day consultation to assess the nature and impact of these partnerships in the areas of maternal health, gender equality, migration and youth welfare. This report documents the experiences and lessons learned from the varied initiatives of faith-based organizations, as well as the best practices emanating from these strategic alliances around the region. The discussions, recommendations for action and the many voices of critical faith-based actors, are all documented in this report.
New York, New York, UNFPA, Technical Division, Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch, 2008. 32 p.This publication identifies priority areas for intensified action on gender-based violence: policy frameworks, data collection and analysis, focus on sexual and reproductive health, humanitarian responses, adolescents and youth, men and boys, faith-based networks, and vulnerable and marginalized populations. It is intended to provide a common platform and technical guidance for UNFPA at country, regional and global levels and effectively guide capacity-development initiatives, resources and partnerships.The strategy also outlines UNFPA's comparative advantages, experience and leadership potential within the context of United Nations reform, and suggests opportunities for improving the efficacy of its programme implementation and technical support.
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2007.  p.The influence behind faith-based organizations is not difficult to discern. In many developing countries, FBOs not only provide spiritual guidance to their followers; they are often the primary providers for a variety of local health and social services. Situated within communities and building on relationships of trust, these organizations have the ability to influence the attitudes and behaviours of their fellow community members. Moreover, they are in close and regular contact with all age groups in society and their word is respected. In fact, in some traditional communities, religious leaders are often more influential than local government officials or secular community leaders. Many of the case studies researched for the UNFPA publication Culture Matters showed that the involvement of faith-based organizations in UNFPA-supported projects enhanced negotiations with governments and civil society on culturally sensitive issues. Gradually, these experiences are being shared across countries andacross regions, which has facilitated interfaith dialogue on the most effective approaches to prevent the spread of HIV. Such dialogue has also helped convince various faith-based organizations that joining together as a united front is the most effective way to fight the spread of HIV and lessen the impact of AIDS. This manual is a capacity-building tool to help policy makers and programmers identify, design and follow up on HIV prevention programmes undertaken by FBOs. The manual can also be used by development practitioners partnering with FBOs to increase their understanding of the role of FBOs in HIV prevention, and to design plans for partnering with FBOs to halt the spread of the virus. (excerpt)
Program scan matrix on child marriage: A web-based search of interventions addressing child marriage.
[Washington, D.C.], International Center for Research on Women [ICRW], . 25 p.The international community and U.S. government are increasingly concerned about the prevalence of child marriage and its toll on girls in developing countries. One in seven girls in the developing world marries before 15. Nearly half of the 331 million girls in developing countries are expected to marry by their 20th birthday. At this rate, 100 million more girls-or 25,000 more girls every day-will become child brides in the next decade. Current literature on child marriage has primarily examined the prevalence, consequences and reported reasons for early marriage. Much less has been analyzed about the risk and protective factors that may be associated with child marriage. Also, little is known about the range of existing programs addressing child marriage, and what does and does not work in preventing early marriage. The work presented here investigates two key questions: What factors are associated with risk of or protection against child marriage, and ultimately could be the focus of prevention efforts? What are the current programmatic approaches to prevent child marriage in developing countries, and are these programs effective? (excerpt)
Health Policy and Development. 2004 Aug; 2(2):131-135.International agencies are beginning a rapid scaling up of antiretroviral distribution programs in Africa. Some are particularly looking for "faith-based organizations" (FBOs) as partners. The new initiatives may offer both unprecedented opportunities and some dangers for FBOs who wish to join in. The opportunities include increasing our capacity to provide not only HIV/AIDS care but other aspects of health care, and a potential for increased communication and cooperation between Christian organizations. The dangers include the likely widespread appearance of antiretroviral resistance; long term sustainability; negative impact on other aspects of HIV care and prevention; indirect costs to FBOs; corruption; encouragement of a culture of money and power, drawing FBOs away from their perceived missions; overextension; and harmful competition among FBOs. Organizations should be aware of the opportunities and dangers, and review their own calling and mission, before embarking on large-scale, externally-funded programs of ARV distribution. (author's)
Contact. 2006 Aug; (182):4-5.Saving lives is the paramount goal of all HIV programmes. Successful HIV prevention programmes utilize all approaches known to be effective, not implementing one or a few select actions in isolation. These include promoting sexual abstinence, fidelity among married couple and the use of condoms for those who are not in a position to abstain or be faithful. It also includes ensuring that injecting drug users have access to clean needles and syringes as well as programmes supporting them to stop drug use. The strategies also include assurance that HIV-positive pregnant women receive treatment to prevent HIV transmission to the child. These strategies (See insert) were endorsed by the UNAIDS board last year and provide the framework for re-energizing HIV prevention globally. (excerpt)
Contact. 2006 Aug; (182):2-3.A s early as 1986 the Executive committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) stated: to confess that churches as institutions have been slow to speak and to act, - that many Christians have been quick to judge and condemn many of the people who have fallen prey to the disease; and that through their silence, many churches share responsibility for the fear that has swept our world more quickly than the virus itself "and called on the churches to respond appropriately to the need for pastoral care, education for prevention and social ministry" . In September 1996, a landmark, comprehensive statement, the Impact of HIV/AIDS and the Churches' Response, was adopted by the WCC Central Committee on the basis of the WCC Consultative Group on AIDS study process. The statement clearly states that: Churches can do much to promote, both in their own lives and in the wider society, a climate of sensitive, factual and open exploration of the ethical issues posed by the pandemic. ... in accordance with theiremphasis upon personal and communal responsibility the churches' can promote conditions -- personal, cultural, and socioeconomic -- which support persons in making responsible choices. This requires a degree of personal freedom which is not always available: for example, women, even within marriage, may not have the power to say "no" or to insist on the practice of such effective preventive measures such as abstinence, mutual fidelity and condom use. (excerpt)
One Country. 2005 Oct-Dec; 10-13.This is a new way of thinking for many people in the 'traditional' education for sustainable development community, which has tended to be composed of people in higher education and focused on curriculum development, said Steve Cochran, who currently serves as "Interim Steward" of the United States Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. "The very notion of coming from the personal and intimate level of one's faith and building outward from there," added Mr. Cochran, "is one of the most effective ways to get people engaged." In the Baha'i community, the direction and scope of this effort was recently reflected at a two-day seminar held in December 2005 in this Florida resort city. Titled "Education for Sustainable Development: The Spiritual Dimension," the seminar drew some 50 participants from 10 countries, and featured a number of innovative brainstorming exercises designed to stimulate creative thinking and new approaches. Using innovative group process methodologies such as "World Cafe" and "Open Space Technology," the seminar sought to lead participants through a collective exploration of how Baha'i communities around the world could increase awareness of the need for sustainable development and better incorporate its concepts into their activities. (excerpt)
Dialectical Anthropology. 2004; 28(3-4):245-259.In the past quarter century HIV/AIDS has intensified poverty and suffering world wide, more so in underdeveloped countries and poor neighborhoods of cities within industrial nations. UNAIDS and WHO estimate that 40-60 million people are living with the disease worldwide. The poorest nations in Africa and the Caribbean in which HIV/AIDS have spread most rapidly also live under political, social and economic insecurity. For example, Haiti has experienced a brief civil war and a hurricane disaster in 2004; however, AIDS is the leading cause of death for adults, accounting for 5.9% of deaths and 20% of deaths among adult women. Many of the poorest African countries have also suffered concomitantly from civil wars and high HIV/AIDS prevalence. In the 1980s when Uganda had a civil war, this country was the epicenter of the pandemic world-wide, with an adult HIV prevalence of 30%. Liberia ended her civil war in 2003 and currently records an HIV prevalence of 8.2%. Sierra Leone also had a civil war which ended officially in 2002 with HIV/AIDS prevalence among the army of 46% and a rise in prevalence among the general population. Finally Rwanda emerged from civil war, genocide and mass dislocation in the 1990s and records 11.2% of adult prevalence. The economic crises from poor countries arose from "weak agricultural growth, a decline in industrial output, poor export production, high debt and deteriorating social indicators and institutions." Botswana with 35% prevalence and South Africa with 25% prevalence, though relatively more prosperous, continue to be weighed down by the legacy of apartheid in the form of a high migrant labor system and disruption of family life. (excerpt)
Proceedings of the International Congress of Dialogue on Civilizations, Religions and Cultures in West Africa, held at Abuja (Nigeria), 15-17 December 2003.
Paris, France, UNESCO, 2005.  p. (CLT-2005/WS/2)This is the third in the series of meetings organised by UNESCO within the context of its programme of civilisation, dialogue, religion and culture. This is the West Africa meeting. It is the first meeting in the series. But it is certainly not going to be the last. UNESCO's role in this mission is not just to design something afresh, but to simply capitalise on a movement, which, I am sure you all agree, has been on the way for quite some time. Religious leaders and religions have become respected elements in civil society. If you look at Latin America, and certainly across Africa, you will find that religious movements are forging ahead. Young men and women are being called to engage in community work. They are being called to engage in a different type of political enterprise. In fact, religious movements in Latin America, and certainly in Africa, are going against the trends in the rest of the world, particularly in the First World, where people are actually moving away from organised religion. We wish to capitalise on these movements and recruit the leadership acumen for a new set of issues to increase democratisation, and certainly to build peace. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2004 Dec; 82(12):923-927.Using religion to improve health is an age-old practice. However, using religion and enlisting religious authorities in public health campaigns, as exemplified by tobacco control interventions and other activities undertaken by WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Although all possible opportunities within society should be exploited to control tobacco use and promote health, religion-based interventions should not be exempted from the evidence-based scrutiny to which other interventions are subjected before being adopted. In the absence of data and debate on whether this approach works, how it should be applied, and what the potential downsides and alternatives are, international organizations such as WHO should think carefully about using religion-based public health interventions in their regional programmes. (author's)