Delving into religion – A new project for The Broker

Development Policy,Knowledge brokering,News,Project14 Oct 2021Yannicke Goris

What is the added value of collaborating with religious actors for sustainable development? This question is at the heart of a brand-new project, commissioned by PRISMA, which The Broker will be carrying out over the next 10 months. 

Prisma and its members are committed to promote collaboration with religious actors, convinced of the added value of these actors for achieving sustainable development. To explore the potential of such collaborations and bring to light the advantages, risks, opportunities and obstacles, Prisma and four of its members – Woord&Daad, TearFund, Dorcas, and WorldVision Nederland – have asked The Broker to carry out thorough and, importantly, independent research on the topic. This research would serve to collect, synthesise, make better available and put to practical use the evidence already out there on working with religious actors and, eventually, contribute to inclusive and more effective Dutch development cooperation policy and programming.

The project is divided in three phases. At the heart of phase 1 is desk research – focusing on both academic and non-academic publications – as well as interviews with key stakeholders and experts. The aim of these activities is to map what knowledge is already out there on such issues as the impact, prevalence, debates, challenges and opportunities of working with religious actors towards sustainable development. The findings will be analysed and brought together in an accessible synthesis report. In January next year, this report will be shared and discussed in an interactive workshop, in which relevant practitioners and policymakers will be brought together to foster an open dialogue and knowledge exchange. 

The second phase serves to provide more depth and colour to the initial insights generated in the first months and, importantly, test and add nuance to these findings. A number of case studies will be identified and analysed, resulting in inspiring and informative stories that show what collaboration with religious actors can look like in practice. A ‘lessons learnt’ document, distilling best practices and sharing the most important experiences and insights from project implementation will also be formulated. 

Finally, in the third phase, The Broker will focus on creating knowledge products that allow policy makers (and to a lesser degree) practitioners to put all findings to practical use. Based on interviews with policymakers we will formulate a policy brief with policy-relevant insights and actionable recommendations. This brief, and the stories collected in the second phase, will be presented and discussed in a final workshop in June next year. For this second workshop we will invite, once again, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to facilitate an open dialogue, and foster knowledge uptake for inclusive and effective policy and programming in the future. 

Do you have a question or vision that The Broker may help you out with? Get in touch to learn what knowledge project we could develop that fits your needs and meets your objectives!