Brenda Bartelink is a programme advisor for the Knowledge Centre on Religion and Development at Oikos. She has research experience in religion, international development, civil society, gender, sexuality, health and emergency aid, and frequently lectures and blogs on these themes. She is currently finalizing a PhD thesis on the role of religion in development cooperation at the University of Groningen.
Religious actors are often able to give structure when the other institutions of a state collapse. However, their role and impact in development cooperation and international relations is routinely overlooked. When focusing on institutional multiplicity, one needs to acknowledge the contribution of religious actors to governance, peacebuilding and development.