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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

Views From The Center Blog

 

Faith and Development in Zambia

The role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in development can be contentious. Some consider faith in itself unempirical or irrational and thus unintelligent. Some think faith groups base their programs and policies on feelings rather than facts. Others worry that FBOs do not respect peoples' local beliefs and customs; they shudder at the thought of someone demanding conversion in exchange for life-saving medicine.

Let's Talk About Faith, Development - and Evidence

Talking about religion, or faith to use a more general term, is about as popular a thing to do as overpaying your taxes, especially in the policy world. We shy away from the topic because of the personal, sometimes intense, reaction it elicits and, I suspect, because faith feels a little soft, emotional, even anti-intellectual when compared with hard political and economic realities. But since faith impacts U.S. policy, it is a conversation we ought to be having.