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Developing Countries: Religion

International Development written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress she has made in developing and implementing the Faith Partnership Principles; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

Since the launch of DFID's “Faith Partnership Principles Paper” in June 2012, DFID officials have been focussing on agreed priority actions. These have been to:

Build a common understanding of the role of faith groups in development. Through consultations, DFID has identified a focal country to explore this further. This work will begin in Tanzania over the next few weeks. Further details of the planned work will be made available via the DFID website in March:

www.dfid.gov.uk

Document the impact of faith groups. The Faith Partnership Principles Paper recommended that the Faith Working Group should establish a “Community of Learning.” A coalition of faith groups, academia and civil society organisations established a “Joint Learning Initiative” to map the work and document the effectiveness of faith groups. DFID has supported this, met representatives of the Joint Learning Initiative and has arranged a seminar on 26 February to discuss this in more detail.

Discuss areas of difference, between DFID and faith groups. DFID held a workshop in November 2012, at which I spoke, for representatives of a wide range of faith groups to discuss the implications of the Faith Partnership Principles. DFID has also hosted open and frank discussions through the Faith Working Group. The next meeting of the Group will take place on 6 March.

I continue to be extremely supportive of this work and look forward to further developments.

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