The Communication for Development Section of Programme and Civil Society Partnerships section of UNICEF’s Division of Communication have agreed to collaborate on a Faith for Social and Behaviour Change initiative around a set of strategic activities over the two year period 2018-2019, towards strengthening UNICEF’s partnership with Faith Based Organizations in support of results for children globally.
The purpose of the initiative is to support more focused, systematic and at-scale engagement with Faith-Based communities and actors to influence positive social and behaviour change towards improving lives of children, youth, women and families, particularly the most marginalized.
Background: In 2017, along with the Child Protection Section, C4DHQ collaborated with the African Union in producing an “Introductory Guide for Faith Based Organizations on Addressing Harmful Social Norms” which was used as part of training workshop material for a continent-wide FBO workshop for religious leaders across Africa in combatting Child Marriage. This initiative was a preliminary response to the identified need that greater technical guidance needs to be provided to FBOs if they are to facilitate dialogue in support of social and behaviour change related to the priority areas of UNICEF’s work.
To date, the depth of the potential for working with FBOs has for the most part not been fully tapped as strategies of engagement have generally not taken a systems approach to working with FBOs. Partnerships have largely been developed by single sectors around specific activities in project mode versus a more overarching programming framework tied to country programme priorities. UNICEF’s C4D Section has acknowledged that as the leading development organization on children, addressing a full range of multi-sectoral issues across both development and humanitarian agendas, a more comprehensive national and community engagement framework with FBOs is required to advance this work.
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