With more than 80% of people expressing a religious affiliation, there is a growing recognition that faith has the potential to play an active role in providing significant moral, social and political agency for advancing inclusive and sustainable development. Religions are the oldest, deepest-rooted and most widely connected human institutions with the capacity to undertake change and transformation.

Indeed, religious institutions, communities of faith and faith-based organizations are deeply involved in critical development and humanitarian relief activities, including in entrenched situations of conflict. How can the resources these organizations bring to the table (human, financial and spiritual) be better understood and more effectively tapped by all of those working to serve the very same communities? Many UN organizations and offices are today partnering with faith-based or faith-inspired service-delivery NGOs, local faith communities and religious leaders. In the context of the Agenda 2030, it is timely to examine the objectives, modalities and outcomes of such partnerships. 

While governments are called upon to lead the implementation of Agenda 2030 at the national level, they alone cannot do it all. To fully achieve sustainable development by 2030, partnerships with other stakeholders are essential. Faith organizations and communities play an important role in advancing the 2030 Agenda.

Developed in collaboration with UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNHCR, and the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD), this Strategic Learning Exchange will enable experiential and knowledge-based sharing about how and why religion matters to multilateralism, and consider the methods, tools, challenges and opportunities of engaging with religious actors.



Upon successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Have a better understanding of the linkages between faith, development and humanitarian work in the context of Agenda 2030;
  • Be able to identify and articulate opportunities, challenges and modalities for UN partnerships with religious communities and faith-based organizations in development and humanitarian work;
  • Be able to critically assess current UN and development/humanitarian agencies’ collaborative partnerships with religious institutions and faith-based organizations and identify the key elements methods and tools needed to strengthen such partnerships.

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

Through interactive and participatory sessions, combined with inputs from subject matter experts, this Strategic Learning Exchange explores the linkages between faith and humanitarian/development work in the context of Agenda 2030. It will seek to enhance "literacy" and engagement skills around religion and development.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 
  • Day 1: Linkages between faith, humanitarian and development work, framed in the light of the 5 dimensions of the 2030 Agenda
  • Day 2: How does faith interact with development and humanitarian work? (Case studies)
  • Day 3: What skills do we need and what are our takeaways from these days?

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

UN staff and partners from international organizations, bilateral development agencies, NGOs (including faith­-based organizations), and religious institutions

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course fee of 1,500 USD covers the following:

  • Three days of peer-to-peer exchange with a balance of presentations and group work on case studies and exercises;
  • Exclusive access to our online learning platform with training and supporting background materials, and the opportunity to stay connected with colleagues;
  • All course materials, resources and contacts.

Participants are expected to cover all travel costs related to their attendance in the course. Accommodation in a hotel in town will be booked in advance by the UNSSC; however, the accommodation costs will be borne by the participants.

Certificates of Attendance from the UN System Staff College will be awarded to participants who complete the course.

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