1st Edition

Religion, Religious Organisations and Development Scrutinising religious perceptions and organisations

Edited By Carole Rakodi Copyright 2014

    This collection adds to a burgeoning literature concerned with the roles played by religions in development. The authors do not assume that religion and religious organisations can be ‘used’ to achieve development objectives, or that religiously inspired development work is more holistic, transformative and authentic. Instead, they subject such assumptions to critical and (as far as possible) objective scrutiny, focusing on how adherents of several religious traditions and a variety of organisations affiliated with different religions perceive the idea of development and attempt to contribute to its objectives. Geographically, chapters in the volume encompass Africa, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific.

    Four of the papers have an international focus: providing a preliminary framework for analysing the role of religion in development, considering the roles played by faith-inspired organisations in two regions (the Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa) and analysing transnational Muslim NGOs. The individual case studies focus on nine countries (India, Kenya, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Malawi, Sri Lanka, South Africa), consider four religions (Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism), and can be grouped under four themes: they consider religion, wellbeing and inequality; the roles of religious NGOs in development; whether and how religious organisations influence, respond to or resist social change; and whether religious service providers reach the poor. Finally, practice notes show how three religious development organisations try to put their principles into practice.

    This book was published as a special double issue of Development in Practice.

    1. Introduction: Religion and development: subjecting religious perceptions and organisations to scrutiny  2. A framework for analysing the links between religion and development  3. The life a person lives: religion, well-being and development in India  4. Pentecostalism and development in Kibera informal settlement, Nairobi  5. Religious values and beliefs and education for women in Pakistan  6. Thinking about faith-based organisations in development: where have we got to and what next?  7. Are faith-based organisations distinctive? Comparing religious and secular NGOs in Nigeria  8. Faith in forms: civil society evangelism and development in Tanzania  9. The role of religious values and beliefs in charitable and development organisations in Karachi and Sindh, Pakistan  10. The role of a transnational religious network in development in a weak state: the international links of the Episcopal Church of Sudan  11. Trajectories of transnational Muslim NGOs  12. Givers and governance: the potential of faith-based development in the Asia Pacific  13. Strengthening the voice of the poor: religious organisations’ engagement in policy consultation processes in Nigeria and Tanzania  14. The role of religion in women’s campaigns for legal reform in Nigeria  15. Playing broken telephone: assessing faith-inspired health care provision in Africa  16. Have financial difficulties compromised Christian health services’ commitment to the poor?  17. Pro-poor? Class, gender, power, and authority in faith-based education in Maharashtra, India  18. Practising Buddhism in a development context: Sri Lanka’s Sarvo´daya movement  19. Islam and development practice: HIV/AIDS in South Africa  20. Addressing dependency with faith and hope: the Eagles Relief and Development Programme of the Living Waters church in Malawi


    Carole Rakodi is an Emeritus Professor in the International Development Department, School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham, UK. She is a social scientist who has worked as a professional and researcher in several developing countries, mainly in Africa, and from 2005-2011 directed an international research programme on religion and development.