Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Does the Pope like the SDGs? Considering the 2030 Agenda through the lens of Laudato Si’

February 5, 2018

Photo 1 - Graham Gordon is Head of Policy at CAFODGraham Gordon, CAFOD’s Head of Policy, introduces a paper which explores the relationship between the Sustainable Development Goals and Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment and development, Laudato Si’

Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the result of many years of collective thinking across the international community about what international development looks like and how it should be ‘done’. It is an ambitious Agenda with an aspirational preamble and declaration, as well as 17 specific Goals (the Sustainable Development Goals or ‘SDGs’) and 169 targets.

In many ways, the SDGs offer a new way of approaching international development. They emphasise the importance of tackling inequality, of integrating environment and development and of deepening citizen participation. Most fundamentally, they state a clear commitment “to leave no-one behind”.

The SDGs demand that no-one be left behind

The SDGs demand that no-one be left behind

However, we need to address the way the SDGs are being implemented and some of the assumptions underlying the Goals if the 2030 Agenda is going to achieve the ambitious change it targets.

In a new discussion paper, we at CAFOD with a group of friends at other Catholic development organisations have taken inspiration from Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si‘ – On Care for our Common Home and suggest that we can address these challenges by Engaging in the 2030 Agenda through the Lens of Laudato Si’.

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Working with faith groups: What can donor agencies learn from Germany?

September 6, 2016

Graham Gordon is Head of CAFOD’s Policy Team. Here, he reflects on what development agencies can learn from a new strategy published by the German Development Ministry for working with faith groups in development.

Photo 1 - Graham Gordon is Head of Policy at CAFOD

Graham Gordon is Head of Policy at CAFOD

Religious beliefs and practices are complex and often intertwined with culture. Faced with this complexity, many international donors tend to underplay religion’s role in development, or to use faith groups as instruments for advancing their agendas or reaching the most remote groups.

BMZ, the German Development Ministry, seems to be making a genuine attempt to do things differently and to engage with the complexity and tensions. Earlier in 2016, it published a strategy on working with religious communities as partners for development.

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The political drivers of the strategy are clear: the worldwide rise in religiously-motivated violence; increased migration to Europe and new migrant communities with strong religious beliefs and practices; and the rise of anti-immigrant political rhetoric across Europe and countries such as Australia and the US.

However, the strategy cannot simply be seen in the political context of migration and extremism, but also as a genuine attempt to think more deeply about the role of religion in development.

What can other donor agencies learn from Germany’s approach?  (more…)