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Header - Church and development - Policy

CAFOD policy and research papers on faith and development.

Faith and religious practice are central to most people’s lives in the Global South. Religious institutions are at the heart of society - the cornerstones of the community - with a long reach into even the most remote communities. Religious leaders hold people’s trust and often have authority and influence where state and local officials do not. 

Therefore, understanding the role of faith and faith-based organisations is central to effective development and humanitarian response, and to building mutually beneficial partnership across a wide range of issues and actors.

Key areas of work

Through our work on church and development, CAFOD is seeking to influence how the UK government understands and works with faith actors throughout international diplomacy, development and humanitarian work by: 

  • developing long-term partnerships with faith actors

  • consulting and developing programmes with local faith actors

  • resourcing and supporting faith actors where they can play a distinctive role, such as in peacebuilding, changing social norms, humanitarian response, deepening democracy and accompanying the poorest and marginalised communities as they tackle unjust systems and structures.    

Key documents


Engaging in the 2030 Agenda through the lens of Laudato Si’

This document affirms and draws from the best of the 2030 Agenda, recognising this as a new international consensus that is guiding and inspiring many governments. By analysing the 2030 Agenda through the lens of Laudato Si’, the document also poses fundamental questions about assumptions of continued growth, technological advances, the role of business, and lifestyles based on increasing consumption.


Keeping the faith: The role of faith leaders in the Ebola response

With its focus on faith leaders, this study uses the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia to explore the relationship between humanitarianism and religion and seeks to provide evidence, in real time, of the role of faith leaders in the Ebola response.

Policy and research

CAFOD's policy team provides briefings, reports and research on our advocacy and lobbying work, plus materials to support our campaigns.