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Goodwin, Ellen Alexandra Jane (2022) A faith-inspired way of working: an exploration of International Faith-Inspired Organisation's local faith-inspired humanitarian partnerships and programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in fragile urban contexts. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the lives of many of the worlds poorest. COVID-19 has proved to be much more than a health emergency; as well as the immediate health-related concerns of COVID-19, measures to stem the spread of the virus have created additional livelihood, protection and mental health challenges. As seen during previous health crises, the COVID-19 pandemic has intersected in various ways with faith, religion and spirituality. The pandemic has deeply affected faith life and faith actors at all levels - from International Faith-Inspired Organisations (IFIOs) to Local Faith Actors (LFAs) and Local Communities of Faith (LCFs) – who have remobilised to respond to the health crisis and its secondary impacts. This thesis draws on the experiences of staff working for IFIOs during the pandemic to argue that IFIO’s local faith-inspired partnerships and programs have the potential to make responses to humanitarian crises more effective. This thesis details how IFIOs engaged increasingly rapidly, and with increased breadth and depth, with LFAs and LCFs in response to COVID-19, in comparison to previous crises. This suggests lessons learnt which have been reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, that speak to the potential value-add of locally-led faith-inspired partnerships and programs. This potential value-add is mitigated by certain challenges, as well as some persistent gaps in understanding, including a lack of knowledge around how best to engage with LFAs and LCFs in fragile urban contexts. While IFIOs modes and levels of engagement with faith, religion and spirituality vary, their experience in this area means they have a potential leadership role to play in in promoting faith literacy and locally-led faith engagement within the humanitarian sphere to leverage the potential value-add of localised faith engagement for more effective responses to crises.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Michael Jennings
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2022 09:43
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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