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Summer Updates
Upcoming Events
June 22: Religious Engagement and the COVID Response
The Centre for Religion and Public Life at the University of Leeds is hosting a day-long research symposium about "Religious Engagement and the COVID Response. The event is open to anyone with an intrest in the subject.
Click here to register
June 28-30: DSA Conference Panel on Declonisation, Development and Faith
JLI is organising three roundtables on decolonisation, development and faith at the Annual Conference of the Development Studies Association, bringing together researchers and practitioner, including JLI CEO Kirsten Laursen Muth and several JLI board members.
Click here to Learn More
July 8: Academic Reading Group
Elisabet le Roux, URDR Research Director, Stellenbosch University on Can Religious Women Choose? Holding the Tension between Complicity and Agency.
Click here to register
June 28: Faith in the Story: Hindsight is 2020 Panel Discussion
JLI's Director of Research, Dr. Olivia Wilkinson will be presenting on religious engagement and COVID-19 at the "Faith in the Story: Hindsight is 2020 Panel Discussion", hosted by the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion at the University of Notre Dame.
Monday, June 28, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. ET (US)
Click here to register
July 1: Evaluation in times of COVID-19 in the Global South
JLI Senior Research Associate Dr Jennifer Philippa Eggert is presenting parts of the JLI MEAL Compendium, with a focus on Covid-19 adaptations in the Global South, at the Annual Conference of the Development Studies Association.
Click here to Learn More
JLI News
Farewells and Welcomes

Farewell and our very best wishes to Stacy Nam. While we are overjoyed to welcome Sadia and Nagham to the team, we also said farewell to Stacy Nam, who was the first full-time JLI employee, and has been with JLI since 2016. She left her position as JLI's Senior Knowledge and Programs Manager and now manages a COVID vaccine mobile clinic with JHPIEGO in Baltimore. This is such vital work and we are very proud of Stacy! Stacy has been the backbone of JLI's operations, helping JLI grow and become the organization it is today. JLI owes a deep dept of gratitude to Stacy and we will greatly miss her. Stacy will be a consultant to JLI for the next few months as she hands over responsibilities. We'd be happy to pass on your messages to Stacy if you'd like to get in touch.
JLI Welcomes Finance and Operations Manager, Nagham Sabah
Nagham has worked within the nonprofit finance and accounting field for over 20 years. She holds a bachelor degree in accounting, and a master’s in business administration. Outside of work, Nagham enjoys hiking and swimming as well as spending time with her family every night.
JLI Welcomes Fair and Equitable Coordinator, Sadia Kidwai
Sadia Najma Kidwai joined JLI as the Fair and Equitable Coordinator. She will be working with the JLI Senior Leadership Team to coordinate JLI's Fair & Equitable Initiative - a new process that seeks to reshape the way JLI works, by challenging power imbalances in the way that we do research and joint learning. Over the coming years, the Fair & Equitable Initiative will invest deeply into building more inclusive, diverse and equitable shared learning partnerships across the JLI. Practically, this means investing more of our resources into building the capacity of regional joint learning networks. We believe that conversations around evidence - for example, how evidence is used, and who benefits from evidence - should be driven by the communities and actors concerned, rather than the demands and priorities of international funding institutions in the Global North.
 is excited to begin engaging with JLI's many partners and friends around the world. Over the coming year, JLI will be conducting a series of regional listening dialogues - bringing together faith actors and researchers to discuss the needs, challenges and opportunities around evidence in their region. She looks forward to spending time listening and learning from JLI's partners and collaborators during this process, to help shape more inclusive and locally-led joint learning practices within the JLI and beyond.

Sadia  has always been interested in the intersection between faith teachings and global humanitarian and development challenges. Her previous roles - first at MADE in Europe, a local, youth-oriented and faith-inspired agency, and later at Islamic Relief Worldwide - have examined faith teachings on issues such as climate change, sexual and reproductive health, wealth redistribution, and forced migration. In particular, she has always been concerned with how such faith teachings and beliefs translate into practical action in different contexts worldwide. In MADE in Europe she worked with young people around the UK to build their campaigning skills on issues such as maternal healthcare and climate change. As a Policy & Research Analyst at Islamic Relief Worldwide, Sadia developed organisational policies, research and procedures around equitable distribution of Zakat, and theologically-rooted approaches to refugee rights.
From Faith to Action: Inter-Religious Action to Protect the Right of Children Affected by Migration with a Focus on Europe and Central Asia
We are pleased to share with you a new publication jointly developed by the JLI, the World Council of Churches and UNICEF ECARO. This document is based on the background paper developed for the “From Faith to Action” conference in December 2020. This publication highlights the actual and potential roles of faith actors in contributing towards an effective and holistic response to child displacement in Europe and Central Asia. It illustrates a plurality of ways in which faith actors actively support children and youth on the move, including ensuring protection and social inclusion, providing spiritual and psychosocial support, countering xenophobia and discrimination, and advocating for policy changes. This publication aims primarily to serve as a useful tool to improve cooperation between faith actors and other stakeholders and national authorities, in the protection of children and youth on the move.
Click here for resource
JLI Participation and Projects
  • In April, Kirsten Laursen Muth, JLI CEO, addressed the opening session of ADRA Europe's Conference "Education Accelerator". The conference focused on how to engage FBOs and Policymakers in Phase Two of ADRA's Global Campaign, "Every child. Everywhere. In school", aiming to advocate that all children and teenagers have access to Education
  • The Research Programme on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development (RCSD) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin hosted its conference “Points of Departure for a Post-2030 Development Agenda”. JLI was happy to co-host a session on “Tensions in Transdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange between research and practice in religions and development” on Wednesday 8 June. Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, JLI Director of Research, and Dr. Jennifer Philippa Eggert, JLI Senior Research Associate, spoke at and moderated the session, with discussion from panellists on their own experiences (Dr. Anupama Ranawana, Dr. Kathryn Kraft, Dr. Nora Khalaf-Elledge, Dr. Lincoln Lau, Dr. Sarah Markiewicz). The bridge between research and practice in religions and development continues to grow and improve. Thank you to the panelists and participants and to RCSD as hosts of the conference.
  • New research project on MEAL and faith with the Alliance for Peacebuilding: The project builds on the JLI MEAL Compendium research and explores donors’ MEAL expectations when funding local faith actors’ initiatives. Research started in May and is due to be completed in August. This is part of the JLI MEAL Hub's activities.
  • New research project on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and development with the University of Warwick. The project will explore how the increasing dominance of the PVE agenda in development spaces affects women's groups and faith-based organisations in the Middle East. The project is led by Dr Nicola Pratt, Prof Juanita Elias (both University of Warwick) and Dr Jennifer Philippa Eggert, JLI Senior Research Associate.
JLI/Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI)’s GBV Learning Hub was happy to co-host a peer-to-peer learning exchange with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on 27 May, titled “How can religious literacy and freedom of religion or belief literacy inform partnerships, especially for promoting gender equality?” This webinar focused on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) literacy in informing partnerships, especially for promoting gender equality.The webinar on 27 May 2021 had more than 60 participants, featuring the following panellists, who enriched the debate and underlined key issues as summarized in the Learning Brief here: Nahla Haidar, Vice Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Dr Nora Khalaf-Elledge, Post-doctoral Fellow at the Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London; and Dr Dicky Sofjan, Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies, Graduate School, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia.
Giving Children a Voice Against Violence - the Role of Faith Actors
Read the blog post on the UNICEF page written jointly by the Co-Chairs of the JLI Ending Violence Against Children Learning hub: Dr. Carola Eyber, Neelam Fida, Andrea Kaufmann and Silvia Mazzarelli
JLI MEAL Hub Activities
The JLI team has continued to disseminate the findings of the MEAL Compendium at academic and practice-focused conferences and workshops. Recent presentations were held for GIZ (March), the Alliance for Peacebuilding (April), Christian Connections for International Health (May) and Humboldt University Berlin (June). More presentations are planned for later this year.

Announcing JLI/SVRI Faith and GBV Hub Leadership Council

The JLI /SVRI Faith and GBV Hub Leadership Council is made up of members that work within the faith and violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) fields and represent different perspectives, experiences, constituencies, and geographical diversity. The Leadership Council provides guidance on the strategic direction of the Faith and GBV Hub, its projects and programmes, to ensure that through this Hub, the JLI and SVRI continues to advance research on faith responses for the prevention and response to VAW and VAC in low and middle-income countries.

We are delighted to introduce you to the Hub’s first Leadership Council, established in 2021. Leadership Council members serve in their individual capacity and we are grateful for their time and commitment to providing guidance and recommendations to the Hub and our planned activities.

View the Leadership Council Members here

Join the JLI/SVRI Faith and GBV Hub
JLI Partners
Vaccine Equity Initiative

JLI board member David Boan is assisting United Methodist Global Missions and UNICEF-USA in a US-based campaign to encourage donations to the Covax program.  Called Love Beyond Borders, this interfaith initiative was inspired by the Love My Neighbor campaign in Canada.  The campaign aims to address vaccine inequity and is actively seeking US partners. All contributed funds to go UNICEF-USA for Covax. Contact David Boan for more information
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