26 February 2019
The AHRC-funded research network 'Keeping Faith in 2030: Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals' launched its final report at a panel discussion chaired by the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP and hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society in the Jubilee Room at the Westminster Houses of Parliament. The event was also attended by Hilary Ogbonna, programme specialist at the UN SDG Action Campaign.
Rt Hon Stephen Timms, Dr Jörg Haustein, and Professor Emma Tomalin with fellow panellist Emma Bridger (USPG) and moderator Professor Carole Rakodi (University of Birmingham)
The research network, led by Professor Emma Tomalin (University of Leeds) and Dr Jörg Haustein (SOAS) investigated the engagement of religious actors with the SDG process in Ethiopia, India, and the UK. The network hosted a series of workshops in all three countries, which brought together local academics with representatives from faith-based organisations and other civil society actors. Overall the project found little engagement with the SDG consultation and implementation processes, but considerable interest into how the SDG framework might be useful as an advocacy platform. Among the recommendations of the report is a greater mobilisation of religious actors for the SDGs to counterbalance the high level of state capture of the SDG process in the studied countries.
Speaking after the event, Stephen Timms MP said: “Since launching the APPG in 2012 we’ve known that overseas development is one area we are seeing faith-based organisations make particular impact. Understanding that religion is deeply embedded in societies and people's lives across the world is key to best development practice, so I’m delighted to be able to highlight this important research.”
More about the network and its final report can be found on the project website. Jörg Haustein and Emma Tomalin are planning for further publications and activities resulting from this research network.