By Gerard Clarke, Michael Jennings (eds.)
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Additional resources for Development, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations: Bridging the Sacred and the Secular
It also prevents donors from identifying obvious representative interlocutors, but the need to mobilize the world’s faith communities in the battle against global poverty makes it critical that donors work with faith communities to identify such interlocutors and involve them in multilateral fora. Representative organizations or apex bodies often include subsidiary organizations which promote development or charitable work but which otherwise remained aloof from international development debates until comparatively recently.
This makes the FBO both distinct (to the extent that faith values imbue its very identity), and yet reflecting the broader non-governmental response to poverty and development, sharing many of the same values. Donor wariness of FBOs remains a strong undercurrent of development discourse. National governments and international organizations have certainly engaged with a select few – largely those, to adopt the typology presented in Chapter 2, which fall within the active and passive sphere of action.
Democratic transitions in the 1980s and 1990s were largely driven by the spread of neo-liberal economics, the fall of communism and the end of the Cold War. These factors enabled opposition movements to make headway, often with prominent support from faith leaders and associated organizations, a critical additional ingredient. 18 Today, faith leaders and organizations around the world are important participants in struggles to consolidate and expand democratic forms of governance. Finally, FBOs have become more prominent in development contexts because of immigration.