Last week, Stephen hosted the launch of a major report on faith, development and the Sustainable Development Goals in Parliament.
‘Keeping Faith in 2030: Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals’ was launched at the House of Commons at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society, which Stephen chairs. The report’s authors, Emma Tomalin of Leeds University and Dr Jörg Haustein of SOAS, discussed its key themes together with Professor Carole Rakodi of the University of Birmingham and Emma Bridger from the United Society Partners in the Gospel.
The report emphasises the importance of understanding religious dynamics and the role of faith communities and actors for sustainable development. It particularly explores how faith actors are interacting with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in practice.
The panel highlighted the need to bring in faith actors as full development partners within sector conversations. They emphasised the need for religious literacy to be increased in NGOs and governments, both abroad and in the UK. They also recommended more investment to spread knowledge about the SDGs to local faith actors to enable them to fully participate in the sustainable development agenda.
Speaking afterwards, Stpehen 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.”