Consultant to research the role of religious leaders in efforts to end child marriage

In 2017, Girls Not Brides gathered insights from practitioners and compiled useful resources on this topic. However, we found very few tools to support organisations in overcoming obstacles created by conservative leaders who oppose efforts to end child marriage.
Girls Not Brides is seeking an experienced consultant to start filling this gap, and develop products to support Girls Not Brides members in overcoming challenges related to engaging religious leaders in their work on child marriage. Given the complexity of various religious discourses and landscapes among each religion practiced across the world, this assignment will focus on one of the three major religions in the top 20 countries with the highest rates of child marriage: Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.

This assignment is part of Girls Not Brides’ 2018 online learning series, which encourage Girls Not Brides members to explore one approach to end child marriage every month. Engaging religious leaders will be the focus topic for May. Ahead of this, the consultant will be asked to develop the two products described in this terms of reference, and to facilitate an online discussion with Girls Not Brides members about the early findings from these products. The final products will then be launched at Girls Not Brides’ Global Meeting – a global conference gathering hundreds of civil society organisations and development partners – in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 25 to 27 June 2018.

See Terms of Reference – Child marriage & religious leaders

 Anglican Alliance launches global focus on anti-slavery initiatives in Freedom Year
The Anglican Alliance has produced a Freedom Year booklet to help people engage with the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking in 2018.
Photo Credit: Anglican Alliance

The Anglican Alliance, which helps to coordinates Anglican churches and agencies to work for a world free of poverty and injustice, has launched a year-long focus on anti-slavery initiatives across the Communion. Through its Freedom Year initiative, the Alliance is inviting people to learn more about human trafficking and modern slavery in the world today, pray for change, and take action to end it. A Freedom Year booklet, which will soon be available in Portuguese, Spanish and French, contains monthly themes and activities to “help us to take action, and encourage us join the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery, both locally and globally,” the Alliance says.

The booklet also contains prayer points to underpin the project, and the activities build up to what the Alliance hopes will be “a month of focused prayer and advocacy in July”, which they are calling Freedom Month, culminating in the International Day against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July.

“We hope that this year you will be encouraged to connect with people around the world, to learn from each other, and to recognise the crucial role that churches play in the fight against human trafficking,” the Alliance says.

The initiative is based on “Seven Ps”: Prayer, Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, Partnership, Policy and Participation.

Human trafficking and modern slavery is an international crime being carried out on an immense scale. Last September, a report by the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) revealed that more than 40.3 million people across the world were victims of modern slavery in 2016 – and 71 per cent of them were female and a quarter were children.

The figures also showed that almost 25 million people across the world were trafficked for labour. More than 15 million people were in forced marriages and almost five million people were victims of forced sexual exploitation.

In a video marking the launch of Freedom Year, the Revd Rachel Carnegie, co-executive director of the Anglican Alliance, said: “We invite you to join us on a journey – a journey together when churches around the Communion will work together to tackle the terrible crime of modern slavery.

“Individually it is very hard to do something, but together, and in this Freedom Year, we really pray to God that we can make a difference.”

Resolutions calling for action on human trafficking were passed by the Anglican Consultative Council at their last meeting in Lusaka in April 2016; and last October, at the Primates’ Meeting in Canterbury, Anglican leaderfs described human trafficking as “a crime against humanity which profits from the exploitation and abuse of vulnerable individuals.”

The primates committed themselves “to address this issue in our countries and across the globe.”

The Anglican Alliance is working ecumenically to help co-ordinate action on human trafficking and modern slavery; and works particularly closely with the Salvation Army and Caritas – the Roman Catholic Church’s international development charity. And throughout the world, Anglican provinces are working to tackle the issue in their localities.

Initiatives include a dedicated date in the lectionary of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, an ecumenical initiative to tackle the problem in Kenya, regional consultations with a view to establishing a country- wide programme in Canada, and the Church of England’s Clewer Initiative, which is helping dioceses and wider church networks to develop strategies for detecting modern slavery in their communities and help provide victim support and care.

For more information see the Freedom Year Website

Follow on Facebookand Twitter, using the hashtag #ChurchesAgainstTrafficking

JLI’s Partner the GHR Foundation is seeking a Senior Program Officer- Initiative Faith and Development.

The senior program officer is part of GHR’s Program Leadership Team whose primary responsibility is to lead GHR’s Initiative on faith and development. This person will be responsible for designing and implementing a strategic portfolio of grants and non-grant activities to both inform and advance the catalytic effect that faith can have on positive change in the world.

As lead for GHR’s Initiative on Faith and Development, specific qualifications sought include:

  1. General Subject Matter Knowledge
  2. Strategy and Learning
  3. Relationship Builder
  4. Links with Private Development Funders and Organizations

To Apply
Send cover letter and CV to [email protected]. Position will remain open until filled.

More information at the GHR Foundation website

Congratulations to JLI Partner, the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) for receiveding the prestigious Africa Peace Award 2018. The Peace Award was for its work promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue in Africa and the world, and in particular for its contribution to reviving the African Union Interfaith Dialogue Forum in partnership with the African Union. The prize is given by United Religions Initiative (URI), the renowned global NGO representing 204 member organizations in 31 African countries.

See KAICIID website for more details

The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities is delighted to announce Olivia Wilkinson, PhD is joining as the Director of Research.

In this position, she will be ensuring the quality of JLI evidence building, knowledge translation and building collaborations with academic partners. She will work closely with Stacy Nam, the Knowledge Manager and with our members to help grow and share their research.

Olivia has been an academic member of the JLI Resilience, Mobilization of Local Faith Communities, and Refugees and Forced Migration Hubs for a number of years.  She has contributed as research consultant to Learning Hub projects, including the 5 evidence briefs brought to the World Humanitarian Summit, and is lead author of the the recent JLI Refugee Hub Scoping Study. She was the coordinating editor on the recent summary of Proceedings of Forum on Localizing Humanitarian Response: the Role of Religious and FBOs and previously published  in a number of academic journals. Her PhD research focused on secular and religious responses to disaster following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Please join us in welcoming Olivia to the JLI and reach out to Olivia regarding any evidence building collaboration opportunities at [email protected]

New JLI Board co-chair

The JLI Board elected Jonathan Duffy as the new co-chair serving with Rob Kilpatrick. Jonathan is the President of the Adventist Development and Relief (ADRA) International.

Jonathan Duffy

Jonathan previously served the agency for four years as CEO of ADRA Australia. Prior to joining ADRA, he worked for 28 years in the public health sector, where he gained experience and expertise in community development, health services management and health promotion. During this time, he worked with remote communities in the South Pacific to improve access to health services. He has a passion for helping young people, and has implemented programs, conducted research and published in peer reviewed journals in relation to youth resilience. A champion for social justice, he uses his position to advocate for action on social justice issues and for a human rights based approach to development. He currently serves on the InterAction Board, where he heads the standards review task force, and is also an International Civil Society Center board member.


Joining the Board of Directors

Hiruy Teka

Hiruy Teka is joining as a member of the JLI Board of Directors. He leads the International Disaster Response Programme of Samaritan’s Purse UK. His role includes managing complex refugee and drought relief projects, raising funds from UK and Europe-based institutional donors, managing humanitarian projects and programmes all over the world (with budgets totaling millions of pounds, euros and dollars), and personally responding to disasters from time to time. As an Ethiopian in humanitarian and crisis response, he approaches his job with a great deal of passion and respect for people affected by disasters.

JLI Most Read Resources of 2017:

  1. Local Humanitarian Leadership & Religious Literacy – Oxfam American and Harvard
  2.  SASA! Faith Guide to prevent violence against women and HIV – Raising Voices, Trocaire
  3.  Developing Guidelines for Faith-sensitive Psychosocial Programs– Lutheran World Federation and Islamic Relief
  4.  Interfaith Toolkit to End Trafficking – UNICEF, Global Partnership to End Violence
  5.  Interreligious Action for Peace- Catholic Relief Services
  6.  UNHCR Shelter and Welcome Campaign#withrefugees

From the World Congress Strategic Plan

On 6 October 2017, the attendees of the World Congress: Child Dignity in the Digital World presented the Declaration of Rome to Pope Francis. The Declaration concludes, “In this era of the internet the world faces unprecedented challenges if it is to preserve the rights and dignity of children and protect them from abuse and exploitation. These challenges require new
thinking and approaches, heightened global awareness and inspired leadership.”

Pope Francis accepted the Declaration and said, “in the Declaration you presented me, you have pointed out a variety of different ways to promote concrete cooperation among all concerned parties working to combat the great challenge of defending the dignity of minors in the digital world. I firmly and enthusiastically support the commitments that you have undertaken.”

The challenge now is to implement those commitments. The task is enormous. We must maintain momentum, provide data to inform and shape policy, and generate the resources necessary for this comprehensive effort. The Centre for Child Protection (CCP) of the Pontifical Gregorian University in partnership with the WePROTECT Global Alliance and SOS Il Telefono Azzurro Onlus will use the Declaration of Rome as a platform on which to build a coalition of the willing.
That coalition will turn the general goals of the Declaration into global action. During the World Congress attendees participated in ten parallel workshops in a search for new and innovative approaches and solutions. This Strategic Plan presents those solutions.

The Mission: To grow a global coalition of representatives from religions, governments, international organisations, the technology industry, academia and the research community, civil society and elsewhere, working together toward a common objective: defending the dignity of minors and vulnerable adults in the digital world.
The Vision: To create a digital world where children and vulnerable adults are respected and free to exercise their digital rights and are safe from exploitation and abuse.

The Strategy: To achieve 13 goals recognizing the urgent need for an inter-sectoral strategic collaboration which calls upon technology, political and religious leaders, health and social care professionals and others to share responsibility for achieving them.
Goal 1: To raise awareness of digital risks especially with respect to primary prevention and safeguarding, and undertake new social research.
Goal 2: To mobilise faith leaders to support the implementation of the Declaration.
Goal 3: To revise applicable laws to be more effective in preventing abuse.
Goal 4: To redefine the responsibilities and actions required by technology companies.
Goal 5: To improve provision of child rescue and treatment services.
Goal 6: To improve identification and interventions for children and young people at risk.
Goal 7: To improve the capabilities and collaborative efforts of international law enforcement organisations.

Goal 8: To train clinicians to better serve the needs of victims.
Goal 9: To expand treatment resources for people harmed by abuse.
Goal 10: To research the health impacts on young people of viewing pornographic images.
Goal 11: To set safety standards, agree to a code of conduct, and mandate filtering and age verification to protect children from inappropriate online content.
Goal 12: To improve education of children and young people.
Goal 13: To ensure all citizens are alert to the risks of abuse and know how to report it.


Repost of Blog from IRH

What’s family planning got to do with intimate partner violence? Exchanging with experts at the 2017 SVRI Forum

Courtney J. McLarnon-Silk, Esther Spindler (IRH); Francesca Quirke (Tearfund)

In September 2017, IRH and partners traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to present at the Sexual Violence Research Institute (SVRI) Forum and share experiences with 500 other experts working to prevent and respond to sexual violence. IRH, Tearfund, and Promundo-US co-led a satellite event titled, Exploring the Links between Intimate Partner Violence and Family Planning Use: Building Knowledge for Normative Change to Promote Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health.


Why talk about family planning at SVRI?

Gender-based violence – particularly intimate partner violence (IPV) – is a key barrier to meeting the family planning (FP) needs of women and men worldwide. The links between IPV and family planning are documented, yet we know little of the underlying mechanisms and best practices for responding. Recognizing this gap, the Passages Project has been conducting a landscaping of existing evidence to explore these links, especially as related to social, cultural, and gender norms. The landscaping consists of a literature review, an online survey, and key informant interviews. Our goal is to consolidate the evidence on the IPV-FP relationship and to unpack promising interventions.

The satellite event was an opportunity to share initial findings from the landscaping effort, to exchange ideas, and to learn about new approaches in the field with other experts at SVRI.


What we shared: highlights from the landscaping

  • Intimate partner violence and family planning are linked. Three systematic reviews have examined the association of IPV with sexual health outcomes, including sexual risk taking, inconsistent condom use, unplanned pregnancy or induced abortion, sexually transmitted infections and sexual dysfunction. The evidence suggests multiple associations between IPV and FP, but the direction and causes of relationships are unclear. Overall, the literature suggests that IPV can have an impact on numerous outcomes, including FP use, reproductive coercion, and unintended pregnancy.
  • Social norms affect women’s autonomy and reproductive health. Few studies have documented how social norms affect the link between IPV and FP. We know that social norms – the unwritten rules of behavior shared by a group and held in place by social expectations, rewards and punishments – do in fact influence IPV and FP outcomes. For example, patriarchal ideas about male control over women influence FP use and the acceptability of IPV. Overall, norms influence women’s autonomy and control over their reproductive health, particularly when they experience IPV.
  • Few interventions address IPV and FP. Even fewer have been scaled up. Of the interventions identified, we included 14 approaches that varied from SBC to edutainment, economic empowerment, and service delivery. We found that multi-sectoral programs can be successful; however, few programs documented the pathways in which transforming norms relevant to both IPV and FP were clear. Lack of evidence on what works, for whom, and under what conditions is a challenge to scaling up of promising programs.


What we learned: feedback from experts in the room 

During the panel presentations and interactive group work, over 40 experts shared insights about how to move IPV and FP research and practice forward. Suggestions included:

  1. Strengthen the conceptual story. A clear conceptual pathway is needed to link IPV and FP.
  2. Consider other life factors. Experts brought up the need to use a lifecycle approach and the ecological framework, and to consider structural barriers and the influence of other individuals on IPV and PF outcomes.
  3. Engage men responsibly. More evidence is needed to understand how best to engage men, while also ensuring women’s autonomy and lowering potential risk of further IPV (also known as “do no harm”).
  4. Analyze promising interventions to find key components and commonalties.
  5. Capitalize on expert opinions and sharing clear recommendations for policies and funding.

The expert opinions solicited at SVRI will be applied to the final landscaping assessment.


More to come!

The final report will be ready in early 2018. If you’d like more information, please email at [email protected].

JLI Leadership Meeting

October 24, 25 London

Salvation Army

The October 25 & 25 meetings of the JLI included 34 board, advisory group and learning hub co-chairs. The two-day meeting objectives were to share the current state of JLI hub evidence, examine JLI’s role considering the external environment and determine JLI’s next steps. Matthew Frost, JLI Board Co-chair for the past few years stepped down at the meeting. Matthew will continue as a general board member. Thanks to Matthew for all the wisdom and gifts shared during your time leading the JLI! With a new board co-chair elected unanimously –Jonathan Duffy, President, ADRA International, JLI will be focusing on how to implement goals identified at the board meeting.


  1. embed local and national voices into the JLI especially learning hubs
  2. proactive research and ensuring quality
  3. sharpen advocacy and influence

More outcomes from the board meeting to come