The overarching aim of Faith and Positive Change for Children, Families and Communities (FPCC) is to strengthen interfaith efforts at influencing positive social and behavioral changes of the most marginalized children, families and communities globally in order to improve child wellbeing.
FPCC approaches faith engagement on sensitive social norms by taking an integrated, multi-sectoral approach with a focus on a broader set of issues and overall child wellbeing. We create and strengthen long-term, equitable and inclusive partnerships with diverse religious leaders and communities to support faith-led, community-based initiatives along with joint decision-making, co-ownership and co-creation of evidence-based, programme strategies and resources. By engaging faith actors in "Mind and Heart Dialogue" through self-reflection, exchange and feedback, FPCC moves beyond simply delivering messages to creating real and lasting positive social and behaviour change on jointly-agreed priorities affecting children and their families.
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Religion has a profound impact on personal and collective values and social norms and therefore can be a powerful catalyst to improve the lives of women and children. In situations of conflict, unrest and humanitarian crisis, religious leaders and faith organisations are singularly best positioned to foster inter-faith dialogue, diffuse tensions and discriminatory attitudes, and provide spiritual and psychological support to communities.
A global mapping exercise conducted in 2018 revealed that 150 of UNICEF’s country offices were partnering with faith actors in some capacity; however, engagement was largely single sector, single denomination, message- and project-based, ad hoc and short term. This context led UNICEF's Communication for Development (C4D) section at the New York global headquarters to begin technical work on the Faith and Positive Change for Children, Families and Communities (FPCC) initiative in October 2018, in partnership with the world’s largest inter-faith network Religions for Peace (RfP) and knowledge partner Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities (JLI). FPCC was officially launched in October 2019 by UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta Fore in Washington DC.
By partnering with religious leaders and faith communities, FPCC strengthens its ability to affect positive change at both the community and policy levels and work to counter detrimental beliefs that perpetuate harmful practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation or cutting, gender inequity, and restricted access or resistance to life-saving health-promoting behaviors, products and services. JLI, RfP and UNICEF each have a long history of partnering with religious communities and ensure that efforts to engage with religious communities are impartial and non-partisan.
The initiative is committed to taking the following steps to carry out its Mission:
EVIDENCE REVIEW | Conduct a comprehensive evidence review to identify, analyze and consolidate findings on the best practices of engaging faith actors on SBCC.
CASE STUDIES | Create a global compendium of Case Studies to document current Faith for Social and Behavioral Change for Children (SBCC) programmes.
PROGRAMMING FRAMEWORK | Building from evidence and case studies, develop a conceptual model, theory of change and programming framework to situate FBO engagement within broader Social and Behavioral Change for Children (SBCC) efforts.
TECHNICAL GUIDANCE | Based on the conceptual and programming framework, coordinate a participatory process to develop technical guidance for improving country-level strategies and plans on engagement with Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs).
CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT | Improve religious literacy amongst implementing partners. The initiative will support capacity development of local FBO partners and relevant government counterparts to maximize their engagement for positive social and behaviour change.
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE | Facilitate webinars, workshops and other means to facilitate networking, exchange and learning amongst countries.
ADVOCACY | Identify strategic events and specific champions to advocate for recommended actions for strengthening Faith for Social and Behaviour Change efforts.