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South Asia

Beliefs, practices, and social norms influence people’s daily lives and decision making. One of the most powerful influencers of individual behaviors, social norms and collective action at community and societal level is faith and religion. Religion has a profound impact on personal and collective values and social norms and as such can be a powerful catalyst for positive action to improve the lives of women and children. In situations of conflict, unrest and humanitarian crisis, religious leaders and faith actors are also singularly best positioned to foster inter-faith dialogue, diffuse tensions and discriminatory attitudes and provide spiritual and psychological support in the face of adversity.


UNICEF has a long history of active engagement with local faith actors as civil society partners for the wellbeing of children. A 2014 global mapping of the organization’s engagement with religious communities, however, showed that while 150 of UNICEF’s country offices across the world were engaging in one way or other with Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs), the partnerships for the most part were comprised of ad-hoc, activity-level and short-lived initiatives  versus more overarching cross-sectoral efforts tied to country program priorities.


To address these challenges and maximize opportunities for more positive and…


FPCC in South Asia

South Asia

The Faith and Positive Change for Children, Families and Communities (FPCC) Initiative was Conceived in 2018 with the aim of moving beyond single-sector, single-faith, small-scale, ad-hoc and sometimes instrumentalist approaches of faith engagement in development and humanitarian work. FPCC has three main partners (UNICEF, Religions for Peace, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local…

The South Asian Context and Priorities for Scaling Initiatives with Religious Leaders

Among the key program areas of the FPPC framework that are particularly relevant for South Asia, are the following:

Intersecting values: Religious values – including human dignity and respect for every human being, justice, compassion, peace and service to others – are in agreement with the principles of the CRC. The common ground of religious values and CRC principles provide a foundation for cooperation and…

FPCC South Asia Journey of Change

UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) has engaged in past years to forge partnerships with religious leaders. It facilitated the launch of the first South Asia Religious Leaders’ Platform for Children in Kathmandu in 2017 to promote child rights. Following up on the initiative, a high-level dialogue entitled South Asia Religious Leaders Platform for Children was held on 28–29 January 2020 in Bhutan. Again, in April 2020, ROSA  convened a virtual gathering of nearly 30 prominent religious and religious…

Lessons Learned

Building on the past initiatives and global lessons learnt need to be considered on Faith and Positive Change for Children (FPCC):

Work across levels: There is a need to move beyond majority focus on religious leaders to work with other formal and informal leaders within the broader faith community (including women and youth leadership).

Engaging traditional…

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