In an article published in the International Review of the Red Cross (Volume 87, Number 858, June 2005), Anne-Marie Holenstein, an organizational development consultant, investigates the complex relationships between governmental donor agencies and faith-based organizations. For decades it has been taboo to mention the role played by religious organizations in development cooperation. Today, however, there is growing awareness of the contribution that these organizations can make to sustainable development, just as there is of the risk they pose of abuse and conflict aggravation. Those involved in development therefore have to learn to cope with the double-edged nature of these organizations. Government donor agencies and faith-based organizations should jointly monitor their work in conflict-prone areas to ascertain whether it fosters peaceful settlement of conflict or whether, in fact, it aggravates the violence.

Download the document here