Does faith and religion have a role to play in international aid and development?
Historically, religious institutions have been providers of aid due to their dedication and willingness to assist. Most would agree that it is important to operate by a value system. In the context of faith based organisations, this value system is usually based on a religious code. In secular organisations, this is generally based on a non-religious code of ethics.
Some would argue that faith-based organisations risk influencing recipient communities to adopt their beliefs, or even imposing restrictions such as on family planning and some traditional practices, and that power structures within organised religion can restrict women's ability to have a voice. Others would argue that the most important ingredient is that of spirituality, which a secular approach may not provide, as many communities in which development takes place have faith as an integral part of community life.
Do faith-based and secular aid development organisations have distinct and different characteristics that impact their performance and behaviours as development agencies?
Can one approach be seen to be more effective than the other?