Author: Professor Deryke Belshaw, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS).
Within the recent paradigm shift favouring the role of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as recipients and implementers of development assistance, the paper focuses on the capacities and performance of the diverse group of agencies which can be termed Christian Faith-based Organisations (CFBOs). This group consists primarily of (1) churches, which can be categorised as either denominational or independent, and (2) faith-based non-governmental organisations, amongst which it is useful to distinguish Christian international NGOs (CINGOs) from Christian national NGOs (CNNGOs). Their relative strengths and weaknesses in pro-poor development activity are reviewed in the second section of the paper.
The paper goes on to suggest that there is a pressing need for funders and governments to be able to assess and, if judged worthwhile, assist CFBOs in three major knowledge domains if their present highly variable pattern of development performance is to be significantly improved.
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