Faith-based and community organizations are on the front lines of development and humanitarian assistance in every corner of the world. They offer perspectives that enable better understanding of community needs, hold positions of trust and leadership within societies, and can serve as effective liaisons between citizens and governments in times of conflict and humanitarian crises.

Since its founding, USAID has partnered with and alongside faith-based and community organizations to advance shared development and humanitarian assistance objectives. These critical partnerships expand USAID’s opportunities to create and deliver sustainable, locally-led solutions within our broader development agenda.

The Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP) works to build bridges between the Agency and faith-based and community organizations. With its mandate from President Biden’s February 2021 Executive Order establishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, FBNP reaffirms the U.S. Government’s longstanding commitment to work with faith-based and community organizations, including diaspora groups, volunteer networks, and foundations, to advance shared diplomatic, international development, and humanitarian goals worldwide.

Our Approach

In September 2023, the Agency released “Building Bridges in Development: USAID’s Strategic Religious Engagement Policy.” Grounded by a set of principles that shape the Agency’s commitment to our partnerships with religious actors, the first-of-its-kind policy provides USAID staff with a framework for engaging religious communities and faith-based organizations in every sector and region where USAID operates.

The policy was developed in direct response to requests from the USAID workforce for more guidance on when, where and how to engage faith-based partners. It is also responsive to the U.S. National Strategy on Religious Leader and Faith Community Engagement, which was adopted by the U.S. Government in 2013 and encourages U.S. diplomats and development professionals to engage and deepen relationships with religious leaders and faith communities as they carry out their foreign policy responsibilities. Since then, the U.S. Government has taken intentional steps to engage religious actors and partner with faith-based organizations, including through our development and humanitarian efforts around the world. USAID is proud to contribute to advancing this strategy with our first-ever strategic religious engagement policy.

FBNP strengthens the Agency’s work with faith-based and community organizations by:

Building Bridges:

  • Provide resources on how to work with USAID and connect these organizations with appropriate points of contacts within the Agency.

  • Convene faith-based and community organizations with USAID leadership via meetings and events to discuss shared priorities.

Strengthening Capacity:

  • Provide USAID staff with data-driven tools and resources on Strategic Religious Engagement (SRE), FBNP’s model for working with local religious communities and partnering with faith-based organizations.

Advancing Policy:

  • Gather and analyze data on the role and impact of engaging with religious communities and partnering with faith-based organizations.
  • Represent USAID in interagency and international groups working at the intersection of religion and development.  

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As part of PEPFAR’s DREAMS initiative, USAID Zimbabwe is delivering a comprehensive package of services targeting adolescent girls and young women to prevent new HIV infections.
As part of PEPFAR’s DREAMS initiative, USAID Zimbabwe is delivering a comprehensive package of services targeting adolescent girls and young women to prevent new HIV infections.
faith based Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships