Annual Programme and Workstreams
In consultation with partners, the members of PaRD have identified areas of common interest for their first annual programme. These areas of interest are focused on the SDGs and have been developed into three workstreams titled Sustaining Peace (SDG 16), Gender Equality & Empowerment (SDG 5) and Health (SDG 3). All workstreams are interconnected by the cross-cutting issue of Human Dignity and Human Rights. For a schematic overview on how PaRD works, please click here.
Taken together, PaRD’s workstreams reaffirm the universal call to ‘Leave No One Behind’ of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Within each Workstream, PaRD members and partners have agreed to jointly implement activities in the following areas of cooperation:
1. Knowledge sharing and learning exchange
2. Networking and dialogue
3. Capacity building, and
4. Policy advice.
Accordingly, activities include, but are not limited to, conducting training on religious literacy, piloting projects with global partners, compiling and making existing literature accessible, as well as collaborating on policy briefs and discussion papers.
The first PaRD workstream focuses on the role of religion in Sustaining Peace. Many conflicts throughout history have had a religious dimension, yet religious actors have been equally present in peacebuilding efforts, reconciliation and the promotion of peaceful coexistence. During conflict, religious leaders can positively draw on a shared worldview and evoke a common framework of beliefs and values to gain support for non-violent approaches to resolve conflicts and build social cohesion. Similarly, compassion and empathy sustain peace, while a sense of identity and emotional support increases individual and communal resilience in the face of adversity.
The second PaRD workstream – Gender Equality and Empowerment – focuses on including religious leaders and ROs in tackling gender injustice. Religious actors are in an excellent position to provide guidance towards gender equality by reaffirming and emphasising the core insight that every person has an intrinsic value and dignity regardless of gender.
The enormous outreach of religious and faith-based organisations to local communities represents a vital asset as part of a comprehensive and sustainable response to public health emergencies and basic service provision alike. Therefore, Workstream 3 – with a special focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) – concentrates on religious organisations as substantial partners in the delivery of healthcare and in fighting social stigma related to diseases such as Ebola and HIV/Aids.
Just as the Sustainable Development Goals are interconnected in their theoretical and practical dimensions, all workstreams are bound together by the topic of Human Rights and Human Dignity. This cross-cutting issue is acknowledged to be a significant part of the work in all activities of PaRD.