Virtual PaRD Annual Forum and GAM

The Virtual Annual Forum will facilitate open and forward-thinking discussions between various donor organisations, governmental entities, multilateral agencies and Faith Based/Faith Inspired organisations (FBOs/FIOs) and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

The current COVID-19 pandemic proves to be a challenge to all of us. As you may be aware, with much regret and in consultation with the South African local host committee, the PaRD Steering Group has decided to postpone the next in-person PaRD Annual Forum and the PaRD General Assembly of Members (GAM) to August 31 - September 3, 2021 to be held in Cape Town, South Africa. We consider this necessary due to the recent developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its implications on everyone’s personal health and the society in general.

Nevertheless, since a regular exchange between members is at the core of our partnership, we would like to invite you to a Virtual Annual Forum and GAM from September 3-4, 2020.

The virtual forum will focus not only on ongoing collaborations and partnerships with local Faith Actors (LFAs) but also on existing gaps and challenges in partnerships, including those relating to the current response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual forum will not replace the regular physical Annual Forum but shall provide an opportunity to discuss current challenges in the field of religion and sustainable development within our partnership and to work towards the next in-person forum in 2021.

Tuesday, 1 September, 9:00 - 13.30 PM: 

Humboldt University and WECARE: Capacity Building Webinar

Right before the Annual Forum, on September 1st, the Research Programme on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development at Humboldt University Berlin is hosting a webinar on “Religious Communities and Ecological Sustainability in Southern Africa” in partnership with the Water, Environment and Climate Action (WECARE) Work Stream of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD). More

Thursday, 3 September, 14:00 - 15:30 PM:

Virtual Annual Forum

Introduction to PaRD

Prof. Mohammed Abu-Nimer, PaRD Co-chair/ King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) and Kirsten Evans, PaRD Co-Chair/ United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Opening Speech

Dr. Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Health, the Republic of South Africa Welcome Remarks

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Gräb, Head of Research Programme on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development, Humboldt University of Berlin

Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, Chair of CDDC Trust/NRASD, National Church Leaders’ Consultation (NCLC); President of Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC)

Keynote Addresses

Together for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): A collaborative response to current global challenges -insights on the roles of governmental entities/multilaterals/faith actors; regional/global leadership in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic-

Ms. Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, CEO of Christian Aid and a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Amanda has more than 20 years’ experience, extensive knowledge and expertise in working to alleviate poverty, injustice and inequality, with a special focus on women’s leadership, civic engagement and volunteering. She has previously worked for the United Nations Volunteer Programme, VSO International and Skillshare International UK. She served as a trustee for Bond and as President of Akina Mama wa Afrika. Amanda will publish her first book this month, titled ‘But Where Are You Really From? On Identity, Humanhood and Hope’.  

Dr. Iyad Abu Moghli, Principal Advisor for Strategic Engagement with Faith-based Organizations at UN Environment

• Mr. Alvin Botes, Deputy Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation; Republic of South Africa Africa’s challenges with COVID 19, and why state – faith collaboration is important   

Thursday, 3 September, 16:00 - 17:30 PM:

Multi-stakeholder roundtable discussion 

Strengthening Opportunities for Funding LFAs - a conversation between funding partners, implementing partners and analysts.

Moderation: Prof. Mohammed Abu-Nimer, PaRD Co-chair/KAICIID

The objective of the roundtable is to facilitate an honest exchange between stakeholders i.e. governmental entities, intergovernmental organisations, academia and FBOs/FIOs on funding needs/gaps and invisibility of FBOs/FIOs, especially by local faith actors (LFA) and grassroot organisations as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Kenneth Staley, Executive Director of the USAID COVID-19 Task Force

Ms. Mercy Niwe, Lead - Global Faith Engagement at the World Bank

Sheikh Nuruddeen Lemu, Director of Research and Training, Da’wah Institute of Nigeria (tbc)

Dr. Thorsten Göbel, Director of Programmes, ACT Alliance

Dr. Katherine Marshall, Executive Director, World Faiths Development Dialogue, Georgetown University

Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, Director of Research, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities

 Friday, 4 September, 14:00 - 16:00 PM:

Parallel Sessions by work-streams

1. Health (SDG 3)

2. Gender Equality and Empowerment (SDG 5)

As part of the PaRD Virtual Forum, the Gender Equality and Empowerment Work-Stream will host the Event: "A just world post COVID-19: Critical Dialogues on Religion, Sustainable Development and Gender Justice"? The event will be the launch of a series of interactive dialogues that will be hosted by the workstream throughout 2020 / 2021. More 

3. Water, Environment and Climate Action (WECARE, SDGs 6,13,14,15)  

4. Sustaining Peace (SDG 16)