Regional Forum on Religion and Covid-19 (Southern Africa)

During the "Regional Forum on Religion and Covid-19: Implications for Development Cooperation with Religious Communities in Southern Africa", religious leaders, multilateral representatives, academics and governments from Southern Africa will discuss lessons learnt from the region's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The hybrid event is organised by PaRD's Health-Stream and others.

Event Facts

  • When: 22.08.2022, 08:30 to 15:30 (SAST/CEST)
  • Organiser: PaRD Health Work-Stream supported by the University of Pretoria, SDSN South Africa, Humboldt University Berlin, IN // RCSD and World Vision
  • Format: Hybrid
    • Physical Location: EMS Research Hub, University of Pretoria, Tshwane, South Africa
    • Virtual Location: Zoom 
  • Registration until 15 August 2022:
    • For virtual attendance: Click here!
    • For in-person attendance: Click here!


As a follow-up to the PaRD Regional Forum 2021: Religious Agency in Response to Covid-19, this year's Regional Forum on Religion and Covid-19 in Southern Africa aims to update and consolidate key findings on the role of religious actors in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on development cooperation. Those findings will serve as a basis for discussions on how to improve cooperation between local religious communities as development actors, governments and funding agencies.


>> 09:00-10:30 (SAST/CEST) – Different Perspectives

Different speakers will share from their different networks/institutions what they or their faith/religious community have done and what they have learnt with regard to:

  1. The impact of Covid-19 on their organisation/community.
  2. The way in which prevention activities were managed at the local level.
  3. Factors that contributed to the vaccination coverage rate.
  4. Success of measures to manage the impact of Covid-19.
  5. Preparedness for future pandemics and other disasters.
  6. Status of development cooperation with religious communities.

>> 10:30-10:55 (SAST/CEST) – Tea Break

>> 11:00-12:00 (SAST/CEST) – Breakout Group Discussions 

In the breakout sessions, participants will discuss the issues raised by the speakers in the Different Perspectives session in 5-6 breakout groups (face-to-face and virtual). In the breakout sessions, participants will reflect on the experiences of their own communities, focusing on the following topics:

  • What were your experiences during Covid-19?
  • What challenges did you face during the Covid-19 response?
  • How did you respond? How did local communities deal with the impacts of Covid-19?
  • How did you engage with other stakeholders, government, CBOs and donors?
  • What are the key factors that enable future collaboration on health and other development issues, and what are the factors that hinder collaboration?
  • What were your key findings from the responses to Covid-19?

>> 12:00-13:00 (SAST/CEST) – Lunch Break 

>> 13:05- 13:45 (SAST/CEST) – Presentation of Key Findings of Breakout Group Discussions

Each discussion group will present their key findings.

>> 13:45-14:45 (SAST/CEST) – Policy Recommendations Workshop

Groups will be formed for this workshop. They will work together to find a solution on how religious communities can strengthen their role in development cooperation and especially preparedness for future pandemics and other disasters.

>> 14:45-15:30 (SAST/CEST) – Presentation of Policy Recommendations 

Each workshop group will present their key findings.

>> 15:30-15:35 (SAST/CEST) – Event Close: 5 minutes