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    Balancing Word and Deed - Challenges of Forging a Common Development Thinking in Faith-based Organisations: A study of Norwegian Lutheran Mission

    Morten Stavland, Ole (2011) Balancing Word and Deed - Challenges of Forging a Common Development Thinking in Faith-based Organisations: A study of Norwegian Lutheran Mission. Research and Perspectives on Development Practice, 11. ISSN 2009-6976

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    This paper is drawn from a thesis submitted to the Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Dublin, in partial fuli lment of the requirements for the degree of MA in Development St udies. The paper relects on the characteristics of faith-based organ isations – with a particular focus on evangelical faith-based organis ations - and the roles of these characteristics in shaping views and pract ices of development, particularly among ield workers. What people believe in affects what they do and how they do it. Faith therefore, expectedly, affects development practice . But a shared faith on its own does not necessarily guarantee a coheren t approach to development among staff, as this case study of Norw egian Lutheran Mission (NLM) illustrates. Despite the common denom inational and cultural background, there were in this particular organisational environment still signs of unclear or dual purposes , and somewhat fragmented approaches to development thinking in th e ield. Deining the role of faith in forging development views very much seemed to be up to the individual ield worker. Faith-based organisations may at irst glance seem t o have an advantage compared to mainstream NGOs, in terms of being made up of a relatively ideologically homogenous staff b ody. However, a faith-based organisation (FBO) that wants to ensure a coherent and consistent approach to development thinking cannot assume this will happen naturally. It has to work hard if it wishes to forge a common understanding of purpose and practice. Within this particular organisational environment – the evangelical mission organisation - the hybridity of being ‘both ’ a development agency and an evangelising organisation seems to be particularly at the core of understanding how views and practices a re shaped. In this paper, the challenges presented by this hybridity a re addressed and it is hoped that these considerations will be of re levance for all faith based organisations.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Research and Perspectives on Development PracticeSeries Paper No. 11
    Keywords: Balancing Word and Deed - Challenges of Common Development Thinking; Faith-based Organisations; Norwegian Lutheran Mission; Kimmage Development Studies Centre;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > International Development
    Item ID: 9954
    Depositing User: IR Editor
    Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 16:36
    Journal or Publication Title: Research and Perspectives on Development Practice
    Publisher: Kimmage Development Studies Centre
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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