Christian Connections for International Health is committed to raising evidence about the scope, scale, and impact of faith-based (especially Christian) health services and faith actors who work alongside governments and other institutions to improve health for those in greatest need.

There are two key ways CCIH is supporting this now: by serving as founder and secretariat for the Christian Health Asset Mapping Consortium and by advancing a typology of faith engagement developed with USAID that can foster a common language and provide better data on what they do.


The Christian Health Asset Mapping Consortium (CHAMC) is a coalition of organizations formed to address the urgent need for quality data and information on the Christian health asset landscape in low- and middle-income countries.

Established in 2022, founding members include the following:

  • Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP)
  • Catholic Health Association (US) International Outreach (CHA-US)
  • Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH)
  • International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA)
  • The Dalton Foundation
  • World Council of Churches (WCC)

CCIH will also serve as the secretariat for the Consortium.

Why is this important?

This Consortium identified a common Christian health landscape with different types of health assets. The Consortium is working to foster data and learn about each one. These assets include organizations that directly serve populations and train or support organizations and programs that do.

See the Venn diagram below.

What’s the approach?

CHAMC is building a “registry” or database of databases rather than trying to collect and maintain a giant warehouse of all global health service data. CHAMC also shares analyses to help decision-makers learn based on available data. CHAMC engages in forums that provide leadership in global health mapping and planning.

Faith Engagement Typology

CCIH, as the Faith Engagement Team for USAID’s MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership, set out to create a typology to help consistently quantify and describe faith-based efforts to improve health outcomes.

MOMENTUM enables government-led partnerships to deliver high-quality, evidence-based interventions that accelerate reductions in maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity at scale. Among the health and non-health
actors that MOMENTUM supports, they provide technical and capacity development assistance to faith actors to plan, manage, and deliver high-quality programming.

CCIH supports MOMENTUM’s engagement with faith-based organizations (FBOs) and faith communities and aims to expand the evidence base on the involvement of faith or religious institutions in health development work.

Realizing that donors and partners lack a consistent way to describe how and why faith engagement strengthens global health initiatives, CCIH developed a faith engagement typology. The identified typologies are commonly observed in faith engagement but are not exclusive to faith-based entities or environments. These typologies will help global partners understand and describe the type of faith engagement work through MOMENTUM and beyond.

A typology is important to guide health planning and investment in a world where most of the population belongs to a faith group that directly or indirectly influences health.

FBOs are often the first to respond to emergencies and are still there long after the emergency has subsided. Faith actors can make or break a global health strategy; excluding them from planning and resources fosters distrust and may even leave people in communities believing “health” and “faith” are at odds. Strategic investments in faith engagement prevent that and may help accelerate programs to scale.

This typology was developed based on a learning process with input from MAKLab, a service under the MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator. MAKLab, including colleagues at Ariadne Labs, completed a literature review and reviewed the typology for fit against available literature. This typology was tested using data from 25 USAID-funded programs under MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership. The current typology will likely adapt with continued learning and testing; therefore, we refer to this as version 1.1.

Faith Engagement Typologies, version 1.1
1. Create space for discussion of theological interpretations in health ethics and actions
a. Promote understanding and dialogue on the role of theology and ethics in health
b. Incorporate prayer and spiritual practices (e.g. Chaplaincy)
2. Increase just and equitable access for underserved populations
a. Develop disease-specific programs
b. Distribute services to underserved geographies
c. Ensure access for underserved population/demographic groups
3. Provide a range of health-related services in faith-based environments
a. Provide community-based health promotion and care
b. Provide facility-based health services
c. Provide health programs at places of worship/prayer (activities, teaching, services)
d. Provide multi-sectoral or wrap-around services (livelihoods, nutrition, education)
4. Commit to program sustainability
a. Commit to long-term service beyond program lifecycles
b. Provide organization capacity development opportunities
5. Respond quickly in times of crisis or difficulty
a. Provide services in humanitarian settings
b. Solicit or deploy volunteers and product donations
6. Shift power to local actors
a. Advocate for local priorities in public policy and planning
b. Ensure the active participation and involvement of local faith actors in decision-making
7. Increase the quantity and technical rigor of faith actors and engagements
a. Provide health worker training and mentorship
b. Integrate mental, social, spiritual and/or physical health
8. Build awareness and community sensitization
a. Facilitating open conversations and fostering acceptance within communities
b. Dismantle stigma and discrimination that marginalize individuals and communities
9. Influence social and behavior change for positive health
a. Support health-promoting behavior change, positive community attitudes, beliefs, and practices
b. Promote peace-building among people and communities
c. Support freedom of religion and religious expression
10. Foster community health systems and networks
a. Strengthen networks of health facilities and community health providers
b. Promote referral networks
c. Promote resiliency and planning for emergencies
d. Promote shared learning across network/institutions