Faith-Based Global Health

Faith-based organizations and global health have a long history and FBOs provide a significant amount of care across the globe. Here are resources from CCIH, our members and other organizations about FBOs and their work in global health.

CCIH Webinars

X Marks the Spot: Improving What We Know About the Scope and Scale of Christian Health Services | We know Christian health services play a major role in bringing health and healing to people in need, especially in rural areas, urban slums or other marginalized communities, yet it is difficult to measure the impact. This CCIH webinar, held November 16, 2021, framed the challenges and opportunities for Christian health asset mapping, discussing issues of quality, access, and transparency. Ideas were exchanged about what lies ahead for the future of mapping and what our role is in identifying the scope and scale of Christian Health services.

Panelists included:

-Barbara Campbell, Executive Director, The Dalton Foundation
-Edwin Sam, Technical Advisor, Health Systems Research India Initiative,
-Scott Todd, Independent Consultant and GIS Specialist
-Dennis Kinyoki, Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Lead, Africa Christian Health Associations Platform

The session was moderated by Doug Fountain, CCIH Executive Director.

Launching Your Global Health Career | We heard from young professionals about launching their careers in global health in this webinar hosted by CCIH on March 30, 2021, including how their faith has inspired their work; what helped shape their paths and launched their interest; and advice they have for others just starting out.

Panelists included:
-Zana Kiragu, MPH, MPharm, Zana is a Research Fellow in the Department of Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health.
-Kaity Hauter, MPH. Kaity currently works with the Virginia Department of Health in viral hepatitis prevention.
-Brian Blonder, BA. Brian is a Business Development Associate at Corus International.

The session was moderated by Carolyn O’Brien, MSPH, Project Coordinator for CCIH.

Expanding Opportunities with CHAs in South Asia | Christian Health Associations have proven to be valuable partners in reaching people with care, especially marginalized and hard-to-reach populations. On January 15, 2020 we heard from Dr. Ashchenaz Lall, Chairman of the Christian Hospitals Association of Pakistan and Dr. Priya John, General Secretary of the Christian Medical Association of India as they shared about their networks, how Christian Health Associations operate in this area, and how organizations can partner with them to bring health and healing to those in need. The webinar was moderated by Barbara Campbell, Executive Director of The Dalton Foundation and Co-Chair of the CCIH Health Systems Strengthening Working Group.

Christian Health Associations: New Frontiers for Partnership | This webinar, held November 5, 2019, featured Peter Yeboah, Executive Director, Christian Health Association of Ghana and Chair of the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) and Lebo Mothae, Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Lesotho and Vice Chair of ACHAP. They shared their expertise on how organizations can tap into the enormous potential of these networks, addressing questions such as:

-What are the various forms a CHA can take, and what do they do for their members?
-Why – and how – should your organization partner with a CHA?
-If there isn’t a CHA in your country, what do you need to do to start one?

The webinar was moderated by Barbara Campbell, Executive Director of The Dalton Foundation and Co-Chair of the CCIH Health Systems Strengthening Working Group.

Standards for Short-term Medical Missions

CCIH Statement on Standards for Short-term Medical Missions

Short-Term Medical Missions (STMM) can provide much-needed care to a community and help strengthen capacity of local providers, and are often provided in emergency response or in long-term development situations. Unfortunately, too many well-intentioned STMM projects are designed and executed in ways that do not plan for sustained change or, worse, leave communities open to unintended harmful effects of their work. To help STMM effectively address needs, CCIH endorses three sets of standards for those who engage in this work. See Full Statement

Publications and Journal Articles

Understanding the Roles of Faith-based Health-care Providers in Africa: Review of the Evidence with a Focus on Magnitude, Reach, Cost and Satisfaction | Jill Olivier, Clarence Tsimpo, Regina Gemignani, Mari Shojo, Harold Coulombe, Frank Dimmock et al. | July 2015 | The Lancet | This article reviews a broad body of published work and introduces some empirical evidence on the role of faith-based health-care providers, with a focus on Christian faith-based health providers in sub-Saharan Africa, on which the most detailed documentation has been gathered.

Strengthening of Partnerships between the Public Sector and Faith-based Groups | Jean Duff and Warren Buckingham | July 2015 | The Lancet | Drawing from both development and faith perspectives, this paper examines trends that could ground powerful, more sustainable partnerships and identifies new opportunities for collaboration based on respective strengths and existing models. It concludes with five areas of recommendations for more effective collaboration to achieve health goals.

Controversies in Faith and Health Care | Andrew Tomkins, Jean Duff, Atallah Fitzgibbon, Azza Karam, Edward Mills, Keith Munnings, et al. | July 2015 | The Lancet | Faith-linked controversies include family planning, child marriage, female genital mutilation, immunization, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health, HIV, gender, and faith activities including prayer. This paper outlines some of the controversies, describes how they influence health-care provision and uptake, and identifies opportunities for research and increased interaction between faith leaders and health-care providers to improve health care.

Faith and Health: Past and Present of Relations between Faith Communities and the World Health Organization | Reverend Canon Ted Karpf | 2014 | Christian Journal for Global Health | The author describes collaboration between the WHO and faith-based organizations in the implementation of primary health care, the role of spirituality in health, community responses to the HIV pandemic, and definitions of Quality of Life containing spiritual dimensions. He also discusses important gaps in the appreciation and measurement of the contribution of faith communities.


Compendium of Case Studies on Faith-based and Community Initiatives to Achieve U.S. Development Goals | 2019 | With support from USAID, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities put together a compendium of case studies on faith-based work in global health and development. A story on CCIH’s work under the USAID-funded Advancing Partners & Communities project with the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau is included. In addition, case studies highlighting the work of ADRA International, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, IMA World Health/Lutheran World Relief, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, World Relief, and World Hope International are also included.

Global Health and Africa: Assessing Faith Work and Research Priorities | 2012 World Faiths Development Dialogue | Lynn Aylward and Katherine Marshall | The World Faiths Development Dialogue and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation joined efforts to enhance the role of faith institutions working to benefit health in Africa by highlighting cases of current health work by faith-inspired organizations. An assessment was carried out to fill these gaps in knowledge and research. The full report outlines the information known about faith-inspired organizations working on health, their market share, costs, and relationships with government, international organizations, and each other through country case studies.

Partnering with Religious Communities for Children | UNICEF | January 2012 | According to UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, “Long before there was a UNICEF, faith communities were among the greatest advocates for the world’s neediest children, providing guidance, aid and comfort to millions of disadvanaged families.” This report is intended to strengthen those partnerships and make them even more effective as UNICEF works with religious communities to improve the lives of children.

Religion, Development, and the United Nations | Azza Karam, Social Science Research Council | 2012 | In 2011, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY) convened a series of consultations that brought together representatives of various agencies of the United Nations, leaders of faith-based non-governmental organizations, and academic researchers working in a number of different disciplines. This report summarizes the key questions, central outcomes, and select recommendations from the consultations.

The Healing Church. The Tübingen Consultation | This classic discussion of the intersection between faith and the role of the Christian church in healing, “The Healing Church,” was a product of the Tübingen Consultation in 1964 and released by the World Council of Churches in 1965. It contains much wisdom that is timeless and relevant today.

Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliography: Market Share of FBOs in Healthcare in Developing Countries | September 2018, updated November 2018 | Compiled by CCIH Intern Maria Muomah, MPH Candidate, Liberty University. The bibliography includes 17 sources from peer-reviewed journals addressing the amount of healthcare provided by FBOs in developing countries and the types of services they provide.

Annotated Bibliography: Trust in Healthcare Settings | August 2019 | Compiled by CCIH Intern Sydney Sauter, Pepperdine University. The bibliography contains a number of sources related to the measurement of “trust” in healthcare settings. Often times, faith-based organizations (FBOs) state that they are trusted health care providers, but the measurement of trust is not well quantified nor understood. The bibliography serves as a compilation of studies undertaken by professionals that
have attempted to measure “trust” in health contexts. Sources were located across multiple
platforms, and include seminal studies in the field.

Other Resources

Samaritan’s Purse International Health Forum | A series of webinars conducted by Samaritan’s Purse on a variety of topics in global health and the work of faith-based organizations.