Professor Emma is a sociologist of religion/religious studies scholar whose work is focused on the broad area of religion and public life. She has a long-standing interest in religions and global development, including the gender dimensions of this relationship. More recently, she has been involved in projects that also engage with the role of faith actors in humanitarian action, peacebuilding, and health. She has mainly worked in South and South East Asia, and more recently East Africa. Closer to home, she has carried out research on the role of faith actors in public life in the UK, in terms of the anti-trafficking and modern slavery domain as well as the relevance of local faith communities to public health. Her latest book has just been published, The Routledge Handbook on Religion, Gender and Society (2022), edited with Caroline Starkey.
Dialogue Knowledge Hub
Accountable Localisation: Local Faith Actors Speak Out
The concept of localisation of international humanitarian action, development and peacebuilding has gained greater attention following the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. Localisation can mean different things to different people, including notably engagement at the grassroots level, participatory approaches with local actors, community consultation, and adaptations to local context and sensitivities.
A great deal of time has been spent on discussing what localisation means and why it is needed, yet little focus has been given to its conditions of implementation on local levels and from local perspectives. Moreover, the roles and contributions of local faith actors often tend to be overlooked or sidelined by international and secular actors, despite them being primary responders in many development, humanitarian and peacebuilding spaces. Where does localisation succeed and where it fails? How fair, equitable, relevant, and “local” localisation efforts are? What role does faith play in this context? To engage with these questions, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) is launching its second Fair & Equitable Dialogue with the support of KAICIID—to engage with with a public webinar on:
Accountable Localisation: Local Faith Actors Speak Out
The webinar will be the second one to be held as part of JLI's Fair & Equitable Dialogues—a series of interactive public learning events that seek to examine how faith actors can, should, and do challenge unequal power dynamics between the international, national and the local in humanitarian, peacebuilding and development work. This dialogue hopes to investigate practical examples of localised action from the ground, bringing together both local and international partners to reflect on their shared experience. By showcasing case studies of localisation from different regions in the Global South, this discussion invites both international organizations and local faith actors on how to better engage with localisation efforts, and what practical recommendations, stemming from local experiences and stories, can lead to a more effective, fair, and equitable engagement with the localisation of humanitarian and development work.
Through lived experiences and stories from recent localisation projects, local faith actors and international actors—who have partnered to deliver development, peacebuilding and humanitarian work—will engage in a dialogue on how localisation efforts are playing out on the ground. The webinar is a 90-minute discussion—organized by the JLI and its Fair & Equitable Webinar Working Group alongside the support of KAICIID.
Dr. Swati Chakraborty is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Legal Studies and Research at GLA University. She is also Assistant Professor of Human Rights and Women Studies in TeamLease Ed Tech. She is an international KAICIID Fellow. She completed her PhD in Human Rights from the University of Calcutta with the dissertation on “Right to Education: A study on tribal women of rural West Bengal”.
She is the Founder of Web Platform 4 Dialogue that features a series of webinars, talks, and publications. Dr. Chakraborty has extensive experience in teaching as lecturer at The English College. She is also a member of executive council at National Centre for Inclusive Growth and Development Research (NCDR), Mysore.
Dr. Chakraborty is the editor of multiple books and publications including: “Tribal Development”, “Gender Identity and Roles in India: Issues and Challenges”, “Multidisciplinary Handbook of Social Exclusion and Human Rights”, and “Handbook of International Relations: Issues of Human Rights and Foreign Policy Vol.I and Vol II”.
Mrs. Zabib Musa Loro is a South Sudanese young woman leader. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Islamic Development and Relief Agency (IDRA) and representative of the NNGOs in the humanitarian Coordination Team. Mrs. Zabib is an accomplished senior manager, human rights and gender activist, and researcher/mentor/psychosocial support expert. She is also the Chairperson for the Network of Aids Service Organizations in South Sudan (NASOSS) and Deputy Chairperson of EANNASO.
With 7+ years of experience in building organisations and operational infrastructures in various NGOs, Mrs. Zabib provides strategic guidance and oversees project implementation and documentation. With most of the work focused on conflict affected populations, SGBV survivors, people living with HIV and war children in several South Sudan communities.
Mrs. Zabib holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Local Governance and a Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management from Makerere University. She also holds multiple diplomas and certificates in community focused development studies, business administration, project strategic planning, resource mobilization, data analysis and collection, security training, and basic management skills.
Mousumi Saikia currently works as the Head of Programme Funding and Partnerships in Islamic Relief Worldwide. Mousumi was also the global programme lead for Islamic Relief Worldwide’s conflict prevention and peacebuilding programme that was implemented in Kenya, Indonesia, Pakistan and Philippines. She has long standing experience of planning, delivering and managing both humanitarian and development projects. She also has experience in the not-for-profit sector particularly in education and health. Her particular interest lies in promoting gender equality and justice; and the critical role that faith leaders and institutions can play in overturning the negative narrative of faith and religion as being oppressive of women. She has worked in Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Kenya, Macedonia, Malawi, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Switzerland, Thailand, and Tunisia.
Nongalak Kaeophokha has been working in International Development for over 15 years with NGOs, INGOs, and UN agencies in Thailand. She has a background in Migration and Refugee, Environmental, Development, and Peace. Currently, she works with Spirit in Education Movement as a Programme Manager for “Promoting a Culture of Peace and Sustainability in Myanmar.”
Hira Aftab is the Co-Founder of Our World Too, an organisation dedicated to re-humanising the narrative surrounding refugees. She is also a Communications Expert in the humanitarian/international development sector and has worked in Saudi Arabia, the UK and Pakistan. She holds two Masters degrees, an MA in International Relations from the University of Nottingham and a MSc in Humanitarianism, Conflict and Development from the University of Bath.