by Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D.
This report was presented on November 23rd the at a meeting with high level United States Government representatives at the White House. Following a welcome from Reverend Joshua DuBois, and remarks by representatives from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, USAID, and the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Bishop Dinis Sengulane of Mozambique, Ruth Messinger of American Jewish World Service, Abed Ayoub of Islamic Relief and Bill O'Keefe of Catholic Relief Services speaking on behalf of GIFHD Task Force presented specific asks of the USG, including requests for a high level Working Group for ongoing consultation with the faith sector in policy planning, support for the creation of multireligious collaborating mechanisms at the country level, and support for tools and research supporting congregation mobilization for health and development at the local level in developing countries.
The group was addressed by Dr. Nils Daulaire, USDHSS; Ms. Gayle Smith, NSC; and Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID. It was clear they were taking the Strategic Framework for Action Report very seriously. Ms. Smith commended the value of the faith sector approach as a strategy for increased public sector engagement with the faith community, and Dr. Shah called for a roundtable to advise on the implementation of the recommendations at USAID.
Senator Frist currently sits on the board of directors of CIFA, and Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D. sits on the steering committee and task force for the Global Initiative for Faith, Health and Development.