Faith, Social Activism and Politics : Role of Faith Based Organizations in Influencing Public Policy (Lebanon)

In the Middle East and North Africa, faith-based organizations (FBOs) are one of the driving forces for political and social change. They also supply an array of social services that national governments cannot or will not provide. Indeed, some command annual budgets larger than those of their respective ministries of social welfare. And, procedures for accessing their services are more efficient and straightforward than in the public sector. There is also increasing evidence that faith-based organizations have played a significant role in shaping the current political landscape. There has been very little research on the subject to date, however.

This grant will allow the Collective for Research and Training for Development - Actions (CRTD.A) to examine the role (positive or negative) that FBOs can play in promoting good governance and how they access political processes to influence policy. Researchers will also look at the internal governance of confessional organizations, and their own definition and perception of good governance. Given the rising political and social influence of faith-based organizations and their allied political parties across the Middle East, the project methodology and findings will be used in similar explorations in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Syria.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, May 1, 2006

End Date

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


24 months

IDRC Officer

El-Rifai, Roula

Total funding

CA$ 245,593


Lebanon, Middle East, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, West Bank and Gaza


Foundations for Innovation

Project Leader

Lina Abou-Habib


Collective for Research and Training for Development Actions

Institution Country


Institution Website