Guide to Excellence in Evidence for Faith Groups


The purpose of the guide is to support the gathering and sharing of evidence by religious and faith-based organizations about their work to alleviate poverty and enhance the wellbeing of their local communities. This serves as a resource tool and library for organizations to share experiences. This Online Guide is a living document that will be updated regularly. 

Understanding 'what works and what doesn't requires people of faith to include their deepest spiritual values in the measurement and evidence process. We recognise and encourage distinctive faith-inspired perspectives on evidence because we want to include the spiritual dimensions that are present in all people. The spiritual is not a separate dimension. Therefore we seek evidence frameworks which capture the holistic, integrated nature of every person.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for local users, practitioners, field staff and those who are members of the Evidence Working Group

In 2015, more than 50 international leaders of religious groups and faith based organisations– local, national, and global– signed The Moral and Spiritual Imperative supported by the World Bank Faith Initiative and the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development. In the statement, faith leaders committed 'to act guided by the best evidence of what works and what doesn't. The Evidence Working Group seeks to help achieve this commitment by sharing experience and knowledge to promote joint learning, and to improve the excellence of the evidence from our diverse religious and faith groups.

What it’s not

  • We do not have all the answers, but we wish to share with you - and learn from you - to ensure we have all the necessary evidence to improve the lives of people and communities in every part of the world.
  • This is not a best practice guide. We are committed to learning together. We recognise gathering and use measurement information and evidence is a complex, challenging task. None of us claim to have arrived!
  • No one size fits all! It is not a prescriptive and normative guide. On the site, you will find reflections on measurement challenges, tools we use to gather information, examples of data collection approaches, and other resources.  Although the examples and tools on the site are tailored to specific communities and programs, the materials will need to be adapted to your context and programs.

Guide Pages

1. Why should faith groups care about evidence?

What is evidence and why is it important?

2. How does faith shape our understanding of evidence?

Faith groups have unique perspectives on evidence, based on our various understandings of how God works in our world.

3. How can faith groups get started or get better at collecting and using evidence?

Practical guidelines and steps to understanding how to get started or improve work with evidence.

Common Terms & Glossary

Guide Library

The Library of Examples below include tools and resources from different faith groups. Each example explains how a particular faith group approaches evidence in one aspect of their work. We hope that you will be able to find examples and resources useful to your own faith group’s learning. May these guidelines and examples jumpstart your process of thinking through gathering information, measuring and learning from a faith perspective.

Click here to submit content for the Library of Examples, or to provide feedback, questions or comments.

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Published: 2016 Author:Tearfund
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