Guide to Excellence in Evidence for Faith Groups

The Guide to Excellence in Evidence for Faith Groups is produced collaboratively by diverse religious and faith groups – local, national, and global – who are members of the Evidence Working Group. This Online Guide is a living document that will be updated regularly. It aims 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.

In 2015, more than 50 international leaders of religious groups and faith based organisations signed The Moral and Spiritual Imperative supported by Dr Jim Kim, World Bank President. 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. 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!

On the site, you will find reflections on measurement challenges, tools we use to gather information, examples of data collection approaches, and other resources. No one size fits all! 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.

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.  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.

Please visit the following 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.

Below are a list of tools and resources that different faith groups have contributed to the Guide. Each example explains how a particular faith group has approached evidence in one aspect of their work. We hope that you will be able to find examples and resources that are useful to your own faith group’s learning. We hope these guidelines and examples will jumpstart your process of thinking through gathering information and 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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