Religion and development in a Norwegian context. A qualitative study of the identity of faith-based organizations and the relationship to their secular donor
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In recent decades increased attention has been paid to the role of religion in development and several academics have explored the nature of faith-based organizations (FBOs) involved in development. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) funds several FBOs which, through their partners, implement development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Much of the literature on religion and development is focused on faith-based organizations and the role they play, or should play, in development. FBOs are often portrayed as unique and inherently different from secular NGOs. They have been praised for their motivation, efficiency, and holistic approaches to development. Despite of this there is also recognition of the heterogeneity in the category of FBOs. In this thesis I will explore five Norwegian FBOs and attempt to find out how they, in different ways, understand their faith-based identity. In conclusion I will propose a new typology of FBOs that might help us to better understand their characteristics.