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Lauren Herzog, MA, Program Coordinator, World Faiths Development Dialogue and Wilma Mui, MPH, Program Associate for World Faiths Development Dialogue discuss a program in Senegal to reduce maternal mortality through using family planning and engaging religious networks.

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  1. 1. Engaging Women’s Religious Networks on Family Planning Lauren Herzog and Wilma Mui World Faiths Development Dialogue
  2. 2. WFDD’s Mission WFDD is a not-for-profit organization working at the intersection of religion and global development. WFDD seeks to reinforce, underscore, and publicize the synergies and common purpose of religions and development institutions addressing poverty; and to explore issues on which there is little consensus and where common ground is unclear.
  3. 3. Collaboration with CRSD • Worked together since early 2014 CRSD aims to promote dialogue and cooperation among Senegal’s religious communities to further development; improve maternal and child health; protect and support vulnerable populations; and advance peace and social cohesion.
  4. 4. Religion in Senegal • 94% Muslim, 4% Christian
  5. 5. Senegal’s Faith Networks • Dahiras: Muslim community groups organized at the local level (specific to Sufism) • Christian groups: generally organized within the context of the church
  6. 6. Family Planning Workshops • Dual approach: connecting with faith communities through activities with national relationship leadership, but also activities at grassroots level • Blending religious and technical • Scaling up activities
  7. 7. Workshops to date 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 Number of Participants 2015 2016 20 282 Number of Workshops 2015 2016 2015 Total: 839 Men Women 2016 Total: 14103 Men Women Participants by Gender
  8. 8. Workshops within Muslim Communities • Working through the various Sufi orders • Grassroots approach
  9. 9. Workshops within Christian Communities • Adapting the workshop model for Christian communities
  10. 10. Legitimizing the Message • Whenever possible, a CRSD delegation visits a region shortly following workshops
  11. 11. Interfaith Relations • Dialogue rather than collective action • Christian literacy among Muslims and Christians “We have a clear and transparent position, as Christianity promotes natural family planning, meaning that before our societies had all of these things, like medications, family planning was practiced.”
  12. 12. Key Lessons and Looking Ahead • Tailoring the approach to the local context • Managing expectations of how CRSD’s work fits into the larger family planning strategy • Building trust in local communities has opened new opportunities • Working at the grassroots level has revealed key gaps