2. Workshop Report: Religions and Development in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, September 20th-21st 2018.

Following the expiry of the United Nations Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, a new set of globally agreed development goals and indicators, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – known more broadly as Agenda 2030 – were formulated. At the core of Agenda 2030 is a heavy emphasis on inclusion within global development practice. Inclusion in development requires that all individuals and groups within society, particularly those that have traditionally been marginalised (such as those less able, the elderly, women, ethnic minorities) and – related to this programmes network, even religious groups – are included in development. This principle has become known as ‘leave no one behind’. The SDGs are important to a wide range of stakeholders across countries of both the Global South as well as the Global North, from national governments through to the private sector, CSOs and FBOs. National governments are expected to translate these goals and targets into their national policies, to resource and implement these policies, and to measure their implementation. Other non-state actors and individuals also play a significant role in ensuring the achievement of the SDGs and this programmes project seeks to look at religions and the SDGs, specifically in India and Ethiopia. Ethiopia has engaged actively with the SDG process and its predecessor the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), demonstrating a clear committment to adopting international development language and its emerging target-driven frameworks. Owing to its high economic growth a low baseline figures in many of the indicators, the country managed to achieve six of the eight MDGs. Ethiopia became one of 50 countries worldwide to provide data to the UN for the preparation of the SDG agenda and one of ten African countries to join in in preparing the ‘Common African Position’. This workshop was the third consultation of an international programmes network funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council on the topic of religions and the Sustainablle Development Goals (SDGs) based at the University of Leeds and SOAS University of London, UK, in partnership with the Humanitarian Academy for Development. The workshop was organised in collaboration with the Life & Peace Institute and took place in the Golden Tulip Hotel in Addis Ababa. The workshop brought together academics, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) for two days of papers and discussions with the following aims:

  1. to facilitate a conversation between the academic study of development and the practical contributions of faith actors in various sectors of development;
  2. to reflect on the role of faith actors in Ethiopia’s development vision, policy, and practice;
  3. to deliberate on the lvels of knowledge and utility of the SDG framework and process among faith actors and their development practice.

Report available at: https://religions-and-development.leeds.ac.uk/programmes-network/More from “Keeping Faith in 2030: Religion and the Sustainable Development Goals”:

1. Findings and Recommendations

3. Citizenship, Marginalities and Development: Marginalised Communities and the Sustainable Development Goals, New Delhi, India.

4. FBO Workshop on Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals, UK



Dr. Jörg Haustein, Professor Emma Tomalin


Research Report








Development, Faith Perspective, Religion, Sustainable Development Goals