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Assessing the usefulness of frameworks for sub-categorizing faith-based organizations: World Vision as a case study

Mitchell, Robert (2016) Assessing the usefulness of frameworks for sub-categorizing faith-based organizations: World Vision as a case study. Pacifica, 29 (1). pp. 57-70. ISSN 1030-570X

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Faith-based organizations (FBOs) make up one of the largest cohorts of organizations providing international development work around the globe. The extraordinary heterogeneous nature of FBOs is bewildering, and typologies and other methods have been developed to try and sub-categorize them or to distil their defining characteristics. This article looks at how useful some of those attempts are for analytical purposes. Taking data from a detailed case study of eight World Vision offices around the globe, it was possible to go back and test the robustness of some of these methods. Typologies were inadequate because they forced an approximation or tried to plot behaviours in a linear way. Some approaches could not deal with the diversity of the contexts. Most especially, however, the study highlights that the failure to take account of the underlying theological premise of the FBOs can produce an anomalous picture. The article is cautious about methods which are overt measures of religiosity and favours the quadrant proposed by Vanderwoerd. This approach takes account of the theological outlook of those FBOs that are more comfortable in working with open systems.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords: faith-based organizations (FBOs), international development sector, methodological issues, typologies and frameworks, World Vision
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Strategic Basic Research
Subjects: D - Missiology
College/Association with University of Divinity: Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Mr Mark Carey
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2017 04:01
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 02:39
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/2334

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