Factoring Faith into Development

Boisi event

Amie Harris
U.S. Agency for International Development

Date: November 14, 2016

Listen to Talk


What role should faith-based organizations play in providing or distributing aid for developing nations? Amie Harris (a 2011 graduate of BC's International Studies Program) will draw on her experience at the U.S. Agency for International Development to describe how the U.S. government works with faith-based organizations, and what the benefits and challenges of these collaborations can be.

Speaker Bio

Amie Harris

Amie Harris is the Special Assistant to the Senior Advisor for International Education at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). She serves as the primary support for the senior advisor in her role as the external face of USG International Education. Harris joined USAID in 2013 as a Program Specialist in the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, where she managed office communications, coordinated engagement opportunities for faith and community groups, and supported outreach to diverse members of faith communities. Prior to USAID, Harris worked in the NGO and private sectors, building experience that ultimately brought her back to international development. During her time at Boston College, Harris spent six months in South Africa, where she studied at Rhodes University and volunteered at a school for street children and a support clinic for people with HIV/AIDS. She was also an active member of the Arrupe International Immersion Program, Appalachia Volunteers, and FACES. Amie is a native of Los Angeles, California, and she holds a B.A. in International Studies and a concentration in Political Science and Environmental Studies from Boston College.


Event Photos

Boisi event

Amie Harris spoke about USAID's partnerships with faith-based organizations and universities and their unique roles in international development at the Boisi Center on November 14, 2016.

Boisi event

Harris answers questions from students, faculty, and other community members.

Boisi event

Photos by MTS Photography

Event Recap

On November 14, the Boisi Center wel- comed Amie Harris (MCAS, ‘11), special assistant to the senior advisor for inter- national education at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In her talk “Factoring Faith into Devel- opment,” Harris drew on her experience at USAID collaborating with faith-based organizations, explaining the unique role that such organizations play in interna- tional development. 91% of USAID’s funding for other countries comes from partnerships, rather than the federal government. Faith-based partners, which work with some of the most vulnerable and remote populations in the world, are vital since they have local presence and development expertise. 

Read More

Relevant Webpages

USAID Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives. https://www.usaid.gov/faith-based-and-community-initiatives

USAID Education. https://www.usaid.gov/education

USAID U.S. Global Development Lab. https://www.usaid.gov/GlobalDevLab/about

International Development Network, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://www.idin.org

Further Readings

Gupta, Anil. “Innovations for the poor by the poor.” Int. J. Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Vol. 5, No. 1/2 (2012): 28–39. Print.

Marsden, Lee. "Bush, Obama and a Faith‐based US Foreign Policy." International Affairs 88.5 (2012): 953-74. Print.

USAID Blog Posts

Bogoreh, Leila. “Equipping Women Teachers in South Sudan with the Skills to Succeed.” USAID Impact Blog. 2013. https://blog.usaid.gov/2013/07/equipping-women-teachers-in-south-sudan/

Pradhan, Zarin. “Creating Opportunity in Nepal through Education for Income Generation Project.” USAID Impact Blog. 2013. https://blog.usaid.gov/2013/07/creating-opportunity-in-nepal-through-education/

In the News

On October 26, 2016, USAID instituted a rule banning discrimination against foreign aid beneficiaries based on race, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Read the statement from USAID Administrator Gayle Smith here, and learn more about the nondiscrimination policy here