Nina van der Puije

PhD Project (2022–2024): Decolonizing Evaluation Practice in the Development Sector Towards the Acknowledgment of African Religious Development‘ Alternatives (Research Area Development)

  • 2010 M.A. in Comparative Religion and Ethnology at Goethe University Frankfurt
  • since 2011 Consultant and Evaluation Advisor for several development cooperation agencies (GIZ, Bread for the World, Misereor – amongst others)
  • since 2016 Associated Researcher – Department for Development Policy and Postcolonial Studies, Kassel University
  • since 2018 Associated Researcher – Research Programme on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development, Humboldt University Berlin

OECD countries‘ “development“ practice traditionally strove for “development“ goals driven by “modern” social, technical and economic ideals. These ideals stem from values and norms that have their roots in „Western“ industrialised countries. 

Amid persistent poverty, refugee flows, redistribution conflicts and ecological constraints – despite six decades of „development“ cooperation – the renowned „development“ approaches are increasingly being challenged.

So far the established “development“ cooperation sector rarely identifies “non-modern“ approaches toward “development” or much less recognises their contribution towards constructing a better society. This is particularly the case for religious and spiritual approaches towards sustainable transformation, despite their prominent role in the lives of many in the “South”. 

Through the case example of African Initiated Churches’ “development” approaches, this study seeks to unearth the reforms in „development“ evaluation practice required to acknowledge the potential of “non-Western” situated (religious) knowledge toward sustainable transformation.