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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Countries in focus

Our work with partners in Africa includes:

"We know from our experience as Churches that the sufferings, the complications, the controversies and the frustrations of any one Church can affect us all. We know we feel very deeply that the witness and the generosity of one Church can inspire and change us all... when I think of what is done in Sudan or Uganda or Burundi towards these Millennium Development Goals, I feel there the Church is truly being the Church in a way that helps me - that helps us in the United Kingdom grow that little bit further towards responsibility and generosity in our work." - Archbishop of Canterbury, video message for MDGs September 2008

The International Development Secretariat (IDS) has been operational since spring 2005 working primarily alongside Anglican partners to assist in the development of innovative partnerships with a variety of government, NGO, donor and civil society stakeholders. The IDS has sought to facilitate and foster greater dialogue and understanding between church implementers of community development programmes (including church leaders and their provincial and diocesan staff) and local, national and international stakeholders involved in development. Although most of this work takes place at the country level, the IDS also works to strengthen regional initiatives and global initiatives, through the newly established Anglican Alliance for development relief and advocacy.

The work of the IDS has been largely focused on working with Anglican Churches in post conflict regions of sub-Saharan Africa, looking at how the church can add value to community development where communities are traumatized and government is often lacking. Gaps in governance, infrastructure, and continuing insecurity pose huge challenges for implementation of development programmes, but it is where the church continues to daily serve its communities. The IDS works with the church to find innovative partnerships to strengthen this vital work.

The work has a particular focus on supporting education initiatives, recognising its role in healing and rebuilding communities and nations. Church schools are already connected with an extensive network of community leaders and families as well as children and their teachers, creating an enabling environment for a holistic approach to education, which sees the classroom as a community-based platform for advocacy, peace building, health and nutrition programmes.

The IDS has also been involved in supporting Anglican churches at the provincial level to participate in national dialogue on the development issues, through the facilitation of partnerships with key national governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. A strong emphasis is placed on building the Church's capacity in this area, and in programme design, implementation and impact assessment.

The IDS works in partnership with the Anglican provincial and diocesan offices, but also with linking dioceses and Anglican mission agencies, including the Mothers' Union, USPG, CMS Britain and CMS Ireland. It works to foster sustainable relationships between these stakeholders and the NGO community and government. It also has working relationships with a number of Christian and secular NGOs.

The work of the IDS is currently focused in Burundi, Sudan, DRC and Zimbabwe, although it also works in other provinces, as part of larger consortiums of partners. The IDS also plays a key role at the global level in the development of the Anglican Alliance.