Islamic FBOs are not well understood. Until recently they have been largely ignored in the development discourse. But they are now playing a significant role in development. If external stakeholders are to engage productively with Islamic FBOs, they need to develop their understanding and appreciation of them.

To begin to do this, and identify the implications for capacity building, in 2006 INTRAC commissioned a short, applied research project. Ten Islamic FBOs in Malawi were analysed. This provides a useful comparative paper to Praxis Note 47 which reflected on ‘Organisational development (OD) with Christian FBOs’ in the same country context.

This paper briefly examines the history of Muslims and Islamic FBOs in Malawi. It then assesses the work done by Islamic NGOs, their modus operandi and their attitude to working with non-Islamic organisations. The research reveals that the organisational behaviour of Islamic FBOs is not predictable on the basis of religion alone and depends upon interpretations of religion, which in turn are influenced by the cultural and educational background of an organisation’s leadership. The research also found that Islamic FBOs have had only limited engagement with capacity building to date. The research concludes by highlighting the implications for working with Islamic FBOs on capacity building and OD.


Praxis Note 48 - Capacity Building and Islamic NGOs - Nabila Saddiq

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