APRODEV is the Association of World Council of Churches related Development Organisations in Europe. It is registered as a not-for-profit association under Belgian law.
The main objective of APRODEV is to influence decision-making processes in the European Union institutions as these affect developing countries, in order to promote justice and peace, and the eradication of poverty. In this, APRODEV pursues rights-based development from a faith-based perspective.
APRODEV was founded in 1990 in order to strengthen the cooperation between the European development and humanitarian aid organisations which work closely together with the World Council of Churches. At present, 16 such organisations, with offices in 15 European countries, cooperate through APRODEV. Together, the members have an annual income of some € 720 million. Their partner organisations can be found in most parts of the world. APRODEV is fully financed by its members.
The APRODEV organisations believe that all human beings are created in the image of God. In their efforts to work alongside poor, marginalised, oppressed and excluded communities of women and men, the APRODEV agencies seek to underline the equal value and dignity of all human beings, irrespective of race, colour, sex, creed, national, ethnic or political affiliation.
APRODEV members share the ecumenical understanding of development as a multifaceted and holistic concept which comprises social, cultural, spiritual, environmental, political and economic dimensions.
APRODEV and its members have committed themselves to include gender dimensions and analyses in their policies, programmes and projects.
As an ecumenical organisation, APRODEV regular reflects on its identity. A major example is the project on Christianity, Poverty and Wealth in the 21st Century.
The relation between development and religion has become a hot issue during the past ten years or so. For a long time, not much attention was given to the topic as some in the secularising ‘West’ predicted that the role of religion in society would fade away, while it was a non-issue in the South where no separation is made between development and religion which permeates all realms of life. However, the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC constituted a turning point as many in the West started to realise that, for better or for worse, religion does play a role in society. APRODEV has reflected on this relationship and offers A Discussion Paper on Religion and Development.
APRODEV is governed by a General Assembly which meets once a year. The General Assembly is composed of the Directors or Deputy Directors of the member organisations. The World Council of Churches (WCC), the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and the ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance are observers. A Board, composed of four members of the General Assembly, with the WCC as an observer, governs the daily activities of APRODEV.
Henrik Stubkjaer, DanChurchAid – Chair
Ueli Locher, HEKS – Treasurer
Evert Jan Hazeleger, Kerk in Actie – Member
Christine Allen, Christian Aid – Member
Isabel Phiri, World Council of Churches – Observer
Rob van Drimmelen, General Secretary
Jo Kirrane, Office Manager
Karine Sohet, Senior Policy Officer/ EU Development Cooperation
Karin Ulmer, Senior Policy Officer/Trade, Food Security and Gender
Nafisa Hasanova, Policy Officer/Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia
Agnes Bertrand Sanz, Policy Officer/Middle East
Esther Martínez, Assistant Policy Officer/Middle East Julieta González, Policy Officer/Central America Janna Schönfeld, Policy Officer/Climate Change and Development
APRODEV working groups
The Policy and Advocacy Group (PAG), which is composed of senior policy staff of the member organisations, advises APRODEV on the formulation and implementation of the Strategic Plan and the annual work programmes. The Gender Reference Group (GRG) advises on gender policies of APRODEV’s programmatic work.
Three regional Working Groups focus on Central America, the Middle East, and on Eastern Europe, the Caucasus & Central Asia.
Thematic Working Groups exist on Trade, Food Security & Gender, on EC and International Funding for Development and Relief (‘Funding Group’), and on Climate Change & Development (WGCC&D).
Various more informal groups composed of specialised staff of APRODEV members engage in joint work on different issues, themes and geographical regions, such as Africa, communication, and rights & development. The paper drafted by the latter group was approved by the 2008 General Assembly as APRODEV's position on a Rights-based Approach to Development (also available in French and Spanish).
Planning and Reporting
APRODEV's annual work programme is based on a Strategic Plan prepared in consultation with the Board, Policy and Advocacy Group, Gender Reference Group and Working Groups and approved by the General Assembly. The Strategic Plan for 2013-2014 was approved at the 2012 General Assembly.
Each year an Annual Report summarises the activities undertaken during the past year. The Annual Report for 2012 is available here.