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Doctor of Philosophy
Alex Stepick, III
Ana María Bidegain
Date of Defense
In communities throughout the developing world, faith-based organizations
(FBOs) focus on goals such as eradicating poverty, bolstering local economies, and
fostering community development, while premising their activities and interaction with
local communities on theological and religious understandings. Due to their pervasive
interaction with participants, the religious ideologies of these FBOs impact the religious,
economic, and social realities of communities. This study investigates the relationship
between the international FBO, World Vision International (WVI), and changes to
religious, economic, and social ideologies and practices in Andean indigenous
communities in southern Peruvian. This study aims to contribute to the greater
knowledge and understanding of 1) institutionalized development strategies, 2) faithbased
development, and 3) how institutionalized development interacts with processes of
Based on fifteen months of field research, this study involved qualitative and
quantitative methods of participant-observation, interviews, surveys, and document analysis. Data were primarily collected from households from a sample of eight
communities in the Pitumarca and Combapata districts, department of Canchis, province
of Cusco, Peru where two WVI Area Development Programs were operating.
Research findings reveal that there is a relationship between WVI’s intervention
and some changes to religious, economic, and social structure (values, ideologies, and
norms) and practices, demonstrating that structure and practices change when social
systems are altered by new social actors. Findings also revealed that the impacts of
WVI’s intervention greatly increased over the course of several years, demonstrating that
changes in structure and practice occur gradually and need a period of time to take root.
Finally, results showed that the impacts of WVI’s intervention were primarily limited to
those most closely involved with the organization, revealing that the ability of one social
actor to incite changes in the structure and practice of another actor is associated with the
intensity of the relationship between the social actors. The findings of this study should
be useful in ascertaining deductions and strengthening understandings of how faith-based
development organizations impact aspects of religious, economic, and social life in the
areas where they work.
Hogue, Emily Jane, "In God We Trust: Faithbased Development, Spiritual Transformation, and Economic Change in Southern Andean Indigenous Communities" (2008). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 274.