Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh took part in the debate alongside Douglas Alexander, Shadow Foreign Secretary and former Secretary of State for International Development; Robert Calderisi, a former director of the World Bank and an author on international aid and development; and Loretta Minghella OBE, Chief Executive of Christian Aid. The debate was chaired by Charles Clarke, former Home Secretary, and Linda Woodhead, Professor of Sociology of Religion at the University of Lancaster.
A majority of the panel speakers agreed with Mr Calderisi's assertion that the role of faith-based organisations in international development is 'not just unobjectionable but also indispensable.' However, Dr Fiddian-Qasmiyeh was more cautious. She emphasised that both secular and religious aid can have negative consequences, and stressed the need for critical evaluation of some particular effects of religious involvement in international development.