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Consultation Process for Development of new Irish Aid Development and Global Citizenship Education Strategy 2021- 2024

We want to hear from you about how we can encourage learners of all ages to engage with development and global citizenship issues and how we can increase awareness of Irish Aid’s work.

That might be through formal or informal education, including partnerships with the youth, adult and community sectors, business or others. We’d also like your views on digital outreach and how we can use technology to support life-long learning and engage the public on these important issues.

Ireland’s policy for international development, A Better World, describes development education as “action-focused engagement that empowers people to understand the root causes of poverty and global inequalities”. It includes four primary commitments in the area of public engagement and global citizenship:

  1. To communicate our work in development cooperation more effectively;
  2. To reach new audiences and explore innovative approaches to broaden our public engagement;
  3. To promote our development cooperation activity and interventions through public engagement activity – including by supporting civil society groups working in this area;
  4. To dedicate more resources to achieving the objectives of our development education strategy.

The intended outcome of the 2017 Irish Aid Development Education Strategy was an increase in the accessibility, quality and effectiveness of development education in Ireland through supporting the following five outputs:

(a)    POLICY ENGAGEMENT AND COHERENCE - An enabling and coherent policy environment for development education at local, national and European level.

(b)     CAPACITY BUILDING AND COLLABORATION - Maximised capacity, collaboration, partnership and coherence of development education partners to enhance the quality delivery, impact and communication of development education.

(c)     FORMAL EDUCATION - Further integration and mainstreaming of quality development education in formal education, curricula, programmes and structures.

(d)    NON-FORMAL EDUCATION - Increased integration, quality and spread of development education in non-formal education curricula, programmes and structures.

(e)    IRISH AID AWARENESS - Increased awareness within the education sector of Ireland’s development co-operation programme and of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The overall objective of this new strategic planning process is:

To develop an Irish Aid Global Citizenship and Development Education Strategy for 2021-2024, drawing lessons from the implementation of the 2017 strategy and taking account of changes in the societal, educational and technological context since that date including recent developments in the on-line delivery of education and digital outreach.

As per our commitment in A Better World, the strategy will identify how we can work with our development education partners to support a broader public conversation on global citizenship issues - and communicate our work in international development more effectively.

The process will explore innovative approaches to reaching new audiences and broaden our work on global citizenship and public engagement. It will draw lessons from and seek to build on synergies with other relevant Government strategies and policies, including in the area of integration.

The eventual strategy will seek to promote engagement with global citizenship issues across Irish society and will identify how we can best support civil society groups as well as other formal and non-formal education actors operating in this area, including by engaging with initiatives designed to promote lifelong learning.

In addition, the strategy process will:

  • Learn from progress and challenges in operationalising the outputs of the 2017 strategic plan (policy coherence, capacity building, formal education, non-formal education and the Irish Aid Awareness Programme) and identify gaps and opportunities for a revised strategic approach from 2021 to 2024 and beyond.
  • Identify measures to build greater engagement and coherence with the Department of Education including the Inspectorate and other Government Departments and agencies such as the Teaching Council, and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). This will be especially important in the context of the development of a new National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development and other relevant Government strategies for formal and non-formal education, as well as Ireland’s SDG National Implementation Plan and the development of a National Action Plan against Racism.
  • Reflect on the design and management of the development education grants, strategic partnerships, support to development education through the programme grants scheme, as well as support to volunteering initiatives through the development education programme. This process will look across the grant management cycle, including the roll out of the performance management framework and make recommendations on improvements.
  • Consider options in relation to increased capacity and improved structures and mechanisms to ensure the optimal delivery of outcomes as well as measuring and communicating impacts.

As a key part of this process, Irish Aid wishes to consult with external stakeholders and is therefore inviting written submissions from interested parties, in the following format:

1. Cover Page

  • Nature of views (indicate personal / on behalf of an organisation):
  • Organisation (if applicable):
  • Role in organisation (if applicable):
  • Web-address:
  • Email:
  • Daytime telephone number:
  • Freedom of information: Responses are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts and may be released in total or in part. Please indicate if there are aspects of your response that you seek to have withheld, and the reasons for same.
  • Date of posting response:

2.  The response should address some or all of the following questions:

  • How can Irish Aid support life-long learning and increase public understanding of and engagement with development and global citizenship issues as well as increasing awareness of the Irish Aid programme?
  • Are there other groups or organisations we should seek to work with in order to build this awareness and engagement?
  • What has changed in the external environment since 2017, both in the education sector and broader societal changes nationally and globally, and how should that be reflected in our priorities, our relationships and in our revised strategy?
  • What do you consider to be the key areas of progress made since 2017 in the implementation of the Irish Aid Strategic Planning process? Are there any key lessons learnt or gaps in the current response?
  • With reference to the five output areas of the current Irish Aid Development Education Strategic Plan, what do you consider the key priorities for 2021- 2024 should be?
  • Irish Aid is considering changing the name of the programme and strategy to Global Citizenship Education, do you have any comments or concerns in relation to this suggestion?
  • What opportunities have arisen from the COVID-19 experience and how can we learn from it in order to reach a broader audience?
  • How can technology and digital outreach help us?

Submissions should not exceed 2,500 words and should be forwarded to barry.watts@dfa.ie by close of business on Friday 19 March, 2021.

In addition, two half day public consultation workshops will be held in March and April 2021. Details to follow.

**Please note that all submission may be published, and all submissions will be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts. Comments involving allegations of any kind against a named or otherwise identifiable person or organisation may be viewed as defamatory by the subject of the comments. Those making submissions may be sued directly for any defamatory allegations in a submission and should avoid making such allegations**