The Irish Aid Development Education Strategy 2017-2023 was launched by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan, TD, and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe Mc Hugh, TD, on 21 December in Iveagh House, Dublin.
Ireland has a long and proud history in development education thanks to many of the civil society organisations whose work pre-dates the start of Ireland’s official aid programme which is itself now over 40 years old.
The Development Education Strategy 2017-2023 aims to increase access to development education in Ireland in the youth and non-formal education sector. Output 4 is an area of particular importance to the youth sector as too are other areas of policy, advocacy, etc.
OUTPUT 4: NON-FORMAL EDUCATION
The Development Education Strategy 2017-2023 aims to increase the quality, spread, reach and integration of development education in non-formal and informal education programmes and structures across both the youth and the adult and community education sectors. The formal and non-formal education sectors may at times have a very fluid, complementary and interdependent relationship. The non-formal education sector provides opportunities for learning through action as well as learning for action which can contribute to extra-curricular projects and educational inputs in the formal education sector. Informal education facilitates adults and young people to engage with development education outside an institutional framework, thereby reaching new audiences, as well as creating important opportunities for good practice and innovation.
Development education is a lifelong educational process which aims to increase public awareness and understanding of the rapidly changing, interdependent and unequal world in which we live. By challenging stereotypes and encouraging independent thinking, development education helps people to critically explore how global justice issues interlink with their everyday lives. Informed and engaged citizens are best placed to address complex social, economic and environmental issues linked to development. Development education empowers people to analyse, reflect on and challenge at a local and global level, the root causes and consequences of global hunger, poverty, injustice, inequality and climate change; presenting multiple perspectives on global justice issues.
Development education inspires global solidarity by supporting people to fully realise their rights, responsibilities and potential as global citizens. Development education enables people to take action locally and globally – the understanding or theory of change being that such action will contribute to desired transformations in the social, cultural, political and economic structures which affect their lives and the lives of others. By engaging with development education, learners develop the values, knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to become active global citizens and advocate for change. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030, to which Ireland has committed, provide the first international framework to guide and support active global citizenship at both national and international levels, enabling people to become active global citizens in the creation of a fairer, more just, more secure and more sustainable world for all.