Page 1

index Issue 31 / January 2012

Irish Newsletter for Development Education Exchange

campaigning ... education global ... local issues policy ... practice




This issue of Index is about interconnectivity and co-dependence of various aspects of development education. Each of the featured articles is addressing an example of such relationships and bringing them together inspires an even a higher level of integration providing a guideline towards understanding full complexity of global development issues and specificity of development education. John Smith (Trocáire) is writing about the relationship between development education and campaigning, in particular, in the context of ‘hot topics’. Admittedly, the extent of connection is not projected to be overwhelming but still can be critical both for the educational and campaigning efforts. Mags Liddy (IDEA Research Community) is advocating for a connection that would bridge the gap between research-based academic knowledge of development issues and general practice of development policies. Stephen McCloskey (Centre for Global Education) is describing the journal established with the goal of bridging the gap between policy and practice. ‘Policy and Practice,’ the first journal in development education in Ireland is free for the general public and has a growing international audience. This journal could be considered one of the answers to the question raised by Mags Liddy. A different type of correlation is presented by Elaine Nevin (ECO-UNESCO), the ECO-Sustainability Award programme. It provides guidelines and practical assistance in progress towards sustainability for development organisations and an award scheme which is available for successful implementation. Rachel Dempsey (LYCS) postulates that taking a global view can very much shed light on a local situation and help people make sense of their own issues and situations. She give examples of introducing global issues in development education programmes with marginalised people in Dublin 1. The featured articles are supplemented by a review by Aileen Tennant (Saint Mary’s Academy, Carlow) on Comhlámh educational resource for second level schools ‘Exploring Diversity and Global Justice through the Arts.’ As part of the EU Corner, Gráinne O’Neill (Comhlámh) gives an account of the conference she attended in Poland. The EU and IDEA Corner, and the News pages, aim to keep you up to date with what’s happening in the sector and includes news, funding updates, reports from recent events, and upcoming courses and events.

“When One tugs at a single thing in Nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world”. John Muir (1838 - 1914)

IDEA supports the production of INDEX in line with its mission to advance the Development Education sector through capacity building and networking. 2

Contents Connecting the Dots: Campaign and educating on hot topics by John Smith 3 Mind the Gap: How can we bridge the gap between development education and policy? by Mags Liddy 4 New ECO-Sustainability: ECO-UNESCO Introduces Award taking a whole organisation approach to sustainability by Elaine Nevin 6 Index Links: Dev Ed courses and events


EU Corner 10 IDEA Corner 11 Dev Ed news, funding, & resources


Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice by Stephen McCloskey 13 Development Education in the Community Sector by Rachel Dempsey 14 Resource Review: Exploring Diversity and Global Justice through the Arts by Aileen Tennant



INDEX is a free Comhlámh publication for people interested in educating on global development issues funded by Comhlámh, Trócaire, and Irish Aid. The views expressed in individual articles and those of the authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisations to which they are affiliated, the editorial committee, or Comhlámh. Development education in youth work aims to support young people to increase their awareness and understanding of the interdependent and unequal world in which we live, through a process of interactive learning, debate, action and reflection. It challenges perceptions of the world and encourages young people to act for a more just and equal society at a national and an international level. (NYCI) Editorial Committee: Róisín Boyle (Comhlámh), Stephen McCloskey (CGE), Jen Murphy (Trócaire), Grace Walsh (VSI), Mbemba Jabbi (Africa Centre), Eimear McNally (IDEA). Please contact to comment or to contribute to future issues. Visit www.comhlá to read INDEX online.


Connecting the dots

Campaign and educating on hot topics By John Smith


contemporary Canadian singer Feist is scaling the charts with her album Metals. My favourite song on this album is ‘the circle married the line’. It is a beautiful song, that has nothing to do with social justice, and certainly not development education or campaigning but it does come to mind when I am pondering the relationship between development education and campaigning; in particular in the context of ‘hot topics’. I am not certain of the mathematics but a circle marries the line at a clearly defined point of contact. For me, when we think about the relationship between development education and campaigning, there is also a clear point in which the two disciplines meet. I will explore this meeting point in more detail, using two of Trócaire’s current organizational campaigns to demonstrate the argument. For me the first most obvious point of connection, when addressing ‘hot topics’, is the story. According to Chris Rose, “stories certainly pre-date writing, and probably art … people remember them, and … we can identify with them”1. Stories need to be at the heart of how we communicate on ‘hot topics’. One could argue that stories are universal, a most effective means of communication connecting development education and campaigning. Trócaire’s approach is rooted in telling stories of oppression, human rights abuses, poverty, vulnerability, courage, inspiration, perseverance and solidarity. It is more than just the stories where we find common ground between development education and campaigning. There is another point where these areas meet, a narrow but clearly defined focus, the point of action. IDEA’s paper on development education and campaigning argues that “for development education to be effective it needs to support the individual at a personal level of learning while also enabling the participant to challenge structures and ideas that perpetuate global and local inequalities”2. Bringing together learning and action is at the heart of Trócaire’s approach. Action is a key ingredient in many resources and initiatives within the work of the development education unit, and this point of connection is particularly relevant when Trócaire takes on an issue as an organizational priority – such as Palestine and climate change. In tackling these issues, development education and campaigns work hand in hand in connecting with respective audiences. For climate change, Trócaire is combining an online and offline public campaign targeting adults, with education activities and resources targeting primary and post-primary schools3. This approach enables tackling a difficult issue with depth, whilst also having a clear target and an action dimension. The development education materials have an implicit and sometimes explicit action focus. Whether the action dimension is within development education or a public campaign, providing this space can be seen and experienced as empowering for those involved. Indeed, “by offering a set

Andrew Lodio from Lokitaung in northern Kenya. Credit: Trócaire.

of actions, development education is able to link learning to empowerment. Furthermore by connecting skills and values based learning with opportunities for action in campaigns … global citizens can design or adjust actions so that they reflect their empowerment and their intrinsic and chosen values”4. The combination of the two approaches of development education and campaigning can provide added depth in tackling ‘hot issues’. Andrew Lodio has nowhere to go. He has seen droughts before but never like the drought that is currently devastating northern Kenya. Trócaire has campaigned on climate change since 2007. At times it has been challenging to make the argument that persistent droughts affecting people like Andrew are linked to climate change – whilst acknowledging other factors, such as financial support, conflict, and competition for land and water5. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report has added enormous strength to this argument, when it stated that climate change is likely to cause more storms, floods, droughts, heat waves and other extreme weather events. Exploring issues such as these at depth, in a targeted way, in our experience, is an approach worth pursuing. This is particularly evident when it comes to issues such as climate change, where the commitment to change is a long-term goal, that requires perseverance and determination, as well as an understanding of the complexity of the issue. Trócaire’s campaign on Palestine is another complex ‘hot topic’ 6. Over the years Trócaire’s development education approach to Palestine has involved everything from resources to a one-week summer school. The current public campaign looks to motivate people to take action on the issue of evictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The offering of a clear and targeted action, aligned with opportunities for more in-depth exploration of the issue can be beneficial to approaching an issue of organizational priority. Nassir has been protesting the eviction of 37 family members from their home more than 2 years ago. This protest is taking place on a couch across from what used to be his home. He said, “my 4-year old son asks me when we will go home. All I want is a little bit of justice … I am dying a hundred times a day”. So, it is with the story that we began, and where we will end, and it is here where development education and campaigning again find that common ground, especially when it comes to tackling ‘hot topics’. 1. How to Win Campaigns: Communications for Change, Earthscan, 30 Sep 2010 - 381 pages 2. 3. http://www.Tró 4. 5. http://www.Tró 6. http://www.Tró


Mind the Gap


By Mags Liddy


hen asked to write on this topic, so many gaps sprang to mind. Does the title refer to the gap between our work and official policy; between development research and application? Or is it in reference to the gap between development education thinking and public opinion in Ireland? When I wrote this, the media polls were predicting Sean Gallagher to be our next President. He appeared to be the preferred candidate with people favouring his focus on entrepreneurship, economic growth and job creation. The conclusion could be drawn that these are the ideas that the Irish people apparently want to hear, perhaps understandably so in a recession. Yet to my mind, these answers come from out-of-date thinking. His policies represent the business-as-usual system and are out of touch with global challenges. Research on development and on inequalities shows that growth-based development models create unjust social and harmful environmental impacts. For example, throughout the boom years Ireland maintained high levels of consistent poverty particularly for the single parents, unemployed and disabled. Also this body of research documents the impact of financial crises (not just the current one), and highlights the impact of international organisations interfering in domestic economies. Within development itself, a good deal of work is carried out to support alternative economics, deliberate communitybased decision-making, and promotion of systemic change. There is a move towards sustainable consumption and production, addressing ecological footprints of which Ireland has the second highest in the EU. Furthermore, much development education and development research comes from a socially critical perspective, advocating informed action to redress inequalities. Some of this public opinion could be put down to lack of awareness, which underscores the need for more development education, as one of many options, to explore alternatives and the potential for change. Some can also be explained by our conservative political culture, where left-wing political parties do not have majority support. This conversativism may be changing in light of the actual Presidential election results and the by-election in Dublin West, but is probably too soon to say our political culture has changed after just one election result. And of course, some people demand change, as the Occupy Dame Street protest demonstrates as well as many other campaigns advocating for social justice. However some of the gap is arguably due to the absence of research available to inform the policy-making process, leading to a lack of integration of our development knowledge into public debate. Policy advice from corporate consultancies dominates policy-making in Ireland, and is exacerbated by a lack of socially critical research. This lack is an old critique in Ireland; back in 1989 Joe Lee highlighted an anti-intellectual bias evident in policy-making; Jim Gleeson describes the rhetoric/reality divide in Irish education where policies espouse one goal but in reality work to perpetuate the


opposite; Tovey and Share wrote of the lack of socially critical sociology to inform policy-makers in 2000. This absence has been redressed over the past ten years in response to such critiques, yet the question remains as to whether this body of work is making its way into Irish policy-making circles? Furthermore, has the development and development education sector created a voice aimed at policy-making circles? This is the gap which we in the development education sector can work on addressing, to inform public opinion of alternative ideas to the mainstream business-as-usual approaches. Strengthening the integration of research and knowledge into our development education work is one way to address the gap. One initiative that attempts this is the IDEA Research Community which aims to bring development knowledge, expertise and practice together to support the growing professionalism of our sector. Through capacity building events, mentoring and monthly bulletins, the Research Community supports greater use of research in our planning and design of development education work. The solution also lies in sharing our work and perspectives as much critique and analysis has been done and published. Two recent examples come to mind- Matthias Fielder’s think-piece on Weathering the Perfect Storm- Development Education and the current global crisis and Policy and Practice’s latest issue on the theme of deradicalistion of development education. “Communicating our message, especially to the media, is the next stage in bridging the gap by looking at how our research and knowledge is disseminated”. So if the work is complete and in the public domain, why wasn’t the development education sector invited onto Frontline to the debate on the IMF? Why are we on the fringe of policy debates? Communicating our message, especially to the media, is the next stage in bridging the gap by looking at how our research and knowledge is disseminated. Much research and answers remain in academic circles, published in expensive journals and thus unavailable to the general public. The promotion of open access to knowledge needs to be supported, either through online initiatives and databases, or through free access journals such as Policy and Practice or The Irish Journal of Public Policy (see weblinks at the end). These journals can be supported through both reading and submission of articles on our work. Ease of access to libraries and to academic knowledge is also important- the UCD Development Studies library provides access to a wealth of academic sources, similarly the DICE project mobile library initiative brings academic sources to their students, while the IDEA office has a range of research books and other development education resources available for loan.


Most importantly, I think we as the development education sector need to think of the local connections in our messages. Much of the focus of development education remains on the global level, relating knowledge to Africa or Asia. While the global perspective is essential to development education, the local connections need to be named and strengthened. We now have the IMF here in Ireland to sort out our financial mess; we have the natural resource controversies; we are influenced by multinational companies and international financial dealings; we even have the corruption and bribery, which so many are critical of in the developing world. None of these are new storylines to the development sector; they have all been examined, analysed, and understood. Yet this knowledge seems to be separate from the polling public in Ireland and at times it can appear to be separate from development education. How many development education practitioners are engaging with the IMF in Ireland’s story, Rossport or the Occupy protests in their work? To me, highlighting local and global links reinforces learning as this makes our learning applicable to our own context not just to distant countries, and can make global connections across communities that go far beyond mere awareness raising. The message from the development education sector needs to be strengthened and to be linked to the current Irish and international economic crisis. There is no point in having solutions, or researching answers if they are lost in the dominance of the modernist growth-centered language. Through linking the local with the global we can stimulate robust debate, and engage with the broader questions on development, namely what it is, and who is it for?

“While the global perspective is essential to development education, the local connections need to be named and strengthened.” Weblinks: Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review The Irish Journal of Public Policy Sustainable development indicators for Ireland Mags Liddy is the coordinator of the IDEA Research Community. She can be contacted through IDEA office, or email research@ She is also co-editor of Education that Matters: Critical pedagogy and development education at local and global level. This article reflects her personal opinions, and does not represent IDEA policy.



New ECOSustainability ECO-UNESCO Introduces the New ECO-Sustainability Award taking a whole organisation approach to sustainability By Elaine Nevin


n 2010 ECO-UNESCO launched the ECO Sustainability Award. This Award aims to encourage organisations to become more sustainable in their policies and practices, and to contribute towards building a sustainable world both locally and globally. It is both an awards scheme and a programme; a motivator and a tool. It recognizes and rewards organisations for their work towards sustainability and the 6-Steps Programme helps organisations to become more sustainable. ECO-UNESCO developed the Award as a response to requests from organisations seeking advice and assistance on how to become more sustainable. The development of the Award has taken over four years as part of ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development Programme, funded by Irish Aid. It is also part of our work towards the goals of the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014, led globally by UNESCO. Currently the ECO-Sustainability Award is focused on youth and community groups, organisations and centres but in the future there is scope for its use by other groups, organisations and institutes. The Award has been piloted with two organisations in 2010/2011 and is currently piloted with seven organisations through 2011and 2012. ECO-UNESCO, as an environmental education and youth organisation, works to promote youth development, environmental protection and UNESCO ideals in Ireland. As an affiliate of the World Federation of UNESCO clubs, centres and associations, ECO-UNESCO emphasizes the global perspective that examines how our actions are connected at local, national and international levels. An important principle of such organisations is empowerment of people, and protection of our environment. ECO-UNESCO’s programmes explore the interconnectedness of the environment, society and economy. The ECO Sustainability Award reflects this interconnectedness by taking a holistic, whole-organisation approach to becoming sustainable, which is more than being environmentally-friendly; it is also about social equity, inclusion and justice. Principles and Ethos of the ECO-Sustainability Award The concept of sustainable development emerged as a response to a growing concern about human society’s impact on the natural environment and was defined in 1987 by the Brundtland Commission (formally the World Commission on Environment and Development) as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Brundtland, 1987). This definition acknowledges that while development may be necessary to meet human needs and improve the quality of life, it must proceed without depleting capacity of the natural environment to meet present and future needs.


Since 2002, sustainable development has also evolved to encompass other principles including social justice and the fight against poverty. In 2005, the United Nations declared the years 2005 to 2015 as the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development where countries, through education would promote a sustainable development within formal and informal settings. In developing the ECO Sustainability Award, ECO-UNESCO assessed a range of current sustainability principles and frameworks: including Principles for Sustainable Development developed by Comhar, Ireland’s Sustainable Development Council and the Millennium Development Goals. Other whole-organisation sustainability frameworks were also reviewed including The Natural Step programme. The following Millennium Development Goals are incorporated in the ECO-Sustainability Award assessments Goal 3 – Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women; Goal 7 – Environmental Sustainability; Goal 8 – Develop a Global Partnership for Development. The following themes of Sustainable Development, adapted from COMHAR, Sustainable Development Council of Ireland, provide a foundation for assessments. The following principles are also used as part of the framework adapted from COMHARs Principles of Sustainable Development (Please note: as the Award is still in the pilot phase this framework is open to change) 1. Minimized use of non-renewable resources. 2. Minimized use of hazardous/polluting substances and wastes created; waste management environmentally sound. 3. Social inclusion promoted to ensure an improved quality of life for all. 4. Sustainable development depends on co-operation and agreement between states. 5. Air and atmosphere protected and human-induced effects on climate minimized. 6. The development of resource potential in one region not compromising ability of other regions to achieve their own potential.

INDEX 7. The diversity of wildlife, habitats and species maintained or improved. 8. Renewable resources used within the capacity for regeneration. 9. The quality of soils and water resources maintained or improved. 10.The quality of landscapes, the heritage of the man-made environment, historic and cultural resources maintained or improved. 11.Decision-making devolved to the appropriate level. 12.Stakeholder participation promoted at all levels of decision-making. In the second Pilot phase ECO-UNESCO is also reviewing the National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF) for Youth Work in Ireland to establish where the frameworks are complementary; this could mean that the NQSF may cover some of the requirements of the ECO-Sustainability Award in the future. The ECO-Sustainability Award 6-Steps Programme The ECO Sustainability Award is designed to assist organisations at each step along their journey towards sustainability. The programme consists of six steps that organisations can follow. There are three different levels of awards: Bronze, Silver or Gold. The 6-Steps include: 1. registering participation in the ECO Sustainability Award programme and setting up a Sustainability team; 2. assessing where your organisation is currently at in relation to sustainability (ECO-UNESCO provides an Assessment tool within the ECO-Sustainability Award handbook; organisations carry out a self-assessment by rating themselves against a set of indicators); 3. expressing what your organisation hopes to achieve (the “Dream It” stage); 4. developing a strategy and taking an action from each of the seven themes; 5. r eflecting through monitoring and evaluation on the progress being made and where improvements are needed; and 6. t he last stage is to reward the organisation for its hard work. Organisations must submit assessment forms, action plan and vision to ECO-UNESCO as well as evidence of work carried out in the form of photographs, charts, stories and films from each of their actions. Organisations applications, their evidence and documentation are assessed by ECO-UNESCO. Currently Awards are presented at ECO-UNESCO’s National Young Environmentalist Awards showcase and ceremony. ECO-Sustainability Award – 6-Steps Programme (taken from the ECO-Sustainability Awards Handbook – ECO-UNESCO 2011) “We found the 6-Step-process very helpful. With such a busy site it was sometimes difficult to stay on time with projects, the 6 Step process did help define where we were and where we were going next. It helped at the beginning to develop a long term plan of our aims and what we were going to do to

achieve them,” (Participant: Larch Hill International Scout & Guide Centre). John Grant of The Cavan Centre explained that the ECO-Sustainability Award 6-Steps approach “…was a very useful framework as it was the foundations of our projected aims and goals from the beginning. This in turn helped everyone know where we were and where we were going next. It allowed the staff to engage in the project at any time as there were aims set and dates for them to be achieved. This proved greatly democratic with the staff as they did not need to wait to be told what to do or need someone looking over their shoulder. I certainly feel that this helped the staff feel more engaged with the project.” ECO-UNESCO provides support and advice to groups including: • A one-day training session to help introduce the Award and the Six Steps programme. • A Handbook containing the necessary information and assessment tools • On-going support along each step of the way Experiences during the first Pilot stage of the ECO-Sustainability Award 2010-2011 The first recipients of an ECO-Sustainability Award were awarded on the 18th May 2011 at the National ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards held in the Mansion House, Dublin 2. The Cavan Centre and Larch Hill International Scout and Guide Centre received the Bronze ECO Sustainability Award as part of the initial pilot programme that ran from September 2010 to May 2011. Both organisations work with young people, maintain centres and facilities and run programmes; they are currently involved in the second pilot programme of the ECO Sustainability Award. In implementing the ECO-Sustainability Award, ECO-UNESCO encourages organisations to use the existing supports provided by ECO-UNESCO such as the Handbook, training and other resource materials. It also encourages the use of creative tools by organisations to help engage young people in the process; for example, a Moving Debate activity can be used as part of the assessment process where groups can respond to various statements related to their organisations by agreeing or disagreeing to varying degrees. This helps organisations recognize what they are already doing well and to decide what actions to prioritize. The implementation group in Larch Hill International Scout & Guide Centre used the Moving Debate tool which helped them recognise how important their tree planting programme and their education programmes were to long-term sustainability. As one participant explains, “We got involved in the ECO-UNESCO Sustainability Award Programme as a way of educating everyone visiting our site. It is also quite evident now that the staff is much more aware of issues of sustainability since participating in the award.” This group also used the award as an opportunity to promote their site as an environmentally-friendly and holistic place. Elaine Nevin is National Director of ECO-UNESCO For information on the ECO-Sustainability Award or any of ECO-UNESCO’s other programmes please log onto or email:



Index Links

Courses Be the Change Do you want to fight injustice from Ireland? During this course you will: • Find out what’s happening in Ireland and identify ways you can continue to support global development efforts; • Use your experience of volunteering overseas or interest in global issues to fight injustice from Ireland; • Learn how to plan a campaign and effectively use social and traditional media to communicate your message; • Get tips and advice from expert guest speakers who are currently working in the global development sector. Date: Saturday January 21st, February 4th and 11th Venue: Irish Aid Centre, O’ Connell Street, Dublin 1 Cost: Free of charge Contact:, call 01 4783490, visit Centre for Global Education & Lourdes Youth and Community Services (LYCS) From the Local to the Global: Engaging Local Communities in Global Learning and Action Date: 9th March, 10am - 4 pm. Cost: £20 (waged) or £10 (unwaged/student). Venue: Volunteer Now, 34 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast BT2 7DB. Contact: Stephen McCloskey, E: stephen@ Tel: +44 (0) 2890241879 Dtalk - Development Training & Learning Applying the Dóchas Code of Conduct on the use of Images and Messages: 7th February Learn to debrief humanitarian workers effectively: 13th to 14th February Planning - How to Apply the Logical Framework: 22nd to 24th February Sustainable Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction Strategies: 27 February – 02 March Demonstrating Effectiveness’ Seminar 5: Health: 8th March Advocacy and Policy Influencing: 28th February to 1st March Initial Preparation for Working in the South: 5th to 8th March Proposal Development: 13th to 15th March Child Protection for Missionaries: 20th to 22nd March Outcome Mapping: 27th to 29th March Venue: Development Studies Centre, Kimmage Manor, Whitehall Road, Dublin 12. Contact: Selam Desta, E: Tel: 01 4064307. Visit Skills in Development Education Training This nine week participatory evening course aims to equip participants with the skills and methodologies to work effectively with groups on global development and social justice issues. Sessions include facilitation skills, using images and messages effectively, planning and evaluating


activities, and taking action for global justice. This course is open to anyone with an interest in educating or raising awareness about development and inequality, including but not limited to youth and community workers, teachers, and those working in group settings. Date: 6:30 – 9pm, Tuesday evenings, 31st January - 27th March Venue: Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1. Cost: €150 (waged); €105 (Comhlámh member waged); €100 (concession - student and unwaged); €90 (Comhlámh member concession - student and unwaged); €5 Asylum seeker Contact: Róisín Boyle, E:, T: 01 4783490. Visit developmenteducation-coursespring-20091.html. Linking the Local and the Global Creative Approaches to linking Local & Global: A one-day training for trainers in using creative approaches (e.g. visual images and music) to link the local and the global: Dublin: January 2012 The World in Your Backyard: A one-day training for trainers in linking the local and the global: Galway: February 2012 Food for Thought: Training for trainers in using cookery to explore issues around food. This project is linked to Latin America Week which takes place in April and is run by the Latin America Solidarity Centre: Dublin: Early Spring 2012 Linking the local and the Global: A two-day residential training for trainers which will build your capacity to more effectively support people in your communities to think critically and take action on local, national and global development issues by both increasing their knowledge of the links between the local and global and providing practical exercises and tools to enhance their work: Portlaoise: March 2012. If you are interested in any of the above events, please email to be given priority notice for bookings. If you have any questions you can call Rachel or Helena on 01 823 0860. The World’s Your Oyster A highly engaging and interactive global awareness course examining issues such as Climate Change, Social Exclusion, Global Conflict, HIV/Aids and Volunteering is organised by VMM. Guest facilitators will include people from Trócaire, Concern, Ruhama, Comhlamh as well as other major development organisations. Dates: 10 consecutive Thursdays, (23rd February to 3rd May, 2012), from 7pm to 9pm Venue: Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre, 27-31 Upper O’Connell Street. Dublin 1 Cost: €50 Contact: E: T: 01 6334421 Post: VMM, The Priory, John Street West, Dublin 8


Index Links

Events First Wednesday Debates A popular series of debates and discussions on topics of global social justice and human rights organised by Comhlámh. Date: First Wednesday of every month (1st February, 7th March, 4th April), 6:15 – 7:45 pm Venue: The Bewley’s Café Theatre, Grafton Street, Dublin 2. Cost: Admission is free but space is limited so admission for the public will be on a first-come, first-served basis on the night. Contact: Ruth at; Tel: 01 4783490. Road to Rio+20 – Exploratory Event Youth workers, teachers and youth leaders are invited to join us at ECO-UNESCO for an interactive workshop where we explore and share ideas about mobilising young people in Ireland to take action leading up to the UN Summit on Sustainable Development in Brazil, June 2012. Date: 18th January, 6 - 8pm, Venue: The Greenhouse, 17 St. Andrew Street, Dublin 2. Contact: Megan, E:, T: 01-6625491. Making the Case for development education in Youth Work NYCI is hosting a seminar ‘Making the Case for Development Education in Youth Work’ in Dublin. Key-note speaker will be the new Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, T.D. Other inputs will include speakers from the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, GLEN (Global Education Network of Young Europeans) and local youth organisations from around Ireland who will showcase their examples of good practice in development education. Date: 9 February, 9:30 am – 4pm Venue: National Library Contact: for any further information. Centre for Global Education Annual Conference 2012 The conference will explore some of the key challenges confronting the development education sector in the current financial climate and shifting policy landscape, particularly in demonstrating the impact of our practice on target groups. It will signpost how the sector can move forward in this context and examine the new opportunities that have arisen for development educators to engage with local audiences on global issues. Keynote speaker: Bobby McCormack, Development Perspectives Date: 23th February, 10 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Exchange, 50 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1. Contact: Stephen McCloskey, E: stephen@ Tel: +44 (0) 2890241879 Beyond 2015 - Where next for the Millennium Development Goals? Trócaire is organising a half-day panel discussion with

opening address from Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan. In the current political and economic climate, we cannot take for granted that there will be any overarching framework for global development after 2015 unless we work together to shape what it should be and ensure this time around we effectively address the causes of poverty and adopt a human rights based approach to development. Date: 1st February, 9 am - 1 pm Venue: Guinness Storehouse, St. James’ Gate, Dublin 8. Contact: Take a Step for Fairtrade During Fairtrade Fortnight events will be held around the world and in Ireland to raise awareness of the importance of Fairtrade, which ensures that producers are guaranteed a fair wage and safe working conditions. This year’s theme ‘Take a step for Fairtrade’ is focused on encouraging everyone, from retailers through to manufacturers and consumers, to do something – no matter how big! – for Fairtrade. This could mean having a Step Dancing competition in your town wearing Fairtrade Certified cotton shoe-laces, holding a Fairtrade Breakfast in a Fairtrade School or College or just deciding to go to a convenience store that only sells Fairtrade coffee! There is also a product focus on cotton. Date: 27th February – 11th March 2012 Venue: The first 3 days will be in Dublin and then a tour of 50 of the 80 Fairtrade towns throughout Ireland. Making the Case for Development Education in Youth Work Organised by the National Youth Council of Ireland, this seminar will showcase good development education practice in the youth sector and explore the policy context in which good youth work happens. Date: 9th February, 10 am - 4:30 pm Venue: The National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 Contact: For further information e: Environmental Youth Events World Wetlands Day is an ECO-UNESCO special activity. Date: 2nd February, 2002 Venue: TBC Contact: T: (01) 662 5491 E: Media Diversity: Why Does it Matter? A major conference on media diversity is being hosted by Nessa Childers MEP with the purpose of exploring the implications for traditional notions of democratic accountability and journalistic independence of the emergence and dominance of multi-national media corporations. It is open to all members of the public but is being particularly aimed at political activists, students, journalists, other media workers, academics and anyone interested in the role of media and society. Date: 6th February Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel which is located in Dublin’s Golden Lane Contact: It is important to note that while the conference is



EU Corner ‘Back to the Future’ Conference in Poland by Gráinne O Neill, Comhlámh Volunteer Engagement Project Officer On 9th December, Salesian Missionary Voluntary Service hosted a conference in Warsaw, Poland. The conference was organised in line with the International Year of Volunteers, in the period of Polish Presidency of the EU Council. The conference was attended by a range of Polish sending organisations, as well as representatives from different government agencies, youth organisations and development education organisations. Having conversations across different sectors enhanced the possibilities for returned volunteers and opportunities to create closer collaboration between the various sectors. The discussions included the following: 1) Identifying the need for structures of support (creating a network and clear structures within governmental programme for overseas volunteering) 2) Recognising the benefits for involving returned volunteers – questions around who benefits more: the sending organisation, the volunteer, the local community (in Poland), or the host community? There was a desire to maximize the experiences of volunteers for their own personal development, the impact overseas and the potential impact on their home country on return. Poland has one of the highest numbers of NGOs across the EU, and yet has some of the lowest numbers of volunteers within the social sector. Overseas volunteering is a relatively new but growing sector in Poland. Currently, there is no existing network of overseas volunteer sending organisations. The conference was a space to create interactions and explore potential synergies between the general platform for volunteering and the platform for NGOs. There was recognition that the issue of support and involvement of returned volunteers is a shared, common issue, and that organisations don’t have to tackle it separately. This will hopefully open the door for future collaboration. Comhlámh participated in the conference by presenting information on the Code of Good Practice, as a tool used in the Irish context for sending organisations. We were joined by finep (Forum for International Development and Planning), a German nonprofit project and consulting organisation working in the area of sustainable development.


The conference comes as part of an EU sponsored project, ‘Back to the Future: returned volunteers as multipliers on global development issues’. The project, funded by the European Commission, aims to engage 2,250 returned volunteers from Ireland, Germany and Poland to raise awareness and take action for global justice issues following an overseas experience. ‘Back to the Future’ involves developing curricula and training courses for returned volunteers, supporting sending organisations in enhancing development education and continued engagement within volunteer programmes, and sharing learning and experiences across European networks and platforms.

DEEEP Summer School CHANGE LAB - Engaging local society in sustainable development is the title for DESS 2012. The ultimate aim is to improve practice, not to make any policy decisions or engage in discussions disconnected from practice. It will focus on developing and sharing concrete tools and methods for engaging various target groups in the field of sustainable development at the local level. Date: 24th - 30th June, 2012 Venue: Legner Hotel Zvánovice, Czech Republic Contact: Visit for more information or to apply.

The role of Youth and Children in development education in Ireland, Europe and worldwide NYCI is chair of a Youth and Children working group as part of its involvement in development education at European level. The working group has just produced a ‘Dossier’ as well as a Position Paper on how to involve young people in global justice work. You can download both and learn more about their work at European level at

From Outrage to Change seminar The CONCORD DARE Forum organised the seminar From Outrage to Change. Building Global Civil Society through Active Global Citizenship (October 13-14) on global civil society with Dr. Matt Bailie-Smith (University of Northumbria), Joanna Maycock (Vice-President of CONCORD and Head of ActionAid Europe), and a member of the INDIGNADOS movement in Spain. You can now read the report and Dr. Matt Baillie Smith’s presentation at component/content/article/233


IDEA Corner

IDEA is an association of organisations and individuals involved in the provision, promotion or advancement of Dev Ed throughout the island of Ireland.


Participants of Ad+DEd Value Discuss Their Work

Staff Changes in IDEA Susan Gallwey has joined IDEA as the new Capacity-Building Officer. Susan will work 2 days a week and will manage all of IDEA’s training events, webinars and our annual conference and summer school. Eimear McNally will continue as IDEA’s Communications and Outreach Officer and will also work 2 days a week.

Ad+DEd Value: Advocacy Plus Development Education for Global Justice This exciting learning programme for members kicked off on November 17th with 13 participants. The programme runs from November to April and explores the relationship between advocacy and development education with support from Global Educators from Spain, Philippines and Costa Rica.

Critical Literacy with Vanessa de Oliveira IDEA and DICE teamed up to offer a workshop on Critical Literacy approaches to Development Education on November 24th with Vanessa De Oliveira (Andreotti) who was in Dublin for the DICE Conference. I found it to be a really great session and I learned so much! I really appreciated the opportunity to share ideas and experiences, particularly with someone like Vanessa who is so informed and comfortable with all of these difficult theories and concepts. (Participant)

Ad+DEd Value: Advocacy Plus Dev Ed Seminar Thursday 9th February in Dublin City Free Public Seminar as part of Ad+DEd Value: Advocacy plus Development Education for Global Justice, with Mariana Ruiz da Lobera and Donnabelle Celebrado, our two Global Educators. Register:

SPRING INTO THE EU! IDEA AND DEEEP WEBINAR SERIES IDEA has teamed up with DEEEP: Developing Europeans Engagement for the Eradication of Poverty to bring you a new Webinar series. The series will be free and open to IDEA members and members of DEEEP based across Europe. Look out for exciting speakersthe line up will be announced in early February. There will be four webinars between February and May. Places will be limited so be sure to register -

IDEA LEARNING SERIES Conversational Approaches to Dev Ed 23rd and 24th January in Dublin and Galway. How can we facilitate learners to really engage with global justice issues? How can we create conversations that really facilitate change and learning in our Dev Ed practice? These are some of the questions this one-day training seeks to answer. Inspired by Art of Hosting approaches we will introduce and practice a number of different ways in which conversations may be hosted in the classroom, youth club, community organisation, adult education centre or lecture hall. Facilitated by Alan Hayes (NYCI) and Eimear McNally (IDEA) Register:




News ‘Beyond 2015 - a citizen driven agenda’ panel Following a High Level Panel event at the European Development Days held in Poland (15-16 December 2011), the United Nations has confirmed that the European Union needs to urgently engage in the process to rethink the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) due to expire in 2015. There appears to be an emerging consensus that this time round the new framework needs to be global in nature. CONCORD, along with DEEEP organised this panel event where civil society organisations, EU and international institutions were involved in a critical debate on how to build an effective framework for a democratic, participatory and citizen driven post-2015, post-MDG agenda. The debate concluded that citizens need to be involved in an inclusive process to formulate the future framework. As a result, the UN intends to support at least 50 national dialogues on post2015 with governments, civil society and other stakeholders in 2012.

Funding EU Funding: Non-state actors and local authorities DEAR call The European Commission has published on 22 December an indicative calendar for the ongoing non-state actors and local authorities (NSA-LA) development education and awareness raising (DEAR) call for proposals. You can download the document at. For more information visit or contact Tobias Troll at Irish Aid Funding Important Dates: January 30th – Information Session on the new funding approach (2pm, Dublin) February 3rd- Call for Annual Grants will be issued End of February – Tender for Global Schools programme will be issued Early March – Strategic Priority calls for multi-annual grants in support of work


in Initial post-primary education will be issued In view of the level of changes to the funding arrangements, the focus on priorities and outcomes and associated changes in assessment criteria, Irish Aid will host an Information Session on January 30th. The workshop will provide an opportunity to clarify aspects of the revisions to funding. In addition a Q&A on the new approach will be maintained on this page of the Irish Aid Website. In that context, if you have a query or need further information on any aspects of the funding approach, please mail the Development Education Unit in Irish Aid Headquarters in Limerick at French organisation Cridev seeks partners for a DE European meeting Cridev, a non-profit organization for development education and international solidarity, is organising a European meeting in June 2012 between environment education facilitators and development education, and international solidarity facilitators. The event is financed by Youth in Action and Cridev seeks partners to lead the event. For more information, contact Pauline Böhle E:

Resources Learning to Read the World? Teaching and Learning about Global Citizenship and International Development in Post-Primary Schools by Audrey Bryan and Meliosa Bracken. This is the first published study of its kind in an Irish context, offering combined insights into the status and practice of Development Education in post-primary schools as well as an interrogation of how development issues are represented in the formal curriculum. Actionable Postcolonial Theory in Education ‘This book by Professor Vanessa Andreotti de Oliveira, illustrates how postcolonial theory can be put to work in education. It offers an accessible

and handy overview and comparison of postcolonial theory and other theoretical debates related to critiques of Western ethnocentrism and hegemony. It also offers examples that illustrate how a discursive strand of postcolonial theory has been applied successfully in the contexts of educational research/ critique and in pioneering pedagogical projects. 2011 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report: Universal Values for Global Well-being. This report offers both information and advocacy for the role and contribution of volunteerism in peace and development which includes achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Walk Out Walk On Authors Meg Wheatley and Deborah Frieze invite you on a learning journey to seven communities around the world to meet people who have walked out of limiting beliefs and assumptions and walked on to create healthy and resilient communities. These Walk Outs Who Walk On use their ingenuity and caring to figure out how to work with what they have to create what they need. You can see a video here of Deborah Frieze speaking at the Networking for Community Resilience event on Tuesday 22nd November 2011 at the Greenhouse Dublin Ireland. http://www. ‘Surfing the Waves of Change’ Cultivate have created a new a 9-minute animation which, using surfing as a metaphor, introduces the concept of community resilience. The new film explores how we can best take the steps to ensure that the places where we are living have the ability to get by in times of abrupt change and are brilliant places to live. It is available on http:// iAa5rnk&feature The film accompanies a new publication from Carnegie UK Trust called, ‘Exploring Community Resilience in Times of Rapid Change’. It was supported by Trócaire, Comhar SDC Media Fund and Carnegie Trust UK. It is available

Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice BY Stephen McCloskey


even years ago, the Centre for Global Education launched a new bi-annual publication as part of a project to strengthen capacity in the development education sector in the island of Ireland. The publication, titled Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, was Ireland’s first ever journal in development education and aimed to: provide a space for practitioners to critically reflect on their practice; discuss the main challenges faced by practitioners; and measure the impact of development education practice on learners. Though based on a thorough consultation process, the journal was in many ways a journey into the unknown. How would the sector respond to a very different kind of publication that placed greater demands on writing skills, particularly among practitioners who perhaps lacked experience in structuring and researching journal articles? Could such a small educational sector sustain a journal both in terms of contributions and readers? These questions were all ultimately answered in the affirmative but it took time for the journal to become established in the sector as the structure and format of Policy and Practice were bedded down. Evidence of use The journal was initially published in a hard copy only format which made reading easier but limited access to its content. What really established the journal and gave it an international audience was the decision taken in 2009 to launch it as an online publication making it free to readers with access to the entire archive of 13 issues. While we had doubts at the time about moving to an online edition knowing how much readers valued a hard copy coming through the post, the benefits of an electronic journal are indisputable. A recent analysis of use of the web site that hosts the journal showed that between January and August 2011 it received 27,567 visitors from 189 countries. Most of these users are concentrated in the following countries: Britain (4,292), the United States (4,161), Ireland (3,548), the Philippines (2,397), Canada (1,477), India (1,271), Australia (1,138), South Africa (639) and Germany (389). Even more encouraging is the fact that the number of users increased by 43 per cent on the last half-yearly figure and 83 per cent of visitors were new to the site. At a time when development education and development co-operation are coming under greater public scrutiny owing to the global financial crisis and the need to provide value for money, these statistics suggest a growing global interest in


Credit: Stephen McCloskey (CGE)

development issues and a real desire to debate development education. While the statistics offer us only a quantitative analysis, a more qualitative assessment was provided by a recent external evaluation of the journal by Sustainability Frontiers which found it to be ‘regarded as indispensible to the development education sector in the island of Ireland’. It went on to suggest that ‘it is reinforcing the academic credibility of development education in the island of Ireland, enhancing practitioner professional development, and enhancing debate and discussion’. It is important to acknowledge the role of Irish Aid in not only believing in the journal from the outset but also in sustaining its support over an extended period of seven years. Without this long-term commitment the journal could not have achieved its current level of use. Also deserving immense credit for the journal’s success are its previous editors Catherine Simmons and Jenna Coriddi.

“A recent analysis of use of the web site that hosts the journal showed that between January and August 2011 it received 27,567 visitors from 189 countries.” Future direction A feature of the journal going forward will be to bridge the gap between policy and practice, an almost inevitable consequence of the changing policy environment arising from the enhanced public and government monitoring of the outcomes of development education practice as ‘value for money’ becomes an even clearer determinant of public spend. The sector can respond to this deeper scrutiny by promoting its impact on learners and gathering evidence of the long-term benefits that result from development education practice. This is where Policy and Practice can really assist the sector in providing a platform for sharing new research and debating policy priorities while enabling readers to learn from the practice of local and international contributors. If you are a practitioner and want to share your work with a wider audience in an article then please contact The journal web site address is: Stephen McCloskey is Director of the Centre for Global Education 13


Development Education in the Community Sector By Rachel Dempsey “Why are Greek people protesting about austerity when in Ireland we’re just paying back the debts?” “Why am I means-tested for every little thing when it was the bankers that bankrupted the country?” “If Argentina could do it, surely defaulting isn’t the end of the world?”


hese are examples of questions raised at One World Week development education workshops organised by the Lourdes Youth and Community Services (LYCS) in the north east inner city of Dublin. They illustrate how taking a global view can help people make sense of their own issues and situations. Although a common misconception about bringing a global perspective to communities already struggling with their own development issues is that it is too heavy and too disheartening LYCS has embraced development education because, from a community development perspective, it does work. As the LYCS Director Sarah Kelleher puts it: 1

“The purpose of community development work is to facilitate people to identify their needs and to access information and resources which will meet those needs and to take positive action. But how do you enable people to be introduced to new concepts? Well, Development Education encourages people to think differently: How much we have in common with other people around the world? How to celebrate the differences? It helps people to understand and learn about who holds power, who gets to make the decisions that affect their lives. Development Education can have a profound impact on individuals’ understanding of their own local community’s experience of exclusion which further enables them to make the connections with communities thousands of miles away who also experience exclusion”. Some of the documented outcomes of this work in Dublin 1 are participants’ ‘desire to bring about change and become active in development issues’ and an increasing ability to discuss issues - as one woman put it ‘I would read these things in the paper and never fully understand it, but now I know and I can make my grandchildren listen and learn from it too.’ In terms of reaching people, it is important to tap into community networks and to involve local projects working on the ground. A recent series of workshops delivered by LYCS around the economic crisis for example involved local participants who are enrolled in the LYCS adult education 14

Where in the world does our food come from? The outcome of an activity at LYCS development education workshop. Credit: Rachel Dempsey, LYCS.

programme’s computer, ESOL, literacy, art, cookery classes as well as relying on links built up with other organisations in the local area over the years. Development education organisations wishing to target the community sector might not have the advantage of being an integral part of a large community organisation, and therefore time must be invested in making these links with projects in the local area. It is also crucial to engage with groups appropriately, when working in a disadvantaged community. Some participants may experience issues such as literacy difficulties, disability or ill-health, addictions and mental health challenges and childcare needs which make it challenging to recruit people and to keep them attending workshops and courses. To overcome such challenges it is necessary to have a flexible, open and participant-centred approach. The unpredictable is predicted and practical provisions are made in so far as is possible to help people to attend. LYCS tends to focus on issues which resonate strongly with participants – poverty and inequality, a global perspective on drugs, debt, economic crisis and migration are examples. The idea is always to start where people are at, draw upon their existing knowledge, instincts and life experience and from that point to introduce the global, often by means of highlighting that others across the world are experiencing the same thing. Current levels of uncertainty, crisis and changes in the Irish community sector - and indeed the world present both opportunities and threats in terms of linking development education to community development. When projects are experiencing cuts and are dealing with pressing needs, bringing in a global perspective might seem like an unobtainable luxury. On the other hand, in the midst of our financial crisis, many ordinary people are now making the local-global links for themselves and in some cases their anger at being disenfranchised is leading to increased critical awareness and action-taking, meaning that the time for development education in the community has never been more relevant. The LYCS is a community development project which has a 15 year history of carrying out development education with marginalised people in Dublin 1 and in more recent years, sharing this learning with other community workers all over the country.


Rachel Dempsey, Lourdes Youth and Community Services,

Reviews & Resources

Exploring Diversity and Global Justice through the Arts


xploring Diversity and Global Justice through the Arts’ is a beautifully presented educational resource for second level schools developed by Comhlámh. It aims to support second level teachers to bring a justice perspective to their classroom using active learning and art methodologies to explore global justice issues. The organisation and presentation of the publication invites the user to engage with each of the 7 units developed to explore identity, challenge discrimination and promote justice on both local and global levels. The focus on preparing learners to deal with the diverse and complex world, which we are all a part of, is valuable and provides the key skills for creating school culture that celebrates diversity and engages with social justice issues. The second page of the book concisely links activities presented in the resource to the Junior Cert, CSPE, Leaving Cert and Northern Ireland curricula. The strongest aspect of this resource is its attention to detail in preparing the user to facilitate, teach and engage students in active learning methodologies in the area of development issues. The introduction to the resource stimulates the teacher to engage with their own learning in this relatively new area of study – Development Education. The described potential learning outcomes and ‘Teacher Reflection Activities’ placed throughout the units promote the development of a reflective practitioner in the area of global justice, assisting teachers who feel ill-equipped to discuss and engage with global justice issues. Having used this resource in Development Education classes, I have found many gems that have helped to

further a positive learning environment and more active participation in my classroom, and indeed the school. In Unit 1 ‘Becoming a Group’, ideas and suggestions are outlined that will aid any teacher in using art methodologies and active learning in their classes. My favourite idea was to allow the students to negotiate their own class agreement to create necessary boundaries for a school environment, hence empowering the learner. Having incorporated this with my transition year groups, I found it has been effective in delivering ‘smoother’ classes with broad participatory and active elements. I directed the supervising teacher of the Peace and Justice group in our school to Unit 2 when they were eager to address the increasing diversity in the school environment with more nationalities, cultures and religions being represented. This unit provides a comprehensive list of key global development terms and language (a crucial component in putting the teacher at ease with this subject area) and outlines an action plan to address inclusivity in ‘Our School Culture’. Students in our school are currently adopting suggestions from the resource such as: preparing greetings in the representative languages for respective holidays of different cultures and learning key phrases in other languages. Unit 3 moves into the area of Stereotype and Culture, providing effective exercises to explore Irish Culture and how people identify each other. Unit 4 furthers these ideas and aims to develop empathy for other cultures and alternative perspectives. Activities are focused on understanding what the notion of development means and how the media portray and report conflict. Unit 5 presents a useful active methodology to discuss the concept of music and culture in the form of

a moving debate that engages the majority of learners by allowing them to represent their opinions in the form of a scale with ‘I agree’ at one end and ‘I disagree’ at the other. Unit 6 explores the importance of sustainable development and provides an art based methodology to allow students to identify ways of living their own lives in a more sustainable manner. Finally, Unit 7 addresses some ways in which one can respond to global injustice, using protest songs. This resource, like most other Development Education resources, promotes the use of a learning journal with a list of prompt questions to allow students to record their own learning and develop their own thoughts. The book is accompanied by a CD that provides printable versions of the text, worksheets and teacher reflection activities. Although, there is a time limit set for each activity, many teachers would appreciate activities to be set to a single class period. In addition, a link to relevant websites for further reading at the end of each unit would be useful for teachers. I am impressed by this timely and very necessary resource and have encouraged colleagues in my own school and teachers around the country to take the lesson plans into their own classrooms. A review by Aileen Tennant. Aileen is a teacher at Saint Mary’s Academy, CBS, Carlow.

This resource costs €10 (postage included) or can be downloaded from the website justice-through-the artsresource.html For information or training call 01 4783490 or email:


Design: Printed on recycled paper

INDEX is a free newsletter for people interested in educating on global development issues. To receive free copies of INDEX newsletter by email or post visit our INDEX page at To join Comhlámh go to INDEX is a Comhlámh publication for the Development Education sector, funded by Comhlámh, Trócaire, and Irish Aid Honorary Patron, Mary Robinson. © Comhlámh, 2012 Comhlámh, 2nd Floor, Ballast House, Aston Quay, Dublin 2.

The views expressed herein can in Comhlámh is a signatory to the Dóchas no way be taken to reflect the official Code of Conduct on Images and Messages opinion of Irish Aid. (