Irish Aid’s Development Education Strategy (2017- 2023) has recently been launched, and we’re delighted that it specifically acknowledges the role of volunteers and Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice.
The Strategy clearly shows the importance that the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade places on development education, and its centrality to both Irish foreign policy and our international development policy. We very much welcome its focus on development education as a lifelong process that challenges stereotypes and encourages critical thinking on global justice issues: Comhlámh’s research has consistently highlighted the key potential role of returning volunteers as multipliers for development education.
The Strategy focuses on both the formal and non-formal education sectors, linking these explicitly with the Sustainable Development Goals. In relation to international volunteers, it states that
“We will ensure coherence between our support for development education in volunteering and the 11 Principles of Good Practice in Volunteering for Global Development 2015, the code of good practice for volunteer sending agencies. Results: Our success in this activity will be measured by the number and percentage of returned international volunteers reporting an improvement in their development education knowledge and skills or a change in attitude or behaviour.”
We’re looking forward to working creatively with all signatories around this over the coming years, and to supporting the critical role of international volunteers in working to achieve the SDGs.