Raising Development Awareness

Development education programmes provide opportunities to understand the global justice challenges we face and what we in Ireland can do to create a fairer and more sustainable world.

Fairtrade Supermarket Trolley

Why development education?

If we are to achieve our long-term goal of having a world without hunger and poverty, it will be important to understand more about the underlying causes of inequality and injustice.

Making connections between how we live in Ireland and how this impacts on the lives of people in developing world is at the heart of development education. Buying Fair-Trade products for example can make a real difference in the lives of producers in developing countries.

Development education programmes provide an opportunity to challenge ourselves and find out more about our rights and responsibilities as global citizens contributing to change - act locally, think globally.

Irish Aid supports a range of development education programmes that raise awareness and understanding of global development and justice issues and advocate for change. Our work is guided by our Development Education Strategy (PDF, 178kb) and by the (DEAC).

How you can get involved?

With Irish Aid support, a range of education and community organisations are introducing ideas about global justice in classrooms and learning environments all around Ireland: 


Thousands of students are taking part in debates, doing projects and organising workshops on development and social justice issues. Many more are undertaking exchange programmes with schools and communities in developing countries.  

Bringing global issues into your classroom as part of the school curriculum is easier than you might think. Irish Aid can offer you resources, ideas and information to help students understand the links between their lives and those of people in developing countries.

At primary level, we can help you to bring global development and human rights issues into your teaching for Social Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE), Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and for cross-curricular work.


At second level, in junior cycle, transition year and senior cycle, we can help you to bring global development and human rights issues into your teaching in a variety of subjects including English, Geography, CSPE, Religion and for cross-curricular work.


Student teachers

If you are student teacher and want to find out about how you can include development education in your teaching, contact the Development and Intercultural Education (DICE) programme, which works with primary teacher training colleges to encourage and support student teachers to teach about global development issues and to encourage equal respect for one’s own and other cultures both locally and globally.

Youth organisations

Thousands of young people are involved in projects on global justice issues as part of One World Week each year. We support the National Youth Council of Ireland, to promote understanding of global development and justice issues among youth groups and youth workers.

Learning about our rights and responsibilities as global citizens can help us create a more just and equal world.

Adult and community

A number of community-based organisations around Ireland actively encourage their members to explore the links and inter connections between social justice issues in Ireland and in developing countries.  

Where you will find support?

If you would like to find out more about how you can become active or if you or your organisation want to get involved, support is available from Irish Aid through Our . 

And IDEA (Irish Development Education Association), supported by Irish Aid, is a membership organisation that promotes good practice and exchange of information between members.