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Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello)

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Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello)

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Snippet Contents:

The Government’s development cooperation programme, which is managed by Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, reflects the values and experience of the Irish people and depends on their support. Development education, and public information and engagement, have been, and remain, key elements of the aid programme, as set out in the Government’s new Policy for International Development, One World, One Future . The policy states that Irish Aid will work for a deep public understanding and engagement with the aid programme and our development policy. It recognises that an engaged and active public is vital to ensure long lasting and sustained commitment to addressing global poverty and inequalities. Ireland’s development education funding supports activities which build a stronger understanding of global development issues, strengthen public awareness of the reality of the issues involved in our commitment to development cooperation, and promote a stronger sense of global solidarity.
The Policy reaffirms the priority given to development education. In particular, we recognise the importance of a more strategic approach to development education and have been working to target funding effectively at key areas and to strengthen the focus on results from this investment. The core priorities for development education include initial teacher education; online access to development education resources; capacity building for the development education sector; and a programme with third level students in Irish universities.
We also prioritise development education initiatives at post-primary level. Last week, I launched the new WorldWise Global Schools Programme (2013-2016), which strengthens our support for second-level schools. It focuses on promoting the knowledge, values and critical analysis skills that are central to development education throughout our post-primary school network.
For each of the last two years, 2011 and 2012, the Government has provided €3.2 million through Irish Aid for development education. This year, we are providing €3.5 million. In addition, Irish Aid has asked NGOs which receive long term development programme grants under the aid programme to incorporate development education and public engagement initiatives in their work programmes. Last year, €1.5 million was provided for such initiatives.