Irish NGOs explained

26/06/2010 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

For many decades, Ireland’s overseas aid has been notable for the work of numerous missionaries and aid workers. Although the government established an official development cooperation programme as far back as 1974, its size and public profile have traditionally been dwarfed by ‘charities’ and missionary groups.

Thanks to the work of the NGOs and missionaries, development cooperation still remains popular in the true sense of the word – being a commitment of and by ordinary people, working together through non-profit citizens groups.

Irish development NGOs are manifestations of active citizenship and people power: they are civil society groups, supported by over 850,000 Irish people, including hundreds of volunteers. Even with growing government funding, the bulk of their money still comes from the general public.

These active groups of citizens (NGOs) are acutely conscious that the provision of aid alone is not enough to address the inequalities and human rights violations that affect the world’s poor. Aid is necessary in certain circumstances, where poverty, war, disasters or economic breakdown create particular and urgent needs. NGOs though, are broadly about  change, not charity and they work in solidarity with people and communities in developing countries to effect that change.

They have different ways of doing that, and different reasons for doing so. They are a diverse bunch – large and small, young and old, secular and missionary. But, they share one vital characteristic: their commitment to tackle poverty and inequality in the world.


Irish NGOs work together to strive to enhance their long-term impact, and to become increasingly professional. In designing and carrying out their programmes, aid agencies try to ensure that they maximise the benefit for those they intend to assist – and indeed, that they do no harm in circumstances that are often complex and difficult.

For that reason, they have developed Codes of Conduct, and standards of practice. And for that reason they are working together ever more closely through networks such as Dóchas.

(see this short video for a good introduction to the Dóchas network)

Irish NGOs are convinced that Development is ultimately about people; People who require institutions and information to enable their participation.

There are no quick fixes: it requires time and committed involvement. Irish NGOs, as citizens organisations can provide support to these groups and institutions. They can mobilise people for justice and equality across cultures and continents.

In short, citizens’ organisations are at the heart of what development really means.

Entry filed under: Development Effectiveness, NGOs, Overseas aid. Tags: , , , , , , , .

NGOs and Irish Aid funding Leinster House must Act Now on 2015

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One of the most important graphs. Ever.

http://ourworldindata.org/data/health/maternal-mortality/ Today is World Food Day.

A day to celebrate that the days of truly enormous famines are over: http://blog.concern.net/global-hunger-index-2015-mapping-the-worlds-hunger Meet "Chocolate Mamas", producers of chocolate in #Tanzania, creating Tanzanian jobs. 
While #cocoa is grown in West Africa and Asia,
most #chocolate (the finished product) is made in Europe or the USA.

Meet Jaki Kweka, who is trying to change that. By creating protected areas and national parks and by limiting the spread of soy bean cultivation, Brazil has managed to drastically reduce the amount of rain forest being cleared.

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http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/sep/15/five-developing-countries-ditching-fossil-fuels-china-india-costa-rica-afghanistan-albania?CMP=share_btn_tw Social change needs empowered citizens, and empowered citizens need occasional encouragement.

Great to hear that we're not the only ones who believe in the power of positive news! 50,000 rice farmers in #IvoryCoast are now working with better seeds, improving food security in the West African country.

As a result, harvests have increased.

Source: World Bank, photo: Jbdodane / CC BY Sub-Saharan Africa’s first light rail system starts operations. 
As Ethiopians celebrate their New Year, they also prepare to mark the beginning of operations of a tram system in the #Ethiopian capital #AddisAbaba. 
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Established in Malawi by Gorta-Self Help Africa last year, the ‘321’ voice-activated service provides subscribers to the country’s largest mobile phone network with farm information and advice that they can access at the push of a button. And it’s all free. Read more at http://dochas.ie/sites/default/files/The-Worlds-Best-News-2015_0.pdf 10,000 copies of "The World's Best News" were distributed all over #ireland today!

See how The Irish Times described our newspaper, and click the link to read all the articles online!

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