Dóchas supports review of impact of Decentralisation
Earlier this week, Tom Kitt TD made headlines by referring to the Government’s decentralisation programme as a “crude and botched initiative”. He went on to call for the planned Review process to include a review of the impact the relocation has had on the Irish Aid programme.
When it was first announced, we expressed grave reservations about the plan to relocate the Irish Aid programme. Irish Aid is not an administrative centre, that can be removed from Government decision-making; our development cooperation programme is an integral part of our foreign policy, and has implications for many other areas of Government work.
Ireland has a world class overseas aid programme, and Irish Aid is a very effective organisation. But the decision to move the organisation away from the capital has inhibited, rather than encouraged, further improvements in our aid programme.
Dóchas welcomes the proposal to investigate, as part of the wider Review Process of the Decentralisation programme, the impact of the relocation on the quality of Ireland’s overseas aid programme – We need to do our utmost to ensure that our aid to the world’s poorest people is of the highest possible standard.
In 2007, Dóchas set out its vision for the improvement of Ireland’s aid programme in a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs. In that report, Dóchas pointed out that “Decentralisation” has had an enormous – and negative – effect on Irish Aid’s institutional memory and capacity, and on its interaction with NGOs. The NGOs also made a number of recommendations on how to improve the management of the aid programme, some of which have been accepted by Irish Aid.