Launch of ‘An Irish Development Education Resources Audit’

We are pleased to announce the publication of An Audit of Development Education Resources, now available online at http://www.developmenteducation.ie/audit/

Over a 5 month period the audit collected information on development education (DE) resources produced in Ireland since 2000 for both formal and non-formal education use.

The sectors covered include: Junior Primary, Senior Primary, Junior Cycle, Transition Year, Senior Cycle, Third level/Higher Education, Youth ages 12-15, Youth ages 16-18 and the general public.

The limitations and terms of reference lay down some of the issues that the auditors faced – the first audit of its kind conducted in Ireland. The extended appendices also contain supplementary tables to the statistics as well as the database of resources produced from the audit (available for downloading).

In addition to the major conclusions, we have made eight key recommendations. Three of these include:

6.1 – A central library/resource centre: There is a pressing need for a central resource library/centre through which resources can be identified, accessed and purchased (as appropriate). Such a reference point is needed for the long-term agenda of DE. It is recommended that a feasibility study be jointly commissioned with relevant NGOs to consider the TOR for such a centre and the challenges and needs associated with establishing it.

Making many resources available through a central website such as www.developmenteducation.ie would go some way to satisfying need but as all resources will not be available free online and as many end users remain uninformed of the range and diversity of resources it would be unlikely to satisfy needs.

6.3 – Ongoing need for resources: as educational methods, approaches and ideas will continue to change and develop there will always be a need for additional resources. Similarly, the need to update materials and analysis of development, environment and human rights issues will require the ongoing production of resources as will responding to the gaps and opportunities identified in this audit. It is therefore recommended that resource production remain central to strategies and funding streams within Irish Aid and across the NGO sector. It is hoped that this audit will assist with identifying and responding to priorities within this context.

6.6 – Educational content: this audit has highlighted the educational potential of ‘promotional’ and campaigning resources which continue to form a sizeable proportion of available ‘DE’ resources. It is recommended that both Irish Aid and the NGO sector review the educational components of such materials with a view to ensuring their greater relevance to DE and related areas overall.

The audit has implications for many different groups and individuals, including educators, funders and researchers. We hope you find it useful and engaging!

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