Resource Title

Development Education in Adult and Community Settings: Guidelines for Good Practice


Provides a set of good practice guidelines for organisations and individuals working, or intending to work, on development education within the adult and community education sectors.

Resource Details


Produced by the IDEA Community Sector Working Group, this publication provides a set of good practice guidelines for organisations and individuals working, or intending to work, on development education within the adult and community education sectors.

The guidelines are intended for practitioners and policy makers, and serve a number of functions:

  • as an educational tool for individuals and organisations who want to establish, improve or refresh their practice of development education;
  • as an advocacy document for practitioners and policy makers who would like to showcase the value and relevance of development education within their sector and integrate it as a core element of their work;
  • as a planning document for policy makers and practitioners who want to develop or revise their internal development education programme or priorities.

The guidelines are a stepping stone towards the embedding of good practice throughout a programme of work.

Practitioners (trainers, tutors, facilitators or teachers) can use these guidelines:

(i) to develop a development education work-plan/curriculum;

(ii) to ensure that development education themes and methodologies are incorporated into their wider teaching/training/facilitation programmes; or

(iii) as a tool for consultation on an ongoing basis to provoke new ideas for their teaching/training practice.

Managers and decision makers (such as Adult Education Officers, Community Education Facilitators, Programme & Organisation Managers, Course Coordinators) within adult and community education organisations/networks can use these guidelines to initiate a development education strategy/framework, or to refine an existing framework for development education.

Contents list:

Part 1: The role of Development Education in the Adult and Community Education Sectors

1.1 Introduction: What are the guidelines & who are they for?

1.2What is development education & how does it enhance adult and community education?

1.3 What added value does development education bring to adult and community sector learners?

Part 2: Good practice guidelines for organisations & individual practitioners

2.1 Recommended guidelines for institutions and organisations

2.2 Recommended guidelines for individual practitioners

Part 3: Further reading/information


Appendix 1: Definitions

Appendix 2: Development Education in action – online platform

Appendix 3: Community Sector Working Group

Further info

This document was drafted by Dr. Karen Murphy, in collaboration with IDEA staff and the Community Sector Working Group members.

The guidelines reflect the lessons learned by group members through their ongoing work in development education and the document draws on existing development education guidelines produced by IDEA, Comhlámh and the National Youth Council of Ireland for other sectors (as referenced in the bibliography), as well as on an earlier draft set of guidelines for the adult and community education sector developed in 2013 by Jennifer Harris. It also draws on available literature on development education in community and adult education settings (as referenced in bibliography).

Available from:

Download DE in Adult and Community Settings Guidelines PDF (5.5MB)

The IDEA Community Sector Working Group is open to all IDEA members. If interested in joining, please email

For more info visit