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DE & the SDGs

"Development Education strengthens understanding of the global justice dimension of each of the Goals, inspiring and enabling people to take action at local, national and global levels. It is critical to achieving the promise of transformative change that defines the SDGs."

- Charles Flanagan TD, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Irish Aid Development Education Strategy 2017-2023

The Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 interconnected Goals providing a global framework for ending poverty, inequality and ensuring sustainable development by 2030. The SDGs apply equally to every country, and can only be achieved if all sectors of society including Government, Civil Society, the Private Sector, local communities and individual citizens, draw on each other’s strengths and work together towards achieving the Goals. 

Development Education & the SDGs

Development Education enables people to understand the world around them and to act to transform it. It has a crucial role in the success of the SDGs, through raising awareness, facilitating participation and supporting engagement with the Goals. This is recognised in SDG 4.7 that calls for all states to ensure their citizens are educated on global citizenship, sustainable development and human rights.

Development Education:

  • facilitates the development of values, knowledge, skills and actions that support global citizenship
  • explores the issues relating to inequality and poverty, and their root causes
  • enables people to identify solutions to these issues based on their own analysis and perspective
  • creates engaged, critical citizens and communities who can contribute to sustainable development and identify their own role in combatting inequality and injustice.

The quality and reach of Development Education in Ireland makes it a key component in achieving the SDGs. Ireland is recognised internationally as one of the leaders in Development Education. It is delivered by community and voluntary organisations, development NGOs, educational institutions and networks, youth organisations, trade unions, educators, researchers and activists.

Development Education practitioners are engaging with hundreds of thousands of people throughout Ireland each year. People of all ages and communities are exploring the interdependent and unequal world we live in, through participative learning, reflection and action.

Development Education is essential to the success of the SDGs as it enables global citizenship. It empowers people in Ireland to take action and participate in creating fairer and more just communities, both locally and globally.

“...citizen literacy is the necessary substructure to any advocacy of a nature to foster compliance on the part of governments. This requires a sustained investment in the ability of all citizens to understand and participate effectively in the accountability process.”

- President Michael D Higgins on the Sustainable Development Agenda

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