What We Do

Code of Good Practice

Code of Good Practice for Development Education


The Code of Good Practice for Development Education is the result of a collaboration between IDEA members. It builds on the work carried out by IDEA members and partners through the creation of Good Practice Guidelines for various areas of educational work e.g. for Adult and Community Education, for Formal Education etc. At a workshop of IDEA members in 2016, a decision was made to build on the existing Good Practice Guidelines in Development Education by creating a Code of Good Practice.  The clear consensus was that any code should be developed for and driven by the Development Education (DE) sector itself.

In 2017, over a series of meetings, a task group of 13 IDEA members drafted the Code content in the form of principles and indicators. The group also had initial discussions on how the Code could be implemented by IDEA members, and what support and learning mechanisms for Code members might look like.

In 2018, the draft Code was piloted by a group of 6 IDEA members, each piloting a number of the principles. Among other things, the participants found the Code supported their reflective practice, helped them to more effectively promote Development Education within their organisations and improve their own personal DE practice overall, bringing them back to all the values and ethos underpinning DE. They were very clear that the Code is 'a journey', and that each organisation that signs up will be on that journey with other 'critical friends'. The result was an updated draft of the Code principles and indicators.

In 2019, IDEA convened an advisory group to develop structures to roll-out the Code to the Development Education sector. They thought through the steps of the Code journey for Code members, what self-assessment and Code compliance could look like, and what learning, support and networking opportunities could be offered to Code members.

The Code we have developed is a result of all of this work, alongside a series of supporting documents.

Why create a Code of Good Practice for Development Education?

Development Education (DE) is an educational process which enables people to understand the world around them and to act to transform it. It works to tackle the root causes of injustice and inequality, globally and locally, to create a more just and sustainable future for everyone.

Quality Development Education is more important than ever, in Ireland and globally. As Development Education practitioners, we must be responsive to a turbulent and changing global environment. This requires us to continuously challenge our own thinking, re-examine our focus, and to critically evaluate whether what we are doing makes a difference. Reflecting on our own practice and challenging our approach are central to quality Development Education. In line with this, IDEA (the Irish Development Education Association) together with our members, has developed the ‘Code of Good Practice for Development Education’. This is part of our work in strengthening good practice in Development Education. This Code builds on work carried out over a number of years by IDEA working groups and partners in the production of Good Practice Guidelines for key areas of Development Education activity.

The Code is written by IDEA members, and represents a collective agreement to both strengthen and articulate quality Development Education across all of our work. IDEA’s membership is diverse and dynamic, practicing Development Education in a wide range of contexts, and through various approaches. The Code is an expression of what IDEA members have in common: a commitment to protecting the integrity of Development Education through our own good practice. Progress towards the Code’s Principles is tracked through Practice Indicators, designed collectively by IDEA members to fulfil this commitment.

Globally, as well as in Ireland, Development Education is critical to the realisation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A clear pathway is set out through SDG target 4.7: “By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.” Development Education has an essential role to play in shaping sustainable development. IDEA sees this Code of Good Practice as a key tool for the promotion of quality Development Education as a right for all learners in Ireland.


To support your Code journey, we have developed a number of supporting materials:


We organise training, seminars & meetings to build capacity in the following areas:


IDEA works to connect its membership and also to connect Development Education to wider audiences.