Joe O’Brien, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, announced a new pilot Community Development Programme today, March 4th 2021

Speaking at the launch Minister O’Brien who has special responsibility for Community Development and Charities said :

“True community development is trusting communities to develop their own solutions and pathways out of poverty and inequality. It’s important that these pilots are impactful and make a real difference as that can inform a potential growth of this community-led approach to the significant social challenges we are facing.”

Anastasia Crickley, Chairperson of the CWI Policy and Practice Working Group, said :

“We in CWI see this development as a significant move forward in establishing a new community development infrastructure that is resourced to address the current, new and emerging challenges associated with poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and in ensuring the inclusion of minority and marginalised groups in Irish society.”

She added, “It is critical that the programme receives long-term and additional resourcing that will allow it to expand to support further initiatives in the context of responding to longstanding, emerging and complex challenges, many of which have been exacerbated and exposed by the experience of COVID-19”.

We hope that the work of CWI members will benefit from the support of the programme
The announcement of the Pilot Community Development Programme can be found here
For more on the Pilot Community Development Programme and the application process, please click here

The aim of the Community Development Pilot Programme is to trial community development initiatives that address poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and promote human rights.

The objectives of the Community Development Programme are to:

  • develop community development responses to a range of social, economic and environmental concerns;
  • facilitate an empowering collaborative approach to building relationships and undertake cooperative initiatives between marginalised groups, mainstream services and decision-making bodies; and
  • showcase and profile the benefits of an autonomous approach to community development in relation to existing, new and emerging issues

The focus in the first instance will be on community development organisations working or seeking to work at local level to address issues in areas such as racism (including Travellers and Roma), domestic or sexual violence, migration, gender, people living in direct provision or seeking international protection, climate action and just transition.

Those eligible to apply are community development organisations or groups that have a proven track record in community development based on the values outlined in Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: A five-year strategy to support the community and voluntary sector and the All Ireland Standards for Community Work, and that

  • have an established presence in their area and are able to demonstrate their achievements to date;
  • work to address the issues experienced by marginalised communities;
  • have a track record in collaboratively developing cross-sectoral initiatives;
  • can demonstrate a commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including those with a climate action/just transition focus;
  • can demonstrate how additional supports could help build their capacity and reach;
  • can demonstrate good practice in corporate governance and financial management

An indicative allocation of €120 – €140k P/A is anticipated per organisation. Whilst initial funding has been secured for 2021 only, we would welcome applications that are provisionally planned for three years. The funding will cover the employment of qualified/experienced community development workers; programme costs; research and analysis; periodic review and evaluation. Capital costs, such as building related costs, will not be covered