Pilot Community Development Programme

Joe O’Brien, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, announcing the initial seven succesful projects under the Community Development Programme, March 4th 2021

Speaking at the official launch in 2021

The Pilot Community Development Programme was launched in 2020, with an open call for applications.

A total of 123 applications were received and reviewed by the Project Team (the Department of Rural and Community Development, Pobal and Community Work Ireland).

Seven projects were initially funded, followed by an additional three in 2023.

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

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″.

Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowlered Communities

Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowlered Communities: a five-year strategy to support the community and voluntary sector 2019-2024 Objective 1 in the government strategy Sustainable Inclusive and Empowered Communities 2019-2024 (SEIC) ) commits to strengthening and developing  participative approaches to the development of public policy and programming underpinned by an autonomous community and voluntary infrastructure by developing and sustaining national, regional and local structures and policies that facilitate and promote effective local development, autonomous community development, and meaningful engagement of marginalised communities (action 1.1) and by providing core funding for autonomous community development and local development at local level, including employment of professional community workers (action 4.1).

Our Shared Future

The current Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, commits to “Introduce, on a phased basis, a number of projects similar in approach to Community Development Projects”. To advance this commitment, in 2021, the Department of Rural and Community Development announced the introduction of a pilot Community Development Programme to “promote an autonomous approach to community work with marginalised communities”. Funding was provided to seven Community Development Projects to advance this work, with a further three projects included in 2023.