About Us

Minister Joe O'Brien with a group of young people from Longford Roma and New Communities Community Development Project

Welcome to the Community Development Programme

Minister Joe O'Brien speaking outdoors at a podium
rear view of two women working on a multicolour mural with text and a rainbow

In 2021, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien, announced a new pilot Community Development Programme in fulfilment of the commitment in the Programme for Government. 

The aim of the programme is to use community development as an approach to address poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and promote human rights. The programme objectives 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 pilot Community Development Programme has funding for three years, from October 2021 to September 2023. It is supported by a Project Team that is chaired by the Department of Rural and Community Development, with members from Pobal and Community Work Ireland. Community Work Ireland has been given brief to support the programme. This includes showcasing the work of the projects, with a view to building the case for the expansion and extension of the programme.

The successful projects, seven from a total of 123 applications, are:

  • Kilkenny Traveller Community Movement
  • ICON Community Development Project
  • Clare Traveller Community Development Project
  • Longford Roma and New Communities Project
  • VOICE Community Development Project, ILMI
  • Donegal Intercultural Platform Community Development Project
  • Cultúr Community Development Project