International Development: Charity or Solidarity?

admin • 25 May 2018
in group DSA Ireland
Event date 19 Oct 10:30 - 16:00
Event location Liberty Hall, Dublin

International Development Charity or Solidarity?

A workshop/ think in organised by
Development Studies Association of Ireland Civil Society Study Group and the 
Centre for Global Education, Belfast 

Date: 19th October 2018
Time:10:30 - 16:00
Venue:  Liberty Hall, Dublin.
Register for free via Eventbrite


In Ireland the role of development NGOs is rarely interrogated. There is a shared discourse across the government, NGO and academic sectors which may not be seen to encourage critical enquiry. One criticism of the work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) especially with schools has been that, in the past, too much emphasis was placed on the dependence of those in the ‘South’ and the need for individuals in the North to act for change, principally through charitable activities. This focus is creating a power imbalance that we might wish to interrogate from a social justice or solidarity perspective. 


This session will open up the debate on what we mean by civil society and the role that NGOs can play engaging with civil society in the global South. We examine the evolution of NGOs in recent decades as the international development scene changes and thus their own priorities and modes of operating. Are NGOs still playing a progressive role in terms of social transformation? From a policy perspective do NGOs focus too narrowly on aid to the South to the exclusion of other more pressing issues?  How are the big international NGOs viewed in the global South? What are the constraints they operate under? Can we move (back?) from a charity to a solidarity or social justice model of engagement? 

Speakers will include voices from the NGOs, the research sector, the trade union movement and a view from the Global South. 


This session will engage with the debate on how international NGOs can move beyond a funding relationship with the public to one based on a social justice approach that can support a more nuanced and long-term citizen engagement with global issues. Recognising that fundraising is essential to our work, how does the sector combine effective global citizenship with charitable activities?  
Facilitated by experienced global educator and former NGO worker, Stella Murray, this session will be activity driven and discussion oriented, affording a useful opportunity to debate issues that are central to NGO and development educator practice.  

We encourage international development NGO personnel in a range of capacities (campaigns, fundraising, marketing, promotions and education) to attend this event and contribute to the discussion.

Register for free via Eventbrite or for more information please contact: