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 on 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.



Tina Wallace photoTina Wallace has extensive academic and practitioner development experience and have worked in development for over 30 years, as a teacher and a researcher in Universities in UK and Africa, with International NGOs and as an independent consultant. All of her work has been undertaken from a gender perspective informed by long experience of working with women and men in communities, in organisations, and in government.

Tina also has worked at the strategic and policy level. She is currently working on different aspects of women’s empowerment with local NGOs in Lebanon, India, Ethiopia and UK, on care work, women in non traditional livelihoods, girl’s education and modern day slavery. As part of this, she is researching the changing engagement of women in agriculture in Bangladesh and working on some grant making for a small Foundation focused on Africa.

Recently Tina’s work on gender has included a study of cash transfers and their impact on women (Concern/Oxfam), a study of how social norms shape girls and women’s opportunities and how to address these in programming (Plan), governance and volunteerism (UNV), FGM and violence against women (Guardian campaign) and research work on promoting women’s empowerment through political participation (Womankind). She has published widely especially on gender and the roles of NGOs and work to disseminate learning through workshops and seminars to reach development practitioners. Tina runs the DSA (UK) study group on gender policy and practice.

David Joyce photoDavid Joyce David Joyce is International Development and Equality Officer with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

His areas of work include the promotion of equality within trade unions, Irish workplaces as well as at the national policy level. This involves the development of policy on equality related issues and
the production of guidelines for trade unions on various equality issues. His international work includes representing ICTU at the International Labour Organisation and at international trade union meetings at ETUC and ITUC. David has represented Congress on a number of external equality and development related bodies, including:

  • The annual International Labour Conference of the ILO – where earlier this year he was part of a Workers Group negotiating a new international standard on tackling gender based violence in the workplace
  • The national monitoring committee for the National Women’s’ Strategy
  • Trade Union Development Cooperation Network
  • Former Irish Aid Advisory Committee
  • DFAT Committee on Human Rights
  • Stakeholder Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility in DBEI
  • ETUC Agenda 2030 group; National Stakeholder Forum for Agenda 2030 and the Steering group of Coalition 2030
  • The Board of the National Disability Authority;
  • Steering group of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities;
  • The Board of the former Equality Authority

He has also participated in various international trade union initiatives including the negotiating group on the development of a joint framework of action for gender equality, and the negotiations
on the revision of the Parental Leave Directive.

More on David’s work is available here: and

Programme  Attached