A Better World

Ireland's Policy for International Development

We are a global people, connected with the world. The breadth and depth of our connections give Ireland strength. Our connections give us shelter in hard times and give us the opportunity to build towards better futures. We know the benefits which flow from our interactions with others, as collective stakeholders of our planet. Global Ireland, the Government’s strategy for doubling the scope and impact of Ireland’s global footprint and influence by 2025, recognises that international development cooperation amplifies and sustains Ireland’s place in an interconnected world. It is at the heart of Ireland’s contribution to a more equal, peaceful and sustainable world. 

A Better World is Ireland’s new policy for international development. It builds on strong foundations, including the legacy of our missionaries, our volunteers, and our NGOs. Through our international development programme, Ireland makes a difference in around 130 countries each year, changing people’s lives for the better.

Our contribution to reducing global poverty is regularly found to be amongst the best in the world, something the Irish people can take pride in. In 2018 the Government reaffirmed its commitment to the United Nations target of allocating 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) to Official Development Assistance by 2030. This will be a significant investment in overseas development assistance, which will require focused and effective new policy choices and initiatives. This follows an increase in funding by 32% since 2014. 

Informing these decisions, Ireland is committed to contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular the rallying call to reach those furthest behind. In order to reach those furthest behind, we will make a step change and focus our efforts on; Prioritising gender equality; Reducing humanitarian need; Climate action; and strengthening governance. In addition to these priorities we will channel our energies to interventions focusing on; Protection; Food and People. 

Through the implementation of this new approach, our aim is to help transform many people’s lives. Ireland’s own national story, our history and our experience of development, modernisation and globalisation, informs A Better World. We have known poverty and hunger. We have also seen our country transformed over the past fifty years, through our own efforts and also with the assistance of others, not least through our membership of the European Union.

Building on our national experience, we will work better to harness the collective experience of our public sector to deliver a more effective international development programme, building deeper links between policies at home and abroad. The road to 2030 is complex. Our world is volatile. On our own we will not have sufficient impact. A Better World recognises that we need to work with others to address global problems. We will work in partnerships with countries. We will maximise the potential of our membership of the European Union. We will work as amember of the United Nations to address the global challenges such as climate change which can and will impact upon us at home.

To deliver on these ambitions we will have to build our capacity to evolve, innovate and adapt. The ambition of the SDGs, the changing nature of global challenges, and the complex interactions between domestic and international policies and processes all demand that we do things differently. A Better World builds on what we have learned and done well, with public support, for more than four decades, confident that the people of our global island take seriously their responsibilities as citizens of the world we all share.

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