Working with Partners – Inishowen Development Partnership

Image of person who wrote the blog.
Shauna McClenaghan, Joint CEO, Inishowen Development Partnership.

Working with partners is one of three key themes of our 2022-2026 Strategy Statement and we work in partnership with a wide range of organisations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Locally, within the county, one of the organisations we work with is Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP), one of two Partnership companies in the county. What is IDP and what does our partnership with them involve? In this blog, IDP Joint CEO Shauna McClenaghan tells us more.

IDP is one of 49 local development companies delivering a range of programmes promoting social inclusion and rural development. Established in the late 1990s, nearly thirty years ago, IDP is built on the principles of partnership and community development and has a proven track record as a respected, valued, and trusted partner and co-designer of essential supports and services. With a staff complement across the organisation of over forty people, and 26 programmes in the mix, it is undoubtedly challenging, rewarding and busy.

Being part of the community here in Inishowen and working across a diverse range of activity is what makes my role so interesting. Facilitated through a partnership structure that is firmly committed to the principles of equality and social inclusion, IDP’s role is to promote, support, assist and engage in social, cultural and economic development using a community led local development approach. IDP nurtures the enabling of both individuals and local communities with issues of social and economic disadvantage through an integrated process of listening, supporting, education and action.

IDP has extensive experience in the delivery and management of high-quality programmes across a range of local, national, and European funding streams. Engagement, flexibility, innovation, person-centredness, commitment, and responsiveness have been demonstrated across all our collaborations and funded relationships. We are focused on – Building Community Resilience and Well-Being – Growing Sustainable Futures and therefore it is not surprising that we have been working closely with Donegal ETB over these decades.

Partnership and collaboration with Donegal ETB on a wide range of our programmes from supporting community education to working with our local schools, to joint membership of Donegal Children and Young Peoples Services and the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), to support for our migrant and ethnic minority communities. And of course our formal partnership in our award-winning  programme ChangeMakers, has been and is a significant part of our work. This in fact culminated in the signing of an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) in 2021 which has continued to develop over the years since, solidifying our strong ties and joint working.

ChangeMakers is a Development Education and global citizenship project targeting the adult and community education sector across Donegal. The project has been running since 2012 and is a partnership between Inishowen Development Partnership, Donegal ETB, Self Help Africa, and Trócaire. Its core programme is funded by Irish Aid with complementary funding received from partners such as Donegal ETB and Concern Worldwide.

The vision for this programme is for adults in County Donegal and cross-border to be actively engaged in understanding and taking action on local and global issues for a fair and just world. We frame our work using the Sustainable Development Goals covering issues of poverty, inequality and environmental injustice. To meet our aim, we deliver a range of flexible learning pathways within and between the formal (QQI accredited courses on Local and Global Development) and non-formal education (workshops, debates) sectors. We adopt a ‘whole of community approach’, collaborating with the arts sector, further and higher education providers, business and community sectors, and providing SDG and global justice mentoring and training support and micro-grants to community activists and groups, linking and learning from people and projects in the global south, working towards a more just and equitable world.

Working alongside our colleagues in Donegal ETB we are assured of the whole community approach in a supportive environment. Donegal ETB’s reputation for community education is recognised nationally as being to the forefront. We at IDP are delighted to work with our ETB colleagues in this regard to increase resilience, promote equality and social inclusion, and engage with communities to be the change.