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Chairperson’s Introduction

Ireland has a long tradition of engagement with the developing world. For many decades Irish missionaries have lived and worked together in solidarity with some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, often in extreme situations of famine and conflict. Irish missionary organisations were pioneers in the area of development co-operation and partnership, working through local structures and institutions, and their influence has deepened over time to inform local governments’ own development assistance efforts.

With support from Irish Aid, since its inception in 2004 Misean Cara has developed into a focused and responsive organisation, playing a key role in supporting missionary development work in over 50 countries globally.

Our member organisations recognise the importance of locally owned policies and solutions, and strive to support partners to take a leading role in their own development processes. They recognise from their years of experience that effective development solutions are community-based, locally led and sustainable, which is key to ensuring that the missionary legacy in global development work is positively recognised.

This document sets out a four-year Strategic Plan for Misean Cara for the period 2013-2016. However, the objectives set out here will secure the foundation for a future beyond 2016, a future that is challenging for Irish missionaries as they look to counterparts in developing countries to take forward missionary development work for the next generations. This succession process has been under way for some time with many institutions and programmes handed on to local religious and lay partners. It is imperative that Misean Cara continues to support them in seeking solutions to the complex problems of poverty and inequality.

We recognise the importance of ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the development work that we support. Therefore, during the period of this strategic plan and beyond, we will seek to maintain a high standard of service delivery – building the capacity of member organisations to enable them to increase their responsiveness to those working at field level; assisting them in their work, both with funding and other supports, to ensure good practice and accountability to the people and communities served, as well as value for money and demonstrable quality of results.

Misean Cara supports development interventions that are making a positive and lasting difference in local communities. Over the course of this strategic plan and beyond, together we will continue our positive work, living our core values of respect, justice, commitment, compassion and integrity in the spirit of our Statement of Strategic Intent, and the missionary approach to development, which underpin this plan.

Matt Moran