This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Advisory Board

Limerick Institute of Technology
Web Site
Thematic Area
Social Sciences and Humanities
Factual description
When the Department of Applied Social Sciences at LIT commenced a four-year BA in Community Development at a new location, it was deemed good practice to create an Advisory Board to foster the development of the academic programme. The new geographic location had a strong history of Community Development and it was recognised that a symbiotic relationship would be advantageous to both academic staff and practitioners. Members of the Advisory Board were drawn from Grassroots community organisations, family resource centres, state-sponsored Community development Programmes, Government Training and network support bodies, along with academic staff and student representatives. Meetings were held once per semester for a three hour period.

Each meeting consisted of two parts; one was a practical session where issues pertaining to programme development were discussed, ideas for development explored and information exchanged between the practitioners and academics regarding emerging trends in the sector. The second part normally took the form of a Workshop where the academic staff prepared material for presentation and discussion based on issues requested by the practitioners. These included the following topics:

Community Development-where are we now? A review of Trends within the Sector

Results from a Training Needs analysis for Local Development Companies by LIT staff

A Case Study from the Youth Sector in Vietnam

Charities Regulation-implications for the Sector

The Maynooth Community Development conference and Declaration explored.

Relevance in complex systems
Community Development is dealing with increasingly complex issues around marginalisation, migration and environmental issues and collaboration between academia and practice is vital in dealing with such complexity.
Strong points
Provided a forum for discussion regarding issues pertaining to community development in the region served by the members

Guided the development of the BA in Community Development and ensure that its content and ethos was relevant sector needs

Advised on module development and content to reflect the emerging needs of the sector
Transferability potential
Sectoral-industry collaborations with academia can be replicated