About Us

80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World is an Irish-based registered charity founded in 1996 promoting popular education on human development and human rights. For 80:20, education is fundamental to understanding the shape and nature of our unequal world, to interacting with that world as well as to imagining and shaping a different world.

In this section:


Introducing ourselves and our work

People can change their world. Education can enable them to do it.

For 80:20, education is fundamental to understanding the shape and nature of our unequal world, to interacting with that world as well as to imagining and shaping a different world.  Education does this in 3 important ways:

1. It creates choice

When we understand what is going on in our world our range of choices increase. What action should we take? What action can we take? Education gives us greater freedom because it stimulates our ability to imagine the world differently, and it opens out eyes to possibilities we would not have considered.

2. It generates capacity

When we have been supported in doing something in a hands-on way, we are better equipped to go and do it for ourselves. How do you take action? What are the dangers and the pitfalls? How do I do it effectively? When education actively engages with learners it equips them to take responsibility for themselves.

3. It supplies motivation

When we understand and feel what a denial of human rights mean in people’s lives we will care enough to do something about it. When we understand that we can do something about it, our motivation to make a difference will be stronger.

80:20 believes in using education to enable people to change their world for the better.

We design and deliver educational projects on a variety of issues such as:

  • Youth and Citizenship
  • Human Rights in Ireland and internationally
  • Working with young people to explore issues such as genocide, the arms trade, migration, women’s rights and their relevance to issues from local and developing world perspectives

For more, meet the team, explore 80:20’s educational approach,  governance & finances, learn about our education and research consultancy services or see how you can support our work


Current programme of work

80:20’s current programme of work is based on its strategic plan 2014-2017, which includes:

  • Let’s Talk – an education project which aims to give young people a chance to become involved in discussing and taking action on issues such as climate change, conflict, sustainable development, peace and reconciliation. 
  • 7th Edition, 80-20 Development in an Unequal World – supporting the production and engagement of teachers, civil society activists and students in the best-selling educational resource – now used internationally in South Africa, Australia, the UK, the US, Zambia and, of course Ireland. The 7th edition of 80-20 is co-published with the New Internationalist (2016).
  • developmenteducation.ie consortium – 80:20 maintains and works in partnership on a key development education reference point in Ireland, developmenteducation.ie, as a partnership-based project that supports and delivers popular education on development and education issues, guided and financed by a consortium of non-governmental organisations including Aidlink, Concern Worldwide, Gorta-Self Help Africa, the Irish Development Education Association, the National Youth Council of Ireland and Trócaire.
  • Production and publishing – as a small publisher, 80:20 is involved in all stages of production in conceiving and developing multimedia and resource products, both as part of its own programme work and in collaboration with others. Our work has included non-formal education and curriculum specific resources. Got an idea that you’re interested in exploring with us? Get in touch.
  • Human Rights Summer School, Sliema – co-delivering an annual human rights summer school for diplomats and civil society workers in partnership with the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, Malta.
  • Curriculum work – engaging and advocating in curricular and policy reform opportunities (and joint submissions) on a regular basis, including, for example, during the consultation phase of the National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (2014) and periodic subject reform at the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.
  • Consultancy and evaluation – research, evaluation and resource production consultancy activities and initiatives in development and human rights education such as resource production (across all stages of production), be-spoke global citizenship and human rights education workshops and capacity building training.

For more, explore the network initiatives we are involved in.