About Us

The Men’s Development Network is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Waterford City with the key focus on being leaders in promoting change and equality within society. Under the mission statement: “Better Lives for Men; Better Lives for All” the Men’s Development Network works with men on various levels including one-to-one, developmental, parenting, behaviour change group work, training, phone line support and awareness raising. This work is carried out through our funded projects including Men’s Development Programme, Men’s Health Programme, Mend Domestic Violence Intervention Programme, Men’s Advice Line and Men’s Counselling Service. The Men’s Development Network has also influenced policy on Men’s issues at local, regional, national and international levels and has a good record in multi-agency work and engagement.

Our Story

The Men’s Development Network CLG was founded in 1997 when men working in the social care field; probation, youth work, addictions, academia and health came together to discuss what was rapidly becoming a crisis. They realised that there were no initiatives to work with men on their development where they lived. This was not only having a negative impact on men, women and children but also on the communities we live in, on society, and also across many broad professional fields of social care. Together it was decided that this group of men would work to identify the key issues in their lives, highlight the issues that needed addressing and offer solutions. It was originally known as the South East Men’s Network Ltd. In 1999 it changed to The Men’s Development Network CLG and is ‘about change for men and in men’.

Along with the Men’s Development Network overall aim to work with men towards achieving beneficial change, we do specific work on these issues through programmes and initiatives that have been identified as needing particular attention including:

  • The Men’s Development Programme which is funded by Department of Community and Rural Development facilitating men’s community leadership in communities affected by marginalization and maintaining men’s development through our National Network funded by the Dormant Accounts Fund through Pobal.
  • Promoting men’s health nationally through the Men’s Health Programme and Engage Training in partnership with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive.
  • Co-ordinating the CHOICES Domestic Violence Intervention Programmes funded by COSC through the Department of Justice and Equality.
  • Providing counselling and support on an individual basis funded by Tusla.
  • Gender Equality Mainstreaming funded by the Health Service Executive (H.S.E.).
  • Working with particular groups of men including Traveller Men, Male Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Male Victims of Violence, Fathers, and parents, funded by the H.S.E., Education and Training Boards, Area Partnerships and other Agencies.
  • Delivering our Parenting Support Programme to fathers and mothers funded by the H.S.E., and Education and Training Boards.
  • Researching modern men’s issues funded by the Health Service Executive, Cosc and Pobal and Area Partnerships.
  • Providing training and education on men’s development work and men’s health on a national level.
  • Organising, providing, promoting, delivering and supporting programmes, campaigns and events to end violence against women and men and to end prostitution and sex-trafficking.

The Men’s Development Network provides its key services by:

  • Organizing and training our representatives across Ireland that carry out the networking function in their communities. Nationally the Men’s Development Network has volunteer representatives across Ireland.
  • Maintaining and supporting a nationwide membership comprising both individuals and groups.
  • Promoting academic discourse on men and issues facing men.
  • Providing educational programmes for teachers, students, boys and young men in education at all levels and linking to other parallel programmes.
  • Making alliances with other organisations that are working towards the improvement of people’s lives.
  • Working in partnership and support of women’s organisations and women’s services.
  • Representing men’s development work in Ireland at E.U. level and in the USA, Australia, India and Africa.
  • Informing research on men and men’s lives in Ireland, the UK, and in the EU.
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships at international levels with the main movers on men’s issues.
  • Preparing publications on men, and ways of working with men, funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, National Office of Suicide Prevention and the Dormant Accounts Fund through the Department of Health.

MDN’s publications include:

7 Key Questions for Men

Supporting Men in Challenging Times

Booklets on Ending Violence