Impact of East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership Programme

2 Jul 2019 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 2 Jul 2019

NICVA was delighted to complete delivery of the East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership Programme on 30 April 2019 with targets exceeded and excellent feedback from the East Belfast groups and organisations who took part. 

The programme was funded by the Northern Ireland Executive’s Social Investment Fund as part of the Delivering Social Change programme and worked with community groups and individuals in East Belfast to improve capacity, leadership and networking. The programme was managed by the East Belfast Community Development Agency (EBCDA) and delivered by a partnership of NICVA, Interaction Institute, Youth Action and TIDES Training.

The Numbers

The programme far exceeded the targets set.

  • 181 groups/organisations involved in the programme
  • 602 individuals partcipanted in the programme
  • Over 400 sessions held with more than 2000 attendees
  • Over 150 accreditations achieved.

What the programme offered

The programme offered a number of ways to engage:

  • Accredited training for example in Leadership and Management, Coaching and Mentoring and Facilitative Leadership
  • Bespoke training in topics tailored to the needs of individual groups
  • Leadership mentoring
  • Governance Reviews
  • Networking Events
  • Accredited courses in Youth Work
  • Support for Emerging Leaders
  • Partnership Projects.

The impact the programme had

It was clear from participant feedback that the programme had impact at a number of levels across East Belfast, from the individual to the strategic and network level.

Here’s what some of our participants had to say:

“The ongoing work we do with this group will go directly back into the work I do. Better relationships, and more collaborations”.

“It has helped me to build effective relationships in the East Belfast area”.

“The work we have done today is helping to shape the way forward for us and will help us attain sustainability for the future.”

 “Facilitative Leadership was a brilliant experience, the content and presentation excellent. The skills developed and practical tools have been very useful e.g. how to chair and lead discussions combining theory and practice. These skills and techniques are being used by those who have undertaken the training across a range of organisations"

"Collaborative leadership has offered the skills and knowledge to approach, plan and deliver a collaborative project and act appropriately not simply take over a process”.



Success of the programme 

We believe that the success of the programme was down to the ability to be flexible to meet peoples' and communities' needs, as well as having a team of people who were committed to seeing change and were willing to share their expertise and knowledge. We built relationships, listened to people and delivered what best suited their needs; always reflecting, learning and adapting as we went through the programme.

“We at NICVA believe that the East Belfast programme has been so successful because of the model used. The programme offered multiple ways to engage, was delivered by a team of experts and used a Community Development approach throughout. We believe that this flexible model offering different ways to engage with a focus on meeting needs rather than just delivering an off-the-shelf product, is the reason that the programme has exceeded all anticipated targets”.

Seamus McAleavey CEO NICVA

What Next?

The Emerging Leaders’ group has already planned their next meeting and will continue to do so on a regular basis to continue to support each other and to plan further collaborations aimed at improving life in East Belfast for all.

EBCDA is working to develop a network of those who have completed the ILM Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring qualification in order to develop a coaching culture in East Belfast.

The Youth Practitioners’ Forum has adopted the “Open Space” approach which they learned about on the programme.



NICVA would like to thank everyone involved in the East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership Programme:

  • The Executive Office SIF programme for funding it
  • EBCDA for managing it
  • All of our partners for delivering and working hard to make it a success: Interaction Institute for Social Change, Youth Action and TIDES Training
  • To the team at NICVA for all your input to the programme
  • To all of the volunteers, staff and management committee members from groups and organisations in East Belfast who embraced the programme and made it a delight to work on!'s picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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