Joint Forum between the Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector - Meeting 23rd June 2021
Despite the virtual limitations this was a energised meeting with lively cross sectoral sharing and discussion.
Chaired by Anne-Marie McClure, Start 360 (JF Chair, VCS Panel), the Forum’s membership, which comprises 15 community and voluntary sector representatives from across the sector, and representatives from all NI central government departments and local government had a packed agenda to consider.
Joint Forum Work Plan
Amongst the items under discussion was an updated Work Programme for the Forum which shall include work streams on: Tackling Bureaucracy in Government Funding; Maximising Social Value in Commissioning, Funding & Procurement processes; and Post Covid Recovery and Renewal. Integral to this plan will be a work stream aimed at supporting relationship building and communication across the sectors. Throughout this new term, the Forums membership will also continue work on establishing the long-term vision and direction for the Joint Forum, including its structures and practices. Once this work plan is finalised, the Forum will progress work on these issues through a series of joint sector & government task and finish groups.
Joint Forum Terms of Reference
In addition, the meeting included discussion and agreement of a new interim Terms of Reference for the Forum which details how members shall practically work together throughout this new term.
Lessons & Learning from the COVID-19 response
The agenda also included reflections from Sharron Russell, DfC and Public Sector Joint Forum Co Chair on ‘Lessons and Learning’ from the COVID-19 response, in particular how it has informed and influenced governments relationship with the community and voluntary sector and ways of working.
The next full Joint Forum meeting is scheduled to take place in October 2021 with a busy schedule of work being taken forward by the Joint Forum’s membership and its Secretariat in the interim.
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