Joint forum discusses next steps for Concordat

18 Jul 2011     Last updated: 8 Oct 2014

A recent meeting of the Joint Government Voluntary and Community Sector Forum highlighted the Executive's agreement to the Concordat in March and outlined the crucial steps necessary for accomplishing the commitments contained within the document.

The Joint Government Voluntary and Community Sector Forum met on Monday 13 June to discuss the Concordat agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive on 22 March and to identify the next steps for the launch and implementation of the document. The forum agreed that robust action plans must be developed for each of the twelve commitment points within the Concordat to ensure successful delivery.

Working groups, comprising of members from the Joint Forum and with an even mix of voluntary and community sector and Government department representatives in each, have now been established with the aim of developing the action plans. The action plans will then be implemented by Government with support from the voluntary and community sector.

The Concordat will be launched later this year and for any further information, please contact Patricia Stewart, Policy Officer at [email protected] or 028 9087 7777.


Background to the Joint Forum

The Joint Government Voluntary and Community Sector Forum was established in October 1998 to enable dialogue between the voluntary and community sector and central government departments. The voluntary and community sector members on the Joint Forum represent a wide range of organisations, small and large, urban and rural, geographic and thematic.

The objectives of the Joint Forum are:

  • to promote dialogue between the voluntary and community sector and Northern Ireland Government Departments;
  • to provide a formal mechanism by which the voluntary and community sector can raise matters of common concern with Northern Ireland Government Departments and vice versa;
  • to promote general strategic discussions about issues affecting the voluntary and community sector and volunteering and;
  • to encourage the discussion of issues on a co-operative basis and the development of a shared approach to issues and concerns so far as it is possible.   

From this Joint Forum came the Concordat, an agreement between Government and the voluntary and community sector that lays out the shared vision of working together as social partners to build a participative, peaceful, equitable and inclusive community in Northern Ireland and follows on from the 1998 Compact.

The Concordat also outlines the key values and principles and establishes a set of shared commitments on how Government and the sector can work together and this in turn will shape the effective use of resources, including the development of good professional practice and the provision of appropriate accountability on both sides.

For further information on the work of the Joint Forum contact Patricia Stewart on 028 9087 7777 or email [email protected]

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