Joint Government/Voluntary and Community Sector Forum
The Forum was established following the identification of a gap in arrangements for regular dialogue between the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and Government departments. The Concordat includes a list of priority actions - referred to as Commitments - which need to be addressed jointly by both Government and the VCS in order to improve relationships and deliver improved services.
The Voluntary and Community Group (known as the VCG) was established to support the implementation and delivery of the “Concordat between the Voluntary and Community Sector and Government” by enabling engagement and collaboration within the sector to develop the relationship between government and the sector.
A new VCG was selected in August 2012 by a sub group of the NICVA Executive Committee and the new membership spans the sector. When choosing new members, gender balance, geographical representation, sectoral balance and size of organisation were all taken into account to make sure the sector would be represented in a balanced way.
The new members of the VCG are;
Age NI (Chair of VCG and Joint Chair of Joint Forum)
Gingerbread NI (Vice Chair)
Northern Ireland Youth Forum
North West Community Network
Save the Children NI
Sandy Row Community Forum
East Belfast Community Development Agency
Voluntary Arts Ireland
Women’s Resource and Development Agency
Rural Community Network
|Eddie McDowell||Churches Community Work Alliance|
The key responsibilities of the VCG include promoting dialogue and joined up working with government; discussing and implementing the VCS strategy and policy issues on a co-operative basis; identifying key issues and agreeing a common approach where possible; and to play a key role in the Joint Forum.
The VCG members have also been working as part of the Concordat Action Teams on the issues of sector influencing and impacting on government policy, examining how to implement outcome focused funding and dealing with the issue of compliance with the commitments as outlined in the Concordat.
Secretariat and overall responsibility for the VCG lies with NICVA. NICVA also shares responsilibity for secretariat of the overall Joint Forum with the Voluntary and Community Unit in DSD.