NICVA Partner With The Detail On Lottery Funded Project

Kathryn Torney (The Detail), Joanne McDowell (Big Lottery Fund NI), Stephen McCaffery (The Detail) and Lisa McEleherron (NICVA)

A project that will use the power of information to allow the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland to better support people most in need has been awarded a grant of £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

NICVA has partnered with The Detail, an investigative news and analysis website, for the Detail Data project, which will equip community and voluntary groups to better understand the needs of communities, plan their services and support vulnerable sections of society. The project is being supported with a grant of £500,000 from The Big Lottery fund.

NICVA’s member groups, and other interested groups or organisations in the community and voluntary sector, will work with The Detail to analyse, collect and present information on issues affecting their communities in areas such as education, health and justice. Those who take part will be supported and trained to use the information to support the people they work with. This will be done through a mix of training, conferences, seminars and events where open data will be de-mystified and it's potential explained in more depth. A network of 'data champions' for the voluntary and community sector will also be established, meaning the potential for using open data will be embedded in the sectors work.

A publicly accessible online data store will also be developed. This will house a range of data that will be of use to the sector, there will be training in how to use the datastore and understand the data and a helpdesk for those looking for data to help them in their work.  It is also expected that the three-year project will publish 30 high impact data driven news stories on issues of relevance to the voluntary and community sector.



NICVA chief executive Seamus McAleavey said: “We know that the community and voluntary sector could make better use of the huge amount of data that there is available, if they knew how to find and examine the data.

“NICVA has been developing the sector's skills in the use of data for some time. This project will help us extend that work so it reaches even greater numbers of people.

“This project will give the sector those skills, and they can then use the information to identify gaps and plan better services, leading to better outcomes for the people they work with.

“We are pleased to be working with The Detail, and with our links to the sector and their journalism skills the project will help communities articulate their needs in a powerful and meaningful way.”

Editor of The Detail Steven McCaffery said: “Journalism is about empowering people with information. This project will ensure that our data journalism can help the voluntary and community sector to better understand and voice the needs of people and communities.

“The Detail has pioneered the use of data journalism in Northern Ireland, examining huge datasets on issues including education, health, the economy and the administration of justice.

“Our award winning reporting has shed light on important subjects, but by connecting our data journalism to organisations working at community level it can become a tool to be used to benefit the lives of people across Northern Ireland.  NICVA’s network of voluntary and community sector groups are ideal partners. We are delighted that the Big Lottery Fund is supporting this vital project.”           

Big Lottery Fund NI Director Joanne McDowell said: “We are delighted to announce this grant to The Detail to deliver the Detail Data project. We hope this project will empower community and voluntary groups to use the huge range of information now available to support people and communities who need our help the most.”

Recruitment for the project will begins shortly, you can follow the project on Twitter @detaildata

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