There is no doubt that there are challenging times ahead for the voluntary and community sector and the people and communities we work with. But in tough times the worst we can do is sit back, let it happen and hope we can weather the storm. Right across NICVA we have been reviewing how we support our members, help them be more resilient and ultimately achieve their aims and objects. And our policy work is no different.
Given the current situation across the sector and a wide spread sense of disengagement by and from government, it would be easy for us to become disillusioned and deflated. But that would be doing our organisations and the people we work with a huge disservice. There is such a wealth of experience, expertise and passion in voluntary and community organissations that genuinely can make a huge difference to life in Northern Ireland.
So, with this in mind and with the 2016 elections firmly in our sights we have developed a few new ways of facilitating the sector to come together and focus on creating positive social change. We are starting with three new opportunities.
Our new Departmental Monitoring Groups will keep a close eye on the work of each department. Policy Hacks are a totally new way of coming together develop solutions to social, economic and environmental issues. And the Influence > Access Policy Pop Ups will provide insights into how key decisions are made.
And this is just the beginning of our new approach. Look out for info on the DetailData programme of training and seminars on data driven policy making and our policy costings toolkit which will allow you to apply governments own ‘green book’ costing system to your policy asks.