Updates from the Policy and Public Affairs Team

Some updates from the NICVA Policy and Public Affairs team on what we've been working on over the past few months.

It’s been a busy start to 2019 for the team, with Brexit being a key focus as the clock quickly runs down. Geoff has been attending meetings and events in both GB and Dublin to highlight that with just over 30 days to go, time is running out to avoid a no deal Brexit.

The first Joint Forum meeting of 2019 was held at the start of February, one focus at this session being on the Universal Credit discussion held in NICVA around the challenges of the roll out of UC here. Click here to see all of the issues that the Joint Forum have been discussing.

We are delighted to have a placement student from QUB, Emma Bramble join the policy team to work on a project around sector awareness and use of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We are hosting a roundtable discussion to explore  'How can the SDGs support voluntary and community organisations’ work?' You can find out more details and register to attend here.

This month the policy team also delivered our fourth Effective Lobbying and Campaigning training session this year to participants of the East Belfast Programme. Register to sign up to the next training session on 14 March here

NICVA Research also teamed up with QUB for an event exploring practical solutions to facilitate community-based research, it is hoped that this kind of collaboration will be continued in the future.

The Next Chapter Project reached it first year this February. NICVA’s chapters in Mid Ulster, Enniskillen and Belfast, Lisburn and Castlereagh continue to grow with more than 170 women registered. There is regularly 15 to 22 women attending the chapter meetings, with 60 women attending the Capacity Building programme and have completed the first two modules. We are delighted that a number of participants are also running for elections and joining boards in community and voluntary groups. 

NICVA also facilitated a meeting of several groups from the disability social care sector to meet with Northern Ireland’s Chief Social Worker, Sean Holland, on issues relating to the voluntary and community sector workforce.

The Coalition of Carers’ Organisations continues to meet on a quarterly basis with a programme of work agreed for 2019.

The Public Affairs Forum held a round table on tips for campaigning in the absence of the NI Assembly before Christmas and we are looking forward to a manifesto engagement series with most of the main parties. The first one will take place with Sinn Fein on Tuesday 26 Feb- you can mail [email protected] for more details and to sign up to the Public Affairs Forum.

Lastly, we’ll be bringing our Conversation Zone to the Alliance Party Conference next month, catch us there!

Please do get in touch with us if you have any queries or questions:

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