Policy & Public Affairs

NICVA’s Policy and Public Affairs Team provides a range of services to inform you about policy issues affecting your work, and provide you with the skills and opportunities to engage with policymakers

As well as providing information, skills, and opportunities to engage directly with policymakers and influence policy, the Policy and Public Affairs Team also directly represents the sector’s interests on a wide range of external forums and groups. In addition, our team includes NICVA’s research function, which undertakes ongoing research to increase understanding of the sector, its views, and its value to society.  We also offer  advice on undertaking research, and work with our universities and other research bodies to encourage research partnerships with our sector.

As part of our work we offer the opportunity to join meetings and events held by our Public Affairs Forum which provides regular opportunities for those working in policy and public affairs to come together and exchange knowledge with others in the sector, and a space to meet invited policymakers and influencers.  

We regularly consult our members and the wider sector to gather your thoughts on what issues need to be lobbied on or brought to the attention of policy and decision makers. This consultation has enabled us to develop  our Manifesto for Change  and our ongoing consultations and seminars help ensure that your views, concerns and proposals on specific current issues are reflected and represented to policymakers.

Our Current Campaigns

Through this campaign, NICVA is representing the sector’s concerns about Brexit and helping the sector meet the challenges of changing international frameworks as well global trends in society.

NICVA is seeking to ensure that the sector is fully involved in the debate on how Northern Ireland can best transform health and social care services to meet growing needs and improve outcomes, and fully enabled to make its own major contribution to prevention and service provision.

Through this campaign, NICVA is gathering evidence to quantify and communicate the value of this sector’s work to society. This help reflect the importance of the work you do and the need to support it to the media, government, and the public.

Through this campaign, NICVA is seeking to ensure that the sector has a real say in the shape of future investment and that future funding mechanisms are transparent and consistent for all.

NICVA is working closely with Universities and others to encourage research that has tangible positive impacts and benefits for society, meets key needs identified by our sector, and is carried out through positive collaboration and partnership.

NICVA is seeking to ensure that our support services meet the needs of the ethnic minority sector in Northern Ireland. Through a programme of engagement we are developing our understanding of the challenges and tailoring our support to meet these.


Cost of Living Crisis- Key Asks

NICVA is seeking meetings with Ministers on the impacts of the cost of living crisis on the voluntary and community sector following discussions with sector representatives and relevant Government Departments.

Non-functioning Northern Ireland Executive has negative impact on our daily lives. 

With the absence of a functioning Executive, we are in a further period of damaging inertia.  Important decisions legally cannot now be made- the most obvious the finalising of a three-year budget 

Time is running out to save critical services to help the most vulnerable

NICVA issued a statement today to reflect the concern that members have expressed regarding the continuation of critical services funded through the European Social Fund (ESF)

NICVA welcomes political parties to HQ for talks on Department of Health cuts

NICVA and CO3 welcomed representatives of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector and representatives from across the political spectrum to discuss the recent news that Department of Health Core funding will not continue past September.

What is next for NICVA following meeting with NI Secretary of State

NICVA, and representatives of the Northern Ireland Voluntary and Community Sector, welcomed Northern Ireland Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris MP to their headquarters recently, following the recent publication of the 2023/24 budget.

Spring Covid-19 Booster Programme - How sector organisations can help

On 9th May, NICVA hosted an information and Q&A session with the Public Health Agency on the spring Covid-19 vaccine booster programme and how community & voluntary organisations can encourage take up

NICVA and voluntary and community sector representatives meet with Northern Ireland Secretary of State

NICVA, and representatives of the Northern Ireland Voluntary and Community Sector, welcomed Northern Ireland Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris MP to their headquarters today, following last week’s publication of the 2023/24 budget.

Charity Commission for NI Scheme of Delegation Consultation

The Department for Communities is consulting on a draft Scheme of Delegation for the Charity Commission which details decisions to be made by staff, senior management and those which are reserved for a committee of the Commissioners.

New report calls for greater government and business support for NI Ireland civil society and voluntary/community organisations

The Law Family Commission has published a new report which makes strong recommendations for a radical shake-up in how government and business support and work with civil society to unlock their full potential.

Local Elections: VCSE Sector Manifestos

On the 18 May 2023, local elections will be held across Northern Ireland to elect 462 councillors across 11 local councils.

Policy and Public Affairs Team Quarterly Update (January – March 2023)

Catch up on some highlights of what NICVA's Policy and Public Affairs Team have been up to in the last quarter to support the work and key interests of the sector:

The Spring Budget and what it means for our sector

This year's Budget will mean an additional £130m for public spending in Northern Ireland over the next two years.

Ofgem Announces Energy Price Cap Update to Start in April

Energy regulator, Ofgem, announced yesterday (27th February 2023) it’s energy price cap for the upcoming quarter.

geoff.nuttall@nicva.org's picture

Geoff Nuttall

Head of Policy and Public Affairs


Dr. Helena Mc Elhinney Research Officer Helena Mc Elhinney's picture
Geoff Nuttall Head of Policy and Public Affairs geoff.nuttall@nicva.org's picture
Kathy Maguire Policy Development Officer kathy.maguire@nicva.org's picture
Suzie Cahn Shared Island Project Director suzie@wheel.ie's picture

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