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)

Voluntary and Community Sector Representation on the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme – NICVA Call for Nominations

On behalf of the Department of Health, NICVA is currently seeking nominations for a range of Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) positions across the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme.

Shaping the Future Relationship with Government

An update from Denise Hayward, VCS Co-Chair of the Joint Forum on behalf of the Voluntary and Community Sector Panel, on proposals for a new Agreement between the Voluntary and Community Sector and Government 

Budget cuts and inequality in Northern Ireland

Joint press release by the Equality Commission and NICVA.

NICVA convene sector-wide meeting with Shadow Secretary of State Hilary Benn

On Thursday 28th September, NICVA convened a sector-wide meeting with the newly appointed Shadow Secretary of State Hilary Benn.

Scoring Social Value in Public Contracts

Want to know how to demonstrate Social Value in bidding for public contracts? Read and watch this special info & Q&A session held by NICVA on 14th September to find out more

Keeping Our Heads Above Water - How to Get Affordable Green Energy

Feeling overwhelmed by soaring energy bills? Too overwhelmed to think about the climate crisis? On 8th September, NICVA held a special event to help voluntary and community organisations meet both of these big challenges.

NICVA looks ahead with Future Thinking Series

Much of this year has been about looking back.

Looking back and rightly recognising the impact and contribution of our sector to The Good Friday Agreement and the lasting peace which has followed.

Joint Forum Communique - June 2023

Catch up on the most recent news and activity happening via the Government and Voluntary & Community Sector Joint Forum.

NICVA proud to announce new All Party Group for Voluntary and Community Sector

NICVA are proud to announce we will be the secretariat for a new All Party Group for the Voluntary and Community Sector at Stormont, giving our sector better and more direct access to elected representatives.

NI Budget 2023: Government departments consult on funding proposals

The opening budget for 2023-24 has now been set by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and with allocations falling significantly short, local Government Departments will be forced to demonstrate savings.


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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