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.


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)

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.

Over 28,000 more NI households to benefit from £600 Energy Bill Support Scheme

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has released information on how domestic customers without a direct relationship with an energy supplier can receive support for Energy Bills.

Heating Oil User? Want to be amongst the first to receive the new Alternative Fuels Payment? Contact NICVA

Does your organisation use heating oil?  Would you like to join a trial of the new UK Non-Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment (ND AFP) scheme and apply to receive your payment early?  Read on. 

NICVA draft response to Charity Commission's draft strategic plan consultation

The Charity Commission’s consultation on its draft strategic plan for 2023-2026 and its engagement strategy will close for responses on 6 March at 5.00 PM (extended from the 6 February).  

£600 energy support for Northern Ireland households to start in January

The UK Government has confirmed how customers without direct debits will receive their £600 voucher to help with energy bills.


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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