Developing Women in the Community Programme 2021 - 2024 - project specification

Please ensure you read and note the content of the project specification. This section will provide details of programme delivery and management requirements. It also includes the objectives and outcomes. It is important that these are taken into account when completing your application.

The Developing Women in the Community programme

The Department for Communities (DfC) wishes to appoint suitably qualified and experienced organisations to deliver the Developing Women in the Community programme. The programme must be delivered within local communities in areas that have been identified as part of the location process. Applicants must have experience of working in the local area and be able to identify a minimum of 15 women who would benefit most from the programme. Applicants may employ suitable facilitators to deliver training and provide family support.

Management fee

Successful applicants will be paid a management fee of up to ten percent of the total grant awarded for delivery of the programme. This should be included in your breakdown of costs at application stage.

Programme delivery

It is intended that the structure of the programme will involve four key stages with the opportunity for volunteering and a Family Support element provided throughout the duration of the programme:

  • Stage 1 - Identification and recruitment of women onto the programme
  • Stage 2 - First phase training, focusing on the individual and their specific needs
  • Stage 3 - Second phase training, focusing on skills to assist/equip them to take on roles within their community
  • Stage 4 - Evaluation/Lessons learned, forward planning and celebration event
  • Throughout Stages 1 to 4 – Family Support and provision of a volunteering opportunity to put learning into practise, including the opportunity to develop and deliver a small programme within the community

Many of the participants may not have taken part in a learning experience since leaving school, and may not hold any qualifications. This must be taken into consideration and training and support should be tailored, where required, to ensure that participants are comfortable within the learning environment.

Modular training

Modules should include:

  • Confidence & Self Esteem – boosting confidence, emotional intelligence, motivation and self-respect
  • Personal Development – including essential areas such as money management, confidence building, public speaking and any other skill linked to promoting personal growth
  • Self-awareness – Understanding your own identity, rules and biases, to enable you to become more comfortable with new and diverse perspectives
  • Problem Solving – Help to identify causes, implement solutions and encourage problem prevention
  • Role of women within families/communities
  • Communication Skills
  • Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Leadership

The initial focus will be on developing and building women’s confidence and self-esteem, providing them with the skills, tools and belief to consider taking on a role within their community.  As such the training should be split into two phases with the first five modules focusing on the individual and their specific needs and the second phase focusing on the specific skills required to take on roles within the community.  These skills are transferrable in everyday life and will open up opportunities including improved employability, volunteering or further training opportunities.

Phase one

  • Confidence & Self Esteem
  • Personal Development
  • Self-awareness
  • Problem Solving
  • Role of women within families/ communities

Phase two

  • Communication Skills
  • Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Leadership

The women will learn how to identify their existing strengths and build upon these. They should be given opportunities to develop themselves to gain the confidence and skills needed to become involved in community roles. The course should equip women who care about their community and families to take action to make it a better and safer place to live.

The programme should include training on the role of women in families and the community, promoting the impact that women can have, influencing and encouraging good decision making to achieve positive outcomes.

The programme will require the provision of family support from the outset of the training programme. Support should be provided to participants - identifying, addressing and/or signposting women who require help with needs which may include: parenting, education, health, domestic abuse, mental health, anti-social behaviour, substance misuse, offending, adverse childhood experiences and finance/budgeting.

It is essential that the women are assisted with key issues of concern in their family environment in order for them to be able to focus on themselves going forward and how they can become positive influencers within their community.

The women should also be encouraged and provided with the opportunity to take on a volunteering role for a minimum of one hour per week, for a six week period, within their community.  It will be a requirement of the delivery organisation to identify and facilitate a suitable volunteering opportunity for each woman who takes up the opportunity and provide support throughout this period.

The women will also be given the opportunity and support to develop and deliver a small project using the knowledge and skills they have gained. This may be undertaken as a solo activity, or as a group with other participants from the project. It may be built into the volunteering role, if applicable. The project should relate to the Fresh Start Programme’s aims and objectives and examples could include active citizenship, community safety awareness, educational programmes, health and safety. Funding required for this will be included in the contract and should be included in your breakdown of costs at application stage. If participants decide to avail of this opportunity their proposals must be discussed with and approved by DfC in advance.

Project aims and objectives


  1. To provide training and support to women, empowering them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to become involved in transformational community development
  2. To identify and recruit women who will benefit most from the support and guidance provided
  3. To increase the number of women involved in leadership and decision making roles within their communities
  4. To increase community capacity
  5. To improve mental health and emotional well being
  6. To support families and strengthen the family unit


  1. Individual women enhance their capacity to engage in community development
  2. Individual women increase their participation in transformative community development
  3. Enhance capacity of groups to support and/or lead transition
  4. Women and groups have influential relationships at different levels to support and/or lead positive change
  5. Enhanced parental capacity - improved resilience, self-esteem, confidence and knowledge in managing their children’s behaviour and providing guidance
  6. Increased opportunities for disaffected young people
  7.  Increased resilience to paramilitarism, criminality and coercive control
  8. Positive change in aspirations for themselves and their communities
  9. Support services available and clear pathways to access those services
  10. Improved community relations
  11. Safer Communities

Programme management

  • Successful applicants will be required to attend regular (monthly) meetings with DfC and be willing to share learning and experience with other successful Applicants
  • Funding will be awarded through Grant Funding. All successful applicants must adhere to the conditions of their contract
  • Applicants to complete pre and post project surveys with participants. These will be designed by DfC. Anonymised results should then be shared with the Department
  • Progress Reports to be submitted two-monthly and include Case Studies

Project requirements 

  • Organisations should submit only one Project Plan for their local area
  • Applications to be submitted on the official application form
  • Project Plans should target participants from the area in which the programme will be delivered
  • Applicants should recruit women who will benefit most from the programme and the intervention it provides. Those who are most at need, young people and parents/carers/partners of those vulnerable to the influence of criminal behaviour should be prioritised
  • Applicants should be willing to provide a volunteering opportunity for the participants within their own organisation or in another local community/voluntary group
  • Applicants should have mitigation factors in place to address Government restrictions which may be imposed due to the COVID-19 situation
  • Applicants will be required to provide travel expenses to participants upon receipt of valid receipts. This will be provided at no additional cost to the participant and should be included in the applicants cost schedule
  • Applicants will be required to provide child care arrangements, with an approved child care provider, for the participants and also support for those participants who have caring responsibilities for elderly or ill relatives. These services will be provided at no extra cost to the participant and should be included within the applicants cost schedule
  • Successful applicants will be required to submit a minimum of two quotations from two different suppliers for the items requested in the breakdown of grant. The Department will request these at a later date.
Back to top