The Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two
The Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two has been designed to:
- equip women with the confidence and skills required to take on roles within their communities
- give participants the opportunity to volunteer within their communities
- provide participants with the opportunity to design and develop a small programme using the skills and knowledge gained from the programme
- include an element of family support, which will give the women the skills and knowledge needed to increase capacity within their own families, thus provide the support and guidance to influence family members to make positive life choices
- be delivered within existing community infrastructures in District Electoral Areas (DEAs) which have been identified as areas in most need
The Executive Programme on Paramilitarism and Organised Crime
The Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two contributes to the Executive Programme on Paramilitarism and Organised Crime (EPPOC). Phase Two of this programme runs between 2021 and 2024 with an overall programme aim to create “safer communities, resilient to paramilitarism, criminality and coercive control”. Phase Two of the programme focuses on supporting people and communities across Northern Ireland who are vulnerable to paramilitary influence. This high level outcome translates into two end-benefits:
- people and communities are safe from the harm caused by paramilitarism
- safer communities, resilient to paramilitarism, criminality and coercive control
The Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two seeks to contribute towards attaining end benefit 2.
The Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two will ensure that women are equipped to take on more leadership roles in public decision making.
The long term outcome will be an increase in community resilience and cohesion, where people feel safe in their communities and are confident to make decisions and contribute to influential community decisions.
The Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two seeks to fund projects that will achieve all of the objectives. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how their programme proposal will meet these objectives.
All Developing Women in the Community programmes must promote good relations between the women they engage with.
Neither ‘good relations’ nor ‘promoting good relations’ is defined in legislation. However, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has developed the following working definition of ‘good relations’:
The growth of relationships and structures for Northern Ireland that acknowledge the religious, political and racial context of this society, and that seek to promote respect, equity and trust, and embrace diversity in all its forms. (Equality Commission, 2008)
Women and target groups
The Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two will target women of all ages. Young women, in particular, should be encouraged to take part, as well as parents/carers of teenagers. The programme will not be exclusive to those young women and parents/carers. The minimum recommended age of participants is 16 years old.
Women who are currently disengaged from community development activities should be identified, encouraged and enabled to participate in the programme. Applicants should ensure that underrepresented groups e.g. women from an ethnic minority background and women with a disability are made aware of the opportunity and recruited. The participants must be from the communities in which the programme is being delivered.
The Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two will be delivered to participants from eligible District Electoral Areas (DEAs) which have been identified as having the most need. If the programme is oversubscribed, DfC reserve the right to prioritise on the basis of need.
The identified DEAs are as follows:
|Local Council Area||DEA|
|Antrim & Newtownabbey||Macedon|
|Ards & North Down||Newtownards|
|Causeway Coast & Glens||Coleraine
|Derry & Strabane||The Moor
|Mid & East Antrim||Knockagh|
If you are unsure of the streets/roads/estates, etc within the eligible DEAs listed above, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISR) provides detail on the addresses included within DEAs. To identify your DEA insert your postcode in the postcode box and change the Geography box from All to DEA2014. This will identify your DEA which can then be checked against the eligible DEAs detailed above.
DfC will welcome applications for project delivery:
- from individual organisations
- from partnership organisations
for delivery in one or more eligible DEA(s) within the same Local Government District (LGD). This is to ensure delivery at grass roots level.
Successful applications will be ranked in merit order within each LGD.
You will be asked to identify the DEA(s) in which you have experience of delivering training and support programmes. Your application will not be progressed further if:
- you do not specify the DEA(s) in which you propose to deliver; or
- you do not have experience of programme delivery in the specified DEA(s); or
- your specified DEA(s) is not from the list of eligible DEAs
You will be notified if you are ineligible for any of these reasons.
Duration and funding limits
Eligible community based organisations can apply for grants up to a maximum of £80,000 per project.*
Developing Women in the Community Phase Two programmes must be completed by 31 March 2024.
Funding will be awarded as follows:
- £30,000 for 2022/23 year and must be spent by 31 March 2023 and
- £50,000 for 2023/24 year which must be spent by 31 March 2024*
Applications which include an element of match funding will not be considered and you will be advised if you are unsuccessful for this reason. Applications which include in kind contributions will be considered.
*Subject to budget availability, funding limits may change.
Applying to the Developing Women in the Community Phase Two programme has been made as simple and stress free as we can possibly make it. Your organisation will be required to complete an online application form. The application form includes two stages.
Applicants should ensure to:
- read the Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two information and guidance notes
- familiarise yourself with Developing Women in the Community Phase Two Programme specification and what it seeks to achieve
- decide if your organisation is eligible to apply and if it has capacity to deliver a project
Stage one - organisation eligibility
Your organisation will be required to register with or update the Government Funding Database (GFD) and upload the requested governance documents. (This does not apply to Public Bodies/Agencies). This is to ensure your organisation is fit to spend public money.
You will be asked to confirm that the following key documents have been uploaded to the GFD:
- constitution/memorandum of association
- annual accounts
- organisation chart
- list of office bearers
Please ensure all documents are up-to-date and the latest versions available. They must be signed and dated by two Office Bearers. If your most recent accounts are not available, you will be asked on the application form to provide an explanation for this.
Registration with the Government Funding Database (GFD) is essential for applying to the Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two. Guidance on GFD registration, updating records and uploading documents is available online.
You will also be asked to confirm which of the following policies/procedures your organisation has in place:
- strategic/operational plan
- procurement/tender procedures
- statutory requirements i.e.
- equal opportunities
- fair employment
- disability discrimination
- age discrimination
- fraud policy
- health and safety policy
- employer and public liability insurance
- mobile phone policy
- child protection policy/safeguarding policy
- information management policy (GDPR)
- information asset policy
- internet policy
- document retention policy
- conflict of interest register/policy
- travel policy
- volunteering policy
- recruitment policy
- reserves policy
The final step of the first stage is to indicate which DEA(s) your organisation will deliver in. Your organisation will be asked to fully demonstrate previous experiences of providing training and support in the selected DEA(s) as part of the application process.
Stage two - programme delivery
In this section you will be required to provide details of a project proposal which will achieve the objectives of the programme. Projects must specifically target women from the identified eligible DEA(s) and deliver within these DEA(s).
It is recommended that organisations carefully consider the Project Specification alongside this Information & Guidance Note and decide whether your organisation is best placed to deliver a women’s training and support programme that will make a difference to the individual’s lives, their families’ lives and the community.
You will be required to provide:
- information on your organisation and its experience
- a project proposal
- detail on how you will meet the project objectives
- an accurate breakdown of costs. The total cost required from DfC should not exceed £80,000. The information provided should include budget heading, total cost per budget heading, how this was calculated and amount required from DfC
The application period will stay open for four weeks.
- you should submit your completed application form online – the closing date is 4.00pm on Monday 31 October 2022
- late submissions will be deemed ineligible
- take care to review all sections when completing the application form
- ensure you provide up-to-date organisational contact information
- provide your GFD Unique Reference Number (URN)
- submissions with missing key documents will also be deemed ineligible, apart from public bodies/agencies where this does not apply
- if you wish to receive an email to acknowledge receipt, please ensure you enter your e-mail address when submitting your application
Assessment of application
The first stage of your application and GFD records will be checked by officials against the following criteria:
- your constitution permits your organisation to deliver this type of programme
- your constitution permits your organisation to deliver in the specified DEA(s)
- your annual accounts show that your organisation is in good financial health
- your organisation has a structure that shows capacity to deliver a project
- your organisation has at least 3 committee members
- your policies are in place
- your application has specified an eligible DEA(s) for programme delivery
If your organisation is found to be ineligible at this stage, your application will not be processed further and you will be informed of the decision.
All other applications will be further assessed by officials.
Stage two assessment
Stage two of your application will be assessed by DfC officials using the following criteria, and scored against the success factors listed below.
Criteria one - organisational experience
- the applicant has demonstrated experience of delivering training and support projects
- the applicant adopts a human rights based approach and a gendered approach to community development
- the applicant has delivered successful projects in the specified eligible DEA(s)
- the applicant has demonstrated experience of delivering or committing to an adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s) aware and trauma informed approach to service delivery (recognising that organisations can be at different stage on the journey to becoming trauma informed)
Criteria two - project proposal
- the project proposal clearly demonstrates that it will deliver all requirements detailed under programme delivery in the project specification
- the project proposal will address the objectives and outcomes detailed in the project specification
- the project has been well planned
Criteria three - contribution to objectives
To provide training and support to women, empowering them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to become involved in community development.
- the project proposal clearly demonstrates what training modules will be delivered to bring about community development in women
- the project proposal outlines detail on how it will provide the opportunity for participants to take on a volunteering role and develop/deliver a small programme
To identify, recruit and sustain women who will benefit most from the support and guidance provided.
- the project proposal clearly demonstrates the approach to identify, recruit and sustain women
- the project proposal clearly demonstrates that the participants will be those who will benefit most from the programme
To increase the number of women involved in leadership and decision making roles within their communities.
- the project proposal clearly demonstrates how it will provide women with the confidence and skills to undertake leadership and decision making roles within their community
To improve mental health and emotional well-being.
- the project proposal clealy demonstrates how it will provide training and support in mental health and emotional well-being
- the project provides links to other support services delivered in the area
To support families and strengthen the family unit.
- the project proposal clearly demonstrates how support will be identified and addressed for individual participants and their family members (if applicable)
- the project proposal clearly demonstrates how it will provide links to other support services delivered in the area
Criteria four - value for money
- have the project costs been calculated accurately?
- are costs proportionate to the size and scale of project?
- are the proposed costs essential to project delivery?
Your application will be scored using the following matrix:
|Link at project level||Score|
|No evidence of the organisations ability to deliver a project which addresses the criteria||0|
|Little evidence of the organisations ability to deliver a project which addresses the criteria||1|
|Some measures of the organisations ability to deliver a project which addresses the criteria||2|
|Good evidence of the organisations ability to deliver a project which addresses the criteria||3|
|Well documented evidence of the organisations ability to deliver a project which addresses the criteria||4|
Applications will be assessed and scored by officials. Each criteria will have a minimum required score. If your application fails to meet the minimum required score in one criteria or more, your application will be unsuccessful. You will be advised in which criteria you did not meet the minimum required score.
Please note, further feedback or advice cannot be provided on how applicants could improve their proposal as this would provide an unfair advantage if further opportunities for funding become available.
A total quality scoring threshold will normally be set at 70%.
All applications will be moderated by a decision making panel. The Developing Women in the Community programme Phase Two has a limited budget and is likely to be highly competitive. It is therefore unlikely that Fresh Start will be able to support all eligible organisations and decisions taken by the Department for Communities will be final. There will be no appeals process.
Following assessment, applications will be placed in merit order within their LGD and then DEA. Funding will be awarded to the highest scoring application(s) within a LGD. DfC will fund up to one project per DEA (subject to identified need, funding availability and the volume of applications).
DfC aim to make decisions within two weeks of the closing date, subject to volume of applications.
What happens if your application is successful at stage two?
- the department will issue you with a decision letter
- the highest scoring applicant(s) for each LGD will be issued with a Letter of Offer, subject to identified need, budget and volume of applications
- all other successful applicants will remain on the ‘potential project call-off list’
What happens if your organisation is unsuccessful at stage two?
- the department will issue you with a decision letter which will include an explanation/reason for why your application was unsuccessful
- your organisation will be entitled to submit further applications if opportunities become available
Elements Fresh Start will fund
- projects that address the Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two aims and objectives
- a management fee of up to 10 percent of the total grant awarded
- costs associated with Goods and Services that can be deemed relevant and appropriate to project delivery
- costs/expenses that remove barriers to women’s participation in a project (eg child care, elder care, transport)
- facilitation fees that are proportionate to the size and scale of the project
- accreditation fees
- project specific venue hire
- costs to enable participants to develop and deliver a small programme.
The following is for illustration purposes only but will provide an indication of the activity headings that you may want to consider, there may be others that you will also need to add:
- management fee (up to 10% of delivery costs)
- programme costs, such as:
- family support worker
- venue hire and equipment
- child care/caring costs
- delivery of participants small programme
- celebration event
Elements Fresh Start will not fund
The following activities and items are ineligible and will not be funded under the Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two:
- costs that are deemed not to be directly related to the Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two
- capital works
- loan repayments and endowments
- VAT that can be recovered from HM Revenue and Customs
- retrospective funding or costs that will be incurred after the communicated grant period
- external project evaluation costs
- costs that are deemed to be disproportionate to the size and scale of the project
- goods and services which are being funded by another organisation during the timeline of your Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two
- consultancy fees, including those incurred in completing a Developing Women in the Community Programme Phase Two application
Note: Specific activities or items not listed above can be proposed by an applicant organisation. A decision on eligibility will be made at the discretion of officials.
Please contact us if you have any questions –
The Department for Communities (DfC) is fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the framework for data protection laws. Subsequently, DfC will manage any data you provide us with in accordance with the UK Government’s Data Protection Act (2018).
DfC may share some information with other Government Departments, Bodies, or organisations that have a legitimate interest in the Fresh Start programme, or for the prevention or detection of fraud. We may also use some information and data for our own research or promotion. DfC recognise the need to maintain the confidentiality of vulnerable groups and their details will not be made public in any way, except as required under the Data Protection Act (2018).
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives members of the public the right to request any information that we hold. This includes information received from third parties, such as, although not limited to, grant applicants, grant holders, contractors and people making a complaint. If information is requested under the Freedom of Information Act DfC will release it, subject to exemptions; although we may consult with you first. If you think that information you are providing may be exempt from release if requested, you should let us know when you apply.
Suspected Fraud Applicants are advised that any materially misleading statements (whether deliberate or accidental) given at any stage during the application process or award period could render the application invalid and the applicant liable to return any money already paid out on the project in question. Any cases of suspected fraud may be referred to the PSNI. This includes falsification of information, inappropriate use of funds and misinformation at the application and evaluation stages.