Guidance for working with the voluntary and community sector
The department provides Guidance for working with the voluntary and community sector. This is across a wide range of issues including governance and financial matters.
The Concordat between the voluntary and community sector and the NI government is a formal agreement which outlines shared values and principles and establishes a set of shared commitments on how both sectors will work together to better serve the people of Northern Ireland.
The Joint Government Voluntary and Community Sector Forum, commonly known as the Joint Forum facilitates open discussion of key issues which impact on and shape the relationship between the voluntary and community sector and Northern Ireland departments and their agencies.
The department's commitment to this work came in the context of reports by the NI Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) entitled Creating Effective Partnerships between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector and the subsequent Concordat between government and the voluntary and community sector which set out to progress issues of unnecessary bureaucracy, improve communications and focus more on outcomes.
The rationale and need for impact assessment is widely understood, and has recently been encouraged within the public sector via the adoption of outcomes based approaches.
It was recognised that improved impact measurement can contribute to:
- more robust decision making
- better use of resources (in respect of both efficiency and effectiveness)
- more effective learning
- reduced bureaucracy
Inspiring Impact UK developed strategic resources to support the voluntary community and social enterprise sectors and their funders. The Northern Ireland programme then developed a pilot to test these resources in a practical setting with a range of statutory funders to the voluntary and community sector. The Inspiring Impact programme was developed by the Building Change Trust with funding from the department.
It is our intention to communicate our experience of the Inspiring Impact approach to the sector, other government departments and to implement an outcome focussed approach across future funding arrangements.
If you have any queries please contact Voluntary and Community Unit
- Funding for the voluntary and community sector
- Community evaluation Northern Ireland (CENI)
- NI Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA)