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Community Work Ireland: working collectively to support and promote community work as a means of addressing poverty, social exclusion and inequality and advancing human rights
CWI Newsflash
May 2019
Hello to all CWI Members,
Welcome to the CWI Newsflash May 2019. Below there is information on:
  1. Submissions on Direct Provision;
  2. Social Inclusion Forum 2019 - Summary Report;
  3. Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: A 10-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary Sectors in Ireland - the implementation plan for the Framework Policy on Local and Community Development;
  4. Community Services Programme Review;
  5. National Action Plan for Social Inclusion;
  6. National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland - CWI Submission.
The CWI Team
Submissions on Direct Provision
The Joint Oireachtas 
Committee on Justice and Equality invites written submissions from stakeholders and interested parties on the issues of direct provision and the international protection application process.
 
In particular, the Committee wishes to consider what can be done in the short to medium term to improve the:
  • welfare and conditions of people living in the direct provision system
  • efficiency of the current system of processing international protection claims, in order to bring policies, practices and laws into line with international best practice and standards
The Committee also wishes to look beyond the current system of direct provision in Ireland and consider whether there are better models or alternatives that could be pursued.

The deadline for submissions is May 31st - see further details below.
Make a Submission
Social Inclusion Forum 2019
 
Thank you to all who participated in the CWI/EAPN preparatory workshops for SIF 2019. The summary report is available to download below.
Download the Summary Report
Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities:
A 10-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary Sectors in Ireland
 
The development of Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: A 10-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary Sectors in Ireland, the implementation plan for the Framework Policy on Local and Community Development, is coming to a conclusion.

What is now referred to as a Strategy, was developed by a cross-sectoral working group including the Departments of Health, Justice, Rural & Community Development, ILDN, local authorities, the Community & Voluntary Pillar (Ronnie Fay and Ivan Cooper and) and CWI (two places in our own right – Ann Irwin and Rachel Doyle). Work has been ongoing since 2017 and the Department of Rural and Community Development have made a real effort to ensure that what were sometimes competing priorities are reflected.

The current, near final draft, is significantly different to previous drafts. Because of the cross sectoral nature of the process the document is the result of a negotiation but there are many things to be welcomed. For example, it states:
  • 'Government has an important role to play in supporting the work of the community and voluntary sectors.  Government alone cannot provide all services and supports required by communities.  However, government support is critical to robust and sustainable community and voluntary sectors and to a community-statutory partnership that delivers myriad educational, health and social services and supports organisations working for social, economic and cultural development.' (p.4)
  •  'More recently, government has worked to renew the partnership with the community and voluntary sectors that underpinned the sectors’ growth to the mid-2000s'. (p. 5)
  • Community programmes will be based on a collaborative, partnership and whole-of-government ethos that prioritises societal value and community need.  They will support long-term approaches that foster relationships built on trust, knowledge and experience, and will move away from short-term approaches, driven primarily by cost effectiveness and efficiency and underpinned by inappropriate commissioning or tendering processes that undermine community development and community resilience'. (p. 8).
The document is based on a set of values, originally proposed by CWI, and you may recognise them as community work values as set out in the All-Ireland Standards for Community Work.

CWI's contributions have centred on the critical need to re-invest in autonomous community development structures and programmes. We hope to be in a position to circulate the draft in the very near future.
Community Services Programme
Review
For Your Information - CWI has been appointed to the Advisory Group to the Review and would be delighted to hear any thoughts you might have at any stage.

Indecon Consultants have been appointed to review the Community Services Programme. The CSP is critical to many community development and community-based organisations in ensuring:
  • The provision of services/goods to those most distant from those goods and services;
  • The creation of employment for those marginalised from the labour market;
The scope of the review includes:
  • The impact of the CSP on the wider community;
  • The nature, range, diversity and scale of CSP funded organisations;
  • The range of eligible services and part-funded staff;
  • The value added to services being delivered to vulnerable communities that would not be delivered otherwise;
  • The job opportunities and/or career advancement for part-funded staff from marginalised communities;
  • The role and structure of the CSP funding contribution;
  • The complementarity and/or overlap with other Government-funded programmes and schemes;
  • The programme evaluation criteria (across the programme strands, Pobal and the Department);
  • The application, re-contracting and appeals processes;
  • The Governance and programme management arrangements, (across the programme strands, Pobal and the Department); and
  • Good practice internationally in the provision, funding and governance of similar community services programmes.
The consultants have issued a letter looking for submissions on the points above by May 31st - see below to download the letter. Please note that this is not the consultation process - it is an invitation to comment on the Terms of Reference.
Review Terms of Reference
Indecon Letter
National Action Plan for Social Inclusion

Many of you will be aware that the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have been developing the new National Action Plan for Social Inclusion for some time.

The Department was anticipating that it would be launched before the Social Inclusion Forum on May 22nd, but to date, it has not appeared. At the SIF, the Department stated that they expected it to be published by June.

Community Work Ireland have made several representations in writing and in person to senior members in the department at the lack of consultation in the development of the strategy. Their focus was on achieving cross-departmental, as opposed to other stakeholder, buy-in. CWI and EAPN Ireland brought to their attention that fact that there are many national and international instruments that stress the need for consultation with stakeholders and acknowledge that policy developed collaboratively is generally better policy. 

CWI focus will now turn to ensure commitments that robust stakeholder engagement and participation will underpin all review processes.
National Social Enterprise Policy
As many of you will know the Department of Rural and Community Development are developing a new National Social Enterprise Policy. DRCD are the coordinating department and see this as an area of considerable potential.

CWI made a submission to the consultation process calling for greater clarity, including to the definition that was used, the differentiation between social enterprise and general private enterprise, and crucially, between social enterprise and community development.

Download the draft Policy and the CWI submission below.
CWI Submission

Do you know that CWI membership is currently free of charge? If you or others that you know support the CWI mission and values please encourage them to join by following the link on the button below.
CWI Membership
CWI work is supported by the Support Scheme for National Organisations (SSNO)
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