Expansion of Community Development Approaches Conference

The Public Health Agency co-hosted its bi-annual conference for stakeholders with CDHN on Wednesday 20th March 2019 at Craigavon Civic Centre on the theme ‘Expansion of Community Development Approaches’.

As part of the Delivering Together and HSC Transformation programmes, various Work Streams were established, one of which was the Community Development Work Stream in January 2017 to examine how best community development can contribute to the Transformation Process. This Work Stream was tasked with setting a clear direction and expanding community development approaches to reducing health inequalities in Northern Ireland.

Over 150 delegates from voluntary, community and statutory sectors turned out to hear an update on progress against the Community Development Framework from Brendan Bonner, Assistant Director of Public Health from the Public Health Agency (PHA) and Joanne Morgan, Director of Community Development and Health Network (CDHN).

CDHN recently won the Public Health Agency contract to build capacity of the community sector across Northern Ireland and Joanne outlined the organisation’s plans to deliver the Community Development Capacity Building Programme over the next 12 months.

Joanne Morgan, Director of CDHN, told us “CDHN are delighted to have won the tender to deliver this Capacity Building Programme over the coming 12 months. We have a fantastic range of partners working with us who have significant expertise in both community development and tackling health inequalities. We see this as a great opportunity to strengthen the good practice that exists in our local communities.”

The event include a panel discussion with a range of organisations from both the statutory and non-statutory sectors to explore how community development is helping to tackle health and social wellbeing inequalities as a cross cutting theme, examples of best practice include addressing environmental factors, poverty, promoting a sense of place and the need to ensure community develop practices evolve to meeting changing challenges in society.

Brendan Bonner, Assistant Director of PHA, summarised the next steps saying ‘This project reflects the aspirations of the Making Life Better strategy by empowering communities and developing collaboration.  This is an exciting stage for delivery on Phase one of the Community Development Framework, developed as a result of a yearlong process of co-production with communities across Northern Ireland. The tender contains ambitious targets and timescales and we are confident the alliance of organisations will deliver high quality outputs in support of the tender’s outcomes.’

Jack O’Connor, Acting Director, Department for Communities commented on the event, “As an advocate of partnership & collaborative working for many years I was very impressed by the inclusive nature of the conference and the positive commitment shown by all present. The feedback presented was crisp, relevant and informative and a clear demonstration of the ethos behind the development of the framework. The commitment to co-design & co-production has clearly been embedded within all activity carried out to date as was the transparency regarding progress against the clearly stated objectives. My own personal view is that the tight deadline for completion of this workpiece can only assist in delivering a framework which will have relevance across all sectors of our society far beyond the health and social care arena. Time to do not talk about doing! ”

Photos from the event are available on this link https://www.flickr.com/gp/168658094@N07/814557

For further information contact Linda Rogers, Communications Officer by email lindarogers@cdhn.org or T: 028 3026 4606