Brendan Bonner, Assistant Director of PHA congratulated the Network, stating
‘Community Development has a critical role to play in Health and Social Care because of its relevance to the tasks of promoting social inclusion, building social capital and tackling inequalities; basically communities which are strong and have good infrastructure are healthier communities with people more likely to access services and take responsibility for their own health’.
Joanne Morgan, Director of CDHN welcomed the award, stating
‘At CDHN, people and communities are at the heart of everything we do. We are delighted to have won this tender to use the National Standards in Community Development (CD NOS 2015) to build the practice of community workers and volunteers across Northern Ireland to address health inequalities. We will map provision, develop and deliver training, establish an evaluation framework and web portal to house a wide range of resources to support community practice; a mentoring programme will also be available to further build capacity amongst participating organisations.’
This programme of work stemmed out of a Transformation work stream and builds on a range of strategic commitments from the ‘Programme for Government’ to ‘Making Life Better’ & ‘Delivering Together’. Two key groups are now in place to provide strategic oversight to this work: the Transformation Advisory Board, which acts in an advisory capacity to oversee the direction of reform, and the Transformation Implementation Group (TIG) which leads the design, development and implementation of the Transformation Programme.
The Community Development work stream, set up in January 2017, was tasked to set a clear direction to expand community development approaches to reducing health inequalities in Northern Ireland. The remit was to assess current progress and make recommendations for how community development practice could be strengthened in the future. Led by Mary Black, the work stream held an initial launch and cumulative event, informed by 12 consultations held across all local government areas in Northern Ireland. The resulting Framework launched by Chief Medical Officer Michael McBride in June 2018 outlines a three phased approach across ten years. This tender will support delivery against Phase 1.