Minister Joe O’Brien, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities, has today written to all Ministers & Government Departments underlining his commitment to implementing the Roadmap for Social Inclusion and specifically the commitment within that roadmap for all Government Departments to ‘renew and refresh’ engagement with the Community & Voluntary sector. Minister O’Brien has asked each Department to outline and quantify their level of engagement with the sector with a view to identifying ways to further strengthen that engagement.
Minister O’Brien pointed out that ongoing engagement between Government Departments and the Community & Voluntary sector is a key focus of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025. It has been well established that participation and community engagement inevitably leads to a more successful decision-making process with better outcomes for all involved. He said that gathering this information from each department is an important first step in working towards strengthening the culture of consultation in Departments with the sector.
Minister O’Brien said:
“When decisions are made based on wide consultation and a true understanding of different perspectives it is more likely that those decisions will result in successful outcomes. The Community & Voluntary sector approach centres on inclusivity & equality. I believe that engagement by government Departments with the sector will enhance help achieve better outcomes for those excluded or in unequal situations. It also complements public sector duty responsibilities.”
Minister O’Brien added:
“So much good work is happening across Government Departments in terms of engaging with the Community & Voluntary sector so it is important we not only capture that data in a centralised way but also use the feedback to identify ways in which we can further strengthen the relationship between Departments and the community and voluntary sector. In doing this we can help ensure that all relevant decisions are underpinned by consultation and engagement in order to maximise successful outcomes for the communities we serve.”