« Prev

Contents for Issue September 2019

Next »

Key Policy Publications

The organisation believes that supporting provision incorporating personal and community development is essential, in particular supporting community based providers to maintain and develop their work.

Of particular concern to the INOU is the development and maintenance of independent community based organisations and their work with people experiencing social and economic exclusion. The organisation believes that supporting provision incorporating personal and community development is essential, in particular supporting community based providers to maintain and develop their work. Such work also facilitates people of working age to explore the personal, familial and communal challenges facing them, how best to address them, and how to make the most out of the opportunities such learning presents.

On July 18th, 2019 the Department of Rural and Community Development published the “National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022” which is available at https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/govieassets/19332/2fae274a44904593abba864427718a46.pdf 

On 29th August, 2019 the Department also published the “Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities A five-year strategy to support the community and voluntary sector in Ireland 2019-2024”, which is available at https://assets.gov.ie/26890/ff380490589a4f9ab9cd9bb3f53b5493.pdf

Social Enterprise

In the Social Enterprise strategy it is welcome that noted amongst the “spectrum of social enterprise activity in Ireland” are “‘Deficient Demand’ social enterprises which seek to meet a demand for goods and services within a community where there is insufficient demand for the operation of a regular market due to inherent economic and social disadvantage or low density of population,” (p10).

Later on in the report the Department notes that “Financial supports for social enterprises in Ireland are often provided through labour market activation programmes which provide work placements or training in social enterprises to help unemployed people to improve their employment options. In other cases, grants are provided to social enterprises, for example through the Community Services Programme (CSP), towards the cost of employing staff to enable them to deliver local services. CSP is particularly important for social enterprises operating in the community and voluntary tradition.” (p19) It is also important to note that these programmes play a variety of roles, roles which it will be important to maintain: an opportunity for participation; an access point to the labour market for many people; and an important resource for many community based organisations.

Community and Voluntary Sector

On page 8 of CVS 5 year strategy it notes “Community development and community workers work to empower, enable and support communities to improve their quality of life. They work to address poverty and social exclusion, and to achieve rights and equality for marginalised communities including Travellers, women, migrants, minorities and others that experience poverty, inequality and social exclusion.”

Later on it says “while the number of people in employment continues to increase and the economy is growing, Ireland’s poverty and deprivation rates remain a concern. Combined with the challenges imposed by Brexit and Climate Change – potentially more deeply felt by those living in poverty and with social exclusion and inequality – significant work is required to ensure all communities are afforded the opportunities economic growth provides”

The values underpinning this strategy are particularly welcome and they are: active participation; collectivity; social justice; sustainable development; social inclusion; human rights, equality and anti-discrimination; empowering communities. Community based organisations must be properly resourced to ensure that this strategy delivers for people who are unemployed, distanced from the labour market, living with socio-economic exclusion.