An agenda for the Future of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector in Northern Ireland

May 2018




We live in an unequal and still divided society where the complexity of and interrelationships between social issues and needs is increasingly recognised. 21 22 23   

Our sector grapples with making a contribution to better lives and places within an often competitive contract culture and where joined up government remains an aspiration. 24

Yet we rarely work in isolation and positive change almost always relies on a series of activities and organisations, often acting at different points in time. 25

We’ve gathered evidence that collaboration does make a positive difference to organisations beneficiaries. 26

We must think beyond organisational boundaries and consider how organisations and activities fit together as part of impact networks and then take risks and work together to achieve change. This type of impact focused collaboration will require significant time, effort and support.


Some ideas for action

  • A dedicated support programme to support impact networks within the sector and involving other stakeholders where appropriate is needed.
  • We need new and appropriate support arrangements to support other collaborative working arrangements including on an area basis, mergers, joint advocacy and so forth.