As a result of
our initial Interface Forum, funding issues such as, long, drawn-out
funding applications; funders’ focus on bureaucratic accounting
procedures, rather than the work the interface groups are carrying
out and, lack of response to local needs on the ground, were highlighted.
These issues became the focus of our second Interface Workshop, which
took place on
13th January 2004.
- Chris O'Halloran
- Belfast Interface Group
- Rab McCallum
- Cliftonville Community Forum
- Gerard O'Reilly
- Danny Lavery
- LINC Resource Centre
- Michael Acheson
- LINC Resource Centre
- Roisin McGlone
- Felicity McCartney
- Community Foundation NI
- Jim Dennison
- Emma Dargan
- Belfast LSP
- Jan Wright
- Community Fund
- Catherine Lynch
- Cooperation Ireland
O'Hagan – INCORE
- Billy Leonard
One of the main points that came out of the workshop was the need
for a 'road-map' for interface areas. It was agreed that there has
been a lack of response and clarity as to which government departments
are responsible for issues in the interface areas such as addressing
parades and territoriality. It was decided that the voluntary
and community unit was the key contact regarding policy initiatives/funding
There was also a consensus that there is a strong need for an Interface
'Champion' to address long-term needs, connect the 'unconnected cogs'
and agree the future. Some of the innovative work is currently being
marginalised: funders should try and promote innovation by apportioning
larger amounts of money to innovative ideas or, create an 'innovation
It was agreed that better communication between funders and community
would help both sectors eg if community groups were made aware of
funders' objectives, the obstacles they face and where the money comes
from, this may increase support from the community.
To help arrive at examples of best practice there was agreement on
the need to document what has and hasn't worked. To help assess this
people needed to identify both short and long term needs. For example,
is a short term need the reduction of violence? Is addressing the
bigger picture issues a long term need?
Some participants thought that funders could help with qualitative
and quantitative indicators of success.
to take forward:
- Placements/mentoring system - provide opportunities to find out
what each other is doing.
- Develop a model of 'good practice' - with flexibility to adapt to
- An exercise to include all interface groups from different geographical
areas to utilise the 'good practice' that is already there. This could
be achieved by a conference / event
- Interface Support Group - setting up of a work-group specifically
for interface workers to help/support one another
- The formation of a network to include funders and interface groups
which may then lead to a more 'unified front' to influence policy-makers
and provide the opportunity to communicate to funders the 'solutions'
that have worked.