Civic Innovation Programme


Project Teams NEWS Community Space

Supporting innovative ideas that put people at the centre of decision-making in Northern Ireland.

The Civic Innovation Programme aims to:

  • Support communities and individuals to find their voice and use it
  • Raise awareness of the need for more public participation in decision-making and how to facilitate this
  • VCSE organisations are more accountable to members and beneficiaries by acting as facilitators of people’s voice
  • Support the VCSE sector to enhance their capacity to use creative and effective methods of public participation in decision-making
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The Civic Innovation Programme

The only independently-funded programme of its kind in the UK or Ireland, the Civic Innovation Programme uses a combination of intensive project design support, expertise on public participation and grant-funding to support the delivery of new initiatives that aim to deepen local democracy.

The programme builds on the legacy of the Building Change Trust’s Civic Activism Programme which operated from 2014-2018. Past projects have included the Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland, Participatory Budgeting Works, the NI Open Government Network and FactCheckNI. This programme is managed by the Community Foundation Innovation and Voice Team.

Open to all voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations working in Northern Ireland, as well as public sector representatives and interested individuals, the programme is supporting projects that can deliver greater public influence over key societal issues as well as demonstrating how a more participative and deliberative model of democracy can build a better Northern Ireland for everyone.

As well as the Community Foundation’s own resources, funding for the programme is provided by a consortium of independent charitable foundations including the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The programme’s first set of grants were awarded in February 2021 and as such is not currently open for applications.

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How the programme works

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Information icon Our story so far...

Interested in Civic Innovation?

Check out our useful links, resources and reports below!

CFNI Civic Innovation strategic context and background

Download Resource PDF: 4.66 MB

Building Change Trust Impact Report 2014-2018

Download Resource PDF: 3.48 MB

Pressure Group Fund

The Community Foundation Pressure Group Fund has been established in recognition of the contribution groups and people in our society, who are working towards supporting social change, can make through direct civic action, lobbying and campaigning.

Civic Innovation Tools

This website will provide a range of resources and information on civic innovation tools and creative approaches that have been used around the world in recent years.

CFNI Covid Response Advocacy Campaign

CFNI and community partners have been advocating for a Citizens Assembly and Participatory Budgeting funds to be allocated as tools for Building Back Better following the Covid pandemic.

Download Resource PDF: 9.29 MB

Listen to our Podcast

Can Citizen Assemblies support NI decision making process? Can Citizen Assemblies support NI decision making process?

Participatory Budgeting

Participatory Budgeting can be described as "Local People deciding how to allocate part of a public budget."

Involve

Involve are the UK's public participation charity. We develop, support and campaign for new ways of involving people in the decisions that affect their lives.

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Project Teams

Find out about the Project Teams involved in the current Civic Innovation Programme

Are you a Civic Innovation Project Team? Click below to access Community Space for Project Teams for training, resources and information on upcoming workshops.


Project Teams

Find out about the Project Teams involved in the current Civic Innovation Programme

Are you a Civic Innovation Project Team? Click below to access Community Space for Project Teams for training, resources and information on upcoming workshops.


Who to speak to

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Gemma McCaughley

Programme Officer

logo achieving impact square

Gemma McCaughley

Programme Officer

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