Delivering on the wellbeing agenda25 February 2019 - by Anna Mercer
Local government in Northern Ireland has seen big changes in recent years. Fundamental reforms and new powers have breathed new life and opportunities into the potential and ambition of our councils and, in the absence of an Assembly and Executive, there have even been calls to further increase the powers of local government.
However, one of the most significant developments has been the introduction of Community Planning at council level, which mirrors the draft Programme for Government’s outcomes-based approach, placing the wellbeing of citizens at the heart of everything it strives to achieve.
A concept supported by the Carnegie UK Trust since 2010, the wellbeing agenda has gained widespread support not only in the public sector, but across the private and voluntary sectors also.
To help organisations deliver on the wellbeing agenda, the Trust has launched a new open access online resource designed to support its commitment to outcomes-based policy making :the Embedding Wellbeing Support Network for Northern Ireland.
The Network is a virtual hub for Community Planning Partnerships in Northern Ireland, as well as external stakeholders with expertise and an interest in local wellbeing. It is designed to allow users to share information on improving outcomes and take part in discussions around particular outcomes, challenges and opportunities.
Alongside the Network is the Trust’s overarching programme, Embedding Wellbeing in Northern Ireland, a three-year project providing financial and in-kind support to three local Community Planning Partnerships.
Following an open expression-of-interest process, Derry and Strabane District Council, Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council, and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council were selected by an independent, external advisory group to receive a support package for implementing a local wellbeing outcomes approach through their respective Community Plans.
The Trust wants to help more organisations across Northern Ireland and to widen the conversation on how it can best deliver on an outcomes-based approach.
Stratagem is proud to work with the Carnegie UK Trust.