A number of Exchange Events took place during the two years of Phase 1, providing an opportunity for both the VCSE and statutory sector demonstration projects to share learning from their experiences as they tested an impact focussed approach with their organisations and funding programmes.
‘Sowing Seeds of Change’ Event
The first exchange event sought to highlight the importance of impact practice and demonstrate the progress that has been made in Northern Ireland to date by the programme.
‘Compliance v’s Impact – Getting the Balance Right’ Event
Government needs to have clear evidence about the difference its investment in the VCSE sector is making in order to focus scarce resources where they can have the greatest impact. However, existing systems of compliance and control, while generating volumes of monitoring data, produce little evidence to demonstrate the impact these investments makes to the lives of people and communities most in need. This evidence deficit now poses a significant budgetary challenge for policy makers in deciding where to prioritise and where to cut funding.
Sammy Douglas MLA hosted this event in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, which outlined some of the efforts currently underway to address this problem.
‘The Case for Change’ Event
The event marked a key stage in the roll out of the Inspiring Impact NI Programme providing an opportunity for both the VCSE and statutory sector demonstration projects to share learning from their experiences over the past 6-9 months as they tested an impact focussed approach within their organisations and funding programmes.
‘Demonstrating Impact: A Marathon Not a Sprint’ Event
The final Phase 1 knowledge exchange brought together over 70 representatives from the Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE) sectors, statutory and independent funders and academics. The event had a dual purpose: 1: to share learning from Phase 1 of the programme, and 2: to announce plans for Phase 2.