Independence of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector in Northern Ireland: Lessons for government-voluntary sector relations

Dr Markus Ketola and Dr Ciaran Hughes (Ulster) This presentation presents findings from new research that investigates the independence of voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) in Northern Ireland. Commissioned by the Building Change Trust, the research draws on survey results, interviews and focus groups with respondents from both the voluntary sector and government, offering an insight into how the dynamics of the relationship between government and the VSCE sector impact on the sector’s independence of voice, purpose and action. The data presents a complex and nuanced picture that outlines a number of tensions between the VSCE sector and government that help us better understand the challenges to independence. The aims of the presentation are twofold: first, to offer insights to the constantly evolving relationship between government and the sector; and second, to suggest how to develop the relationship further in ways that continue to support the independence of the VSCE sector. This seminar took place on 31 January 2018 Download: Policy Briefing Presentation