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By Brian Pelan, editor, VIEW The most recent issue of VIEW about Social Impact (http://viewdigital.org/2016/06/28/latest-issue-view-look-social-impact-making-difference/) contains two articles which have been the subject of debate around the issue of Outcomes Based Accountability. For those not in the loop in the community/voluntary sector, the OBA model is at the heart of Stormont’s Draft Programme for Government. For £96, you can attend one of the OBA workshops run by NCB NI organisation who are based at the NICVA Building,  61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast. And for £300, you can attend a summit on OBA at the Waterfront in Belfast in October. Dr Toby…

Calling all keen walking enthusiasts. Action Cancer is delighted to launch their 2016 Giant’s Walk due to take place on Saturday, September 3, 2016. The picturesque Giant’s Walk, which is now in its 12th year, follows a stunning route along the Causeway coastal paths.  The walk starts off from the award winning Giant’s Causeway Visitors Centre making its way along the Causeway finishing at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The route is just over 10 miles and passes along a fabulous coastal route, walking via landmark sites including the beautiful sandy beach at Whitepark Bay, Dunserverick Harbour and then through Ballintoy Harbour, both…

OVERVIEW: HALF DAY WORKSHOP ON HOW TO PRODUCE A VIDEO USING AN iPad/iPhone Taught by TV broadcaster and video journalist Barbara McCann, participants will learn basic film and edit techniques on their device, enabling them to produce their own professional video content. Barbara pioneered the iPad as a portable moviemaking camera in her news gathering in Northern Ireland and in providing footage for international TV networks on breaking news stories. The objective is to give participants the knowledge and skills to film and edit a quality video on an iPad/iPhone. The sessions includes an introduction to iPad/iPhone video recording techniques…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan BBC4 last night screened Ken Loach’s powerful 1966 documentary Cathy Come Home which revealed the shocking housing crisis in Britain at the time. The documentary sparked a huge outcry over the plight of around three million people who were living in slums,  stuck in an exploitative private housing market or who were homeless. It led to the setting up of the UK housing charity Shelter. Fifty years later we’re still living amidst a housing crisis. Thousands of families and young people in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Britain are unable to afford a…

By Brian Pelan, editor of VIEW I have just seen a copy of a letter sent to Brendan McDonnell, Director of Community Evaluation Network NI (CENI). The letter, written by Mark Friedman, founder and director of the Fiscal Policy Studies Institute in the US, is a response to our latest issue on Social Impact (http://viewdigital.org/2016/06/28/latest-issue-view-look-social-impact-making-difference/). In the letter, Mark Friedman refers to Brendan McDonnell as being the “Editor of the “Impact Special” publication of the “View”. I would like to point out that I am the editor of VIEW and was in charge of the overall content of our social…

Image: VIEW editor Brian Pelan speaking at the launch of latest issue of VIEW in the Mac, Belfast  Images: Kevin Cooper The latest issue of VIEW was launched today in the Mac, Belfast, in front of a packed audience, Brendan McDonnell, the guest editor of this edition of VIEW and director of Community Evaluation NI (CENI) spoke at the launch of the magazine which looks at Outcomes-Based Accountability and the draft Programme for Government. Mr McDonnell said that the government’s new outcomes-based approach to measuring social impact will be “challenging”. Also speaking at the launch were Professor Pauline Murphy, who is…

East Belfast Alternatives have supported a young man to be a better role model for his younger siblings, with the help of a Big Lottery Fund grant. East Belfast Alternatives recently received a £7,776 grant from Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme. They are using the money to buy laptops and run activities to improve the employability and personal development of young people aged 16-24 through a Give and Take: START programme. It is part of a Big Lottery Fund grants roll out today of £847,374 to 101 groups across Northern Ireland. Daniel Black (19) left school with no…

If you are interested in attending the launch of VIEW’s latest issue on Social Impact at The Mac, Belfast, on July 27 – 1pm-2pm, please contact Una Murphy at unamurphy@viewdigital.org A printed copy of the magazine will be available for those who attend. http://viewdigital.org/2016/06/28/latest-issue-view-look-social-impact-making-difference/

A group of people from across Belfast have formed a new community group, Lagan Currachs, set up to build a 10 metre /33ft currach for use on the River Lagan by community groups, tourists and the general public. The boat is due to be launched on September 16 during European week of Watersports The project is funded by a £15,000 grant from Heritage Lottery Fund under the Our Heritage programme. Chair of the group Niamh Scullion said: “Heritage Lottery has been a fantastic support from the beginning, encouraging us and keeping us right all the way and we can’t thank…

By Brian Pelan Advice centres are a place of hope and resolution for many people, especially when they are trying to sort out welfare entitlements in the tangled web of state bureaucracy. Mary McManus is the director of the East Belfast Independent Advice Centre (EBIAC). It’s situated on Templemore Avenue – an area which has experienced widespread economic deprivation as austerity measures have taken hold. Mary said: “EBIAC has been here since 2000. Before we were formed it was felt that there was not enough advice provision in east Belfast. We are an independent advice centre and a charity. We…

Joanne Morgan, Director of the Community Development Health Network (CDHN), asks is the new focus on outcomes and social impact all that it’s cracked up to be? A quick Google of the term “social impact” yielded 657,000,000 results in 0.50 seconds, which tells you something about the popularity of the term. But what does it really mean to those of us who work with local communities. Some see it as an opportunity to demonstrate the financial value of their work, some prefer to focus on telling their story of change, and for others it’s a combination of both. The language of…

In the latest issue of VIEW we carried an interview with Celine McStravick, director of the National Children’s Bureau in Northern Ireland, in which she praised the inclusion of an outcomes-based approach in the draft Programme for Government. Academic Dr Toby Lowe offered an opposing view of an outcomes-based approach to public policy in an interview with VIEW editor Brian Pelan On page eight of the draft Programme for Government in Northern Ireland it says: “The approach taken in this Framework draws on the techniques set out by Mark Friedman in his book ‘Trying Hard is Not Good Enough’, which describes…

Image: Paddy Gray speaking at the housing conference Photo: Kevin Cooper By Una Murphy Housing divisions on religious grounds, especially in loyalist areas is changing in Northern Ireland, according to a new report A major housing conference in Belfast heard yesterday (Wednesday) of “a trend towards desegregation across Northern Ireland especially in previously single-identity Protestant areas.” Ten new shared social housing initiatives have now been developed under Stormont’s Together Building A United Community (TBUC). Two academics, Dr Clifford Stevenson from Anglia Ruskin University and Dr Ian Shuttleworth, Queen’s University Belfast, who carried out the research warned that: “In the absence…

Images: Kevin Cooper The biggest housing conference to come to Northern Ireland began in Belfast today. (Wednesday). Hundreds of housing researchers from all over Europe gathered for ENHR2016. The international housing experts are from the European Network for Housing Research and they were welcomed by conference chair Professor Paddy Gray from Ulster University. The Housing Executive is the main sponsor of the event. Among the subjects the researchers are discussing at the conference – which is taking place in Northern Ireland for the first time – is housing in a divided society. Professor Gray said: ‘I am delighted that ENHR…

VIEW was delighted to get the support of Community Evaluation NI (CENI) for our latest issue which looks at social impact and making a difference. Below is the editorial written by guest editor Brendan McDonnell, director of CENI From an early age I have been interested in building and fixing things – anyone remember air-fix kits, or mecanno sets? Or simply taking things apart to see how they work and trying to put them back together again. I suppose that’s what evaluators do; they have this need to find out what organisations do, understand how they work, and how they…

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