Minister Joe O'Brien launches new Guide for Inclusive Community … –

From Department of Rural and Community Development 
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Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development, Integration and Charities, Joe O’Brien, has today, (Thursday 2 February), officially launched ‘A Guide for Inclusive Community Engagement in Local Planning and Decision Making’.
This new resource guide is aimed at ensuring that marginalised and disadvantaged communities have opportunities to engage and participate in local planning and decision-making.
Inclusive engagement with marginalised communities, and the organisations that represent them, will ensure that their views are reflected in local decision-making. The guide also aims to enable more sustainable development at a local level.
Local authorities, public sector bodies, community groups or any organisation committed to inclusive local decision-making can use this plain English resource.
Speaking at today’s launch, Minister Joe O’Brien said:
“I am very pleased to launch this new guide today. This community engagement resource guide will help renew and strengthen engagement with marginalised groups by local decision making bodies, and ensure better outcomes for all members of our communities. The voice of all members of our communities must be present in the design, implementation and review of decisions that impact on all of our lives – inclusive consultation and meaningful engagement are key to this. This is particularly important as our society grows and changes. I would encourage anyone involved in developing policy, leading consultations or making decisions that affect communities to use this guide. Ultimately, the best decisions are those which are made together, with the opportunity for everyone to share their perspective.”
In support of Ireland’s commitment to the Sustainable Development principle of ‘Leave no one behind’, the department has worked with Pobal as well as Community Work Ireland and the Irish Local Development Network on the development of this resource guide to support inclusive participation.
This initiative is as part of a wider Dormant Accounts Funded project on the engagement of marginalised communities and is just one of a wide variety of actions being delivered under Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities, the whole of government strategy to support the Community and Voluntary Sector in Ireland 2019-2024.
‘A Guide for Inclusive Community Engagement in Local Planning and Decision Making’.
The five-year strategy to support the community and voluntary sector in Ireland sets out a long-term vision for our communities in Ireland. It sets a general direction of travel for government policy in relation to the community development, local development and the community and voluntary sectors for the coming decade. The Strategy was co-produced by the Department of Rural and Community Development, Central and Local Government colleagues, and the community and voluntary sectors.
Pobal is an organisation that works on behalf of the Government of Ireland and in collaboration with international partners, to support communities and local agencies towards achieving social inclusion and development.
Pobal operates under the aegis of the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Pobal is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors. Members of the Board are appointed by Government, on the nomination of the Minister for Rural and Community Development, in line with the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards. The company operates on the basis of a framework agreement with the Department of Rural and Community Development and programme-specific service level agreements with individual departments.
Pobal administers programmes on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), the Department of Health (DoH) /HSE and a number of EU bodies.
Pobal works in the areas of social inclusion, early childhood care and education, local and community development, peace and reconciliation, equality, labour market supports, youth services and education and training.
The Dormant Accounts Acts 2001-2012, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003, provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (that is, banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.
The main purpose of the legislation is to reunite account or policy holders with their funds in credit institutions or insurance undertakings and in this regard, these bodies are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.
However, in order to utilise the unused funds the legislation also introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed from dormant accounts and unclaimed policies for the purposes of measures to assist:
1. the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
2. the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged; or
3. persons with a disability
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