In August 2019, I launched Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: A five-year strategy to support the community and voluntary sector in Ireland. The strategy was co-produced by Government and the Community and Voluntary Sector through a Cross Sectoral Group (CSG) established for that purpose.
The sector participated in comprehensive consultation with my Department to support the strategy development process and many, if not all, of the issues detailed in the report mentioned by the Deputy arose as part of those consultations. The strategy recognises the impact of previous policy and resource decisions on the sector and seeks to address these through its 11 high-level objectives and associated actions. The strategy aims to empower communities, their representative organisations, and the community and voluntary sector, to inform and shape responses to their needs into the future.
This is an ambitious strategy and will take time to implement. While implementation of all of the actions will begin during the strategy period, there are some that will continue to be progressed and built upon beyond the life of the current strategy, particularly those that address the development of a sustainable funding model. These actions are no less a priority because they will take longer to implement fully. On the contrary, I recognise that these actions are crucial to a sustainable community and voluntary sector and will underpin support for the sector for many years to come. My Department is committed to the full implementation of the Strategy and I look forward to working closely with the sector to support its implementation.