Recruitment Info Pack FAO fficer August 2012 0 by 5bcY1j3

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									                  3rd floor, Cathedral Quarter Managed Workspace,
                          109-113 Royal Ave, Belfast BT1 1FF
                               t 028 9024 2828 f 028 9031 4829
            e info@belfastinterfaceproject.org w www.belfastinterfaceproject.org



Monday, 20 August 2012

Dear Colleague

Thank you for your interest in the post of Finance & Administration Officer with
Belfast Interface Project (BIP). Please find enclosed:

      A job description.
      A personnel specification.
      An application form.
      A monitoring form.
      A copy of our Equal Opportunities Policy.
      A statement of our vision, mission and values
      Our current strategic plan
      Our most recent annual report.

Should you decide to apply for the post, please forward your completed
application form, together with completed monitoring form in a separate
envelope, to:

      Personnel,
      Belfast Interface Project,
      Cathedral Quarter Managed Workspace,
      109-113 Royal Ave, Belfast BT1 1FF

Please note that a C.V. will NOT be accepted.

Finally, please note that applications must be received no later than 4.00 pm
on Tuesday 4th September 2012 and that shortlisted applicants will be
interviewed the following week.

The successful applicant will be required to have an AccessNI check.

Yours Sincerely


Joe O’Donnell
Strategic Director



                     Building towards peaceful co-existence in interface areas
              Accepted as a charity by the Inland Revenue under reference XR41089
                          Belfast Interface Project

                             JOB DESCRIPTION

Post:                      Enabling Our Future project
                           Finance & Administration Officer, 1 x full time

Responsible to:            Strategic Director
Status of Post:            Fixed term to 30th November 2014, with extension
                           subject to further funding.
Salary scale:              NJC scale point 18 (£17,161)

Summary of Main Responsibilities:
This is a key post within BIP. The post-holder will play a vital part in
supporting the organisation to deliver the ‘Enabling Our Future’ youth
intervention project which will support BIP in working with local groups and
agencies in order to reduce levels of youth-led interface violence and to
address the needs of young people across a range of interface communities
in Belfast.

Working under the direction of the Strategic Director, the post holder will be
responsible, on a day to day basis, for the operation of finance and
administration procedures and systems in relation to the ‘Enabling Our Future’
project. She/he will be expected to maintain high quality standards in all
aspects of the role and to advise the Strategic Director of any necessary
changes required in order to maintain best practice in this area.

Duties in detail in relation to the ‘Enabling Our Future’ (EOF) project:
The Finance & Administration Officer (FAO) will:-

Finance:

    Develop, operate and maintain financial systems, records and
     procedures (including the upkeep of BIP’s financial management
     procedures handbook) to ensure the effective and appropriate
     management of BIP’s finances to a high standard;
    effectively operate and maintain payroll and PAYE systems and records
     and complete all necessary returns to Inland Revenue etc. within the
     relevant timeframe;
    ensure full and regular financial reports are provided to the Director, EOF
     Steering Group and BIP board of directors including monthly income and
     expenditure reports, bank reconciliations, accurate annual budgets and
     projections, accurate and appropriate costings for funding proposals etc.
     as required;


                                                                            -2-
        participate in project teams to actively contribute to project work plans
         and to support and enable staff and volunteers to understand and
         administer their budgets;
        complete all necessary EOF project returns, both financial and
         compliance, to the organisation’s range of funders, ensuring that these
         are submitted within the relevant time-frame;
        ensure that all purchase orders, tendering and other necessary
         compliance functions are appropriately adhered to in line with funder
         requirements;
        develop, in conjunction with the Director, a fundraising strategy
         appropriate to the EOF project and to organisational requirements, and
         assist the Director in the completion of all funding proposals in relation to
         the project, particularly the production of accurate, appropriate budgets
         and costings;
        implement any agreed changes within the financial management of BIP
         in line with agreed overall organisational strategy;
        work closely with auditors and funders to ensure the successful
         completion of annual audited accounts in an accurate and timely manner
         and to distribute final accounts to appropriate agencies such as funders,
         companies’ registry etc:
        ensure BIP financial compliance with regard to all regulatory
         requirements.

Administration:

         provide a confidential administrative support service for the Strategic
          Director, development staff and EOF steering group;
         co-ordinate, advise and assist programme development staff in
          planning events inc conferences, seminars, etc;
         take lead responsibility in co-ordinating implementation of the project
          Communications Plan;
         co-ordinate the distribution of e-communications, mail outs and other
          project correspondence and publications;
         develop, maintain and update BIP database on weekly basis;
         develop, maintain and up-date BIP website on a monthly basis;
         act as first point of contact for the project;
         purchase and maintain Stationery/Equipment Supplies;
         maintain office re-cycling system;
         assist Strategic Director in co-ordinating volunteer and intern work;
         update and maintain BIP’s Administrative Handbook;
         co-ordinate computer network maintenance, security and data
          backups;
         liaise closely with the Finance & Publications Coordinator;
         attend monthly Staff Team Meetings;
         undertake training as required;
         undertake such other reasonable duties as shall from time to time be
          required by the project.




                                                                                  -3-
Conditions of Service:
The conditions of service for Belfast Interface Project are set out in the
Contract of Employment and in the Project’s Staff Handbook, which is
available from the Strategic Director upon appointment.

The main conditions of service are:

1. Period of employment - This is a fixed term contract ending 30th
   November 2014. It may be possible to extend this contract depending
   upon the availability of future funding for the post.

2. Holidays - 25 days annually, pro rata, plus statutory holidays, plus length
   of service additions may apply.

3. Hours of employment – 35 hours per week, exclusive of meal breaks.

4. Pension – Belfast Interface Project operates a voluntary pension scheme
   for its staff.

5. Location - The post is located in the Project’s offices, 109-113 Royal
   Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1FF

6. Smoking Policy – The Project operates a no-smoking policy within its
   premises.

7. Flexible Working Hours – The post-holder will occasionally be expected to
   work outside of standard office hours, and a system of time in lieu will
   operate.




                                                                             -4-
                        Enabling Our Future project
                     Finance and Administration Officer

                        PERSONNEL SPECIFICATION

ESSENTIAL

1. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
2. Adept in the use of Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Outlook
   and Excel.
3. An ability to work under own initiative, under pressure, re-prioritising as
   required.
4. Experience of having worked in a busy office environment for at least one
   year within the past three years.
5. Financial experience, including familiarity with relevant software packages
   such as Quickbooks and Iris payroll.
6. Experience of managing a variety of funding streams simultaneously.
7. Knowledge of administering funders’ procurement and tendering
   requirements.
8. Experience of administering budgets and preparing financial reports.
9. Experience of working in a team.
10. Experience of handling difficult issues with sensitivity and confidentiality.

DESIRABLE

1. Experience of maintaining and updating a website / social media network.
2. Qualifications in word processing, excel and finance.
3. An understanding of some of the issues facing Belfast’s interface
   communities.
4. A commitment to the ethos, values, aims and objectives of BIP.




                                                                              -5-
    * Please use this Application Form. A CV will NOT be accepted. *

                    BELFAST INTERFACE PROJECT

                  ENABLING OUR FUTURE PROJECT

             FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION OFFICER POST

                          APPLICATION FORM


PERSONAL DETAILS:
Name:


Address:



Telephone number for contact:

Email:



EDUCATION:
Subjects passed at ‘O’ Level/GCSE       Subjects passed at ‘A’ Level/GCSE
or equivalent:                          or equivalent:




Degrees or diplomas with dates and institutions attended:




                                                                       -6-
 PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS:
                              i) By examination            ii) By Election
 Name of professional body or date and result
 bodies:




PRESENT OR LAST EMPLOYER:
Name and address of present employer (or last employer):




Post held:



Duties of post:




Date appointed:              Present salary:     Period of notice:




                                                                             -7-
WORK EXPERIENCE:
Please list, starting with the most recent, any previous positions you have held, with a
brief description of duties and dates.




                                                                           -8-
VOLUNTARY SERVICE OR COMMUNITY WORK:
Please give details of any voluntary service or community work that you have
undertaken on an unpaid voluntary basis.




ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS:

1. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




                                                                         -9-
2. Adept in the use of Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Outlook and
    Excel.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




3. An ability to work under own initiative, under pressure, re-prioritising as
    required.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




                                                                       - 10 -
4. Experience of having worked in a busy office environment for at least one year
    within the past three years.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




5. Financial experience, including familiarity with relevant software packages such
    as Quickbooks and Iris payroll.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




                                                                    - 11 -
6. Experience of managing a variety of funding streams simultaneously.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




7. Knowledge of administering funders’ procurement and tendering requirements.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




                                                                  - 12 -
8. Experience of administering budgets and preparing financial reports.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




9. Experience of working in a team.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




                                                                   - 13 -
10. Experience of handling difficult issues with sensitivity and confidentiality.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




DESIRABLE REQUIREMENTS:


1. Experience of maintaining and updating a website / social media network.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




2. Qualifications in word processing, excel and finance.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




                                                                       - 14 -
3. An understanding of some of the issues facing Belfast’s interface communities.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




4. A commitment to the ethos, values, aims and objectives of BIP.

Please demonstrate how you meet this requirement.




                                                                    - 15 -
FURTHER INFORMATION:


Please add any further information which you feel will support your application.




(Insert further page if necessary)



                                                                          - 16 -
 REFEREES:
  Please name two referees, one of whom should be a current or past employer, who
  should have knowledge of you in a working/academic capacity.

 1. Name:

    Address:


    Tel No:

    Position:

 2. Name:

    Address:


    Tel No:

    Position:




DECLARATION:

I declare that the information set out in this application is, to the best of my
knowledge, true and complete.


Signature:


Date:


 Completed application forms should be forwarded to:

 Personnel,
 Belfast Interface Project,
 Cathedral Quarter Managed Workspace,
 109-113 Royal Ave, Belfast BT1 1FF

 to arrive no later than later than 4.00 pm on Tuesday 4th September 2012

 N.B. Please remember to complete and return your monitoring form
      with this application.



                                                                           - 17 -
- 18 -
BELFAST INTERFACE PROJECT

   EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES MONITORING QUESTIONNAIRE FOR JOB
                        APPLICANTS

THE INFORMATION YOU PROVIDE WILL BE TREATED AS
CONFIDENTIAL.

THIS MONITORING FORM MUST BE RETURNED WITH YOUR
APPLICATION.

We are an Equal Opportunities Employer and do not discriminate on grounds
of religious belief or political opinion. We practice equality of opportunity in
employment and select the best person for the job.

In accordance with the Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1998,
Belfast Interface Project is required to monitor the perceived religious
affiliation/community background of its employees and applicants. In
accordance with the monitoring regulations we are asking you to indicate
which community you belong to by ticking the appropriate box below:

I am a member of the Protestant community                                

I am a member of the Roman Catholic community                            

I am a member of neither the Protestant nor the                          
Roman Catholic community

Please indicate whether you are:           Female                Male   
If you are unable to determine your community background from the form, we
shall use the residuary method to make a determination on the basis of
information contained in your application for this post.
Please note: It is a criminal under the legislation for a person to ‘give false
information in connection with the preparation of the monitoring return’.


Date of Birth:



The above information will not be used as part of the application process.

The Monitoring Form should be sealed in the envelope provided and returned
to:
Monitoring Officer, Belfast Interface Project,




                                                                              - 19 -
3rd floor, Cathedral Quarter Managed Workspace, 109-113 Royal Ave, Belfast
BT1 1FF




                                                                     - 20 -
                        BELFAST INTERFACE PROJECT

                       EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

1.     Statement of Policy
The aim of this policy is to communicate the commitment of the Members and Staff
of Belfast Interface Project to the promotion of equality of opportunity.

It is our policy to provide employment equality to all, irrespective of:

      Gender, marital status or family statue
      Religious belief or political opinion
      Disability
      Age
      Race* or ethnic origin
      Nationality
      Sexual orientation
      Trade union membership or non membership
      Criminal record**

We are opposed to all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination.

All employees irrespective of the nature of their employment contract and job
applicants (actual or potential) will be treated fairly and selection for employment,
promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability.

Our equal opportunities policy will help employees to develop their full potential and
the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the
efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation.

We are committed to:

      Preventing any form of direct or indirect discrimination or victimisation.
      Promoting equal opportunities for women and men.

           *   Throughout this document the word race is to be understood, in line
               with the Race Relations (NI) Order, to include colour, race, nationality
               or ethnic or national origins. Irish Travellers are recognised by the
               Order as being members of a racial group.

           ** A person’s criminal record will be seen in the context of his/her overall
              application, ability to do the job and the responsibility of employers for
              the care of other employees. Only offences relevant to the post in
              question will be considered.

We are committed to:

      Promoting fair participation for Catholics and Protestants and other religious
       beliefs or none.


                                                                                    - 21 -
      Promoting equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
      Promoting equal opportunities for ethnic minorities.
      Promoting a good and harmonious working environment where all men and
       women are treated with respect and dignity and in which no form of
       intimidation or harassment will be tolerated.
      Fulfilling all legal obligations under the relevant legislation and associated
       Codes of Practice.

Breaches of our equal opportunity policy and practice will be regarded as misconduct
and may result in disciplinary action which could include dismissal.

2. Implementation
The Director has specific responsibility for the effective implementation of this
policy. Members and Staff are expected to abide by the policy and help create the
equality environment which is its objective.

In order to implement this policy, we will ensure that:

      The policy is communicated to all Members and Staff through the Procedures
       Handbook.
      The policy will be displayed on the Central Office notice-board.
      Members and Staff are aware of their responsibilities through appropriate
       training.
      Members and Staff examine critically their attitudes towards other individuals
       and groups and to ensure that no trace of discrimination is allowed to affect
       their judgment.
      All staff are given equal opportunity and encouragement to progress within
       Belfast Interface Project by providing equality of access to training and
       development provision.
      The provision of equality of opportunity is monitored.
      Adequate resources are made available to fulfill the aims of this policy.

 3. Affirmative Action
Where appropriate, lawful positive action measures such as special encouragement in
advertisements or special training will be developed. These measures are available in
certain circumstances, for example where there is an under-representation of a
particular group in specific areas of work or in the Membership.

4. Complaints
Members and Staff who believe that they have suffered any form of discrimination,
harassment or victimisation are entitled to raise the matter through the agreed
procedures. A copy of these procedures is available in the Procedures Handbook.

These internal procedures do not replace or detract from the right of the Members or
Staff to pursue complaints under legislation including: Information on definitions of
discrimination and time limits for raising complaints are set out in the Annex to this
statement.




                                                                                - 22 -
Every effort will be made to ensure that Members or Staff making complaints will not
be victimised. Any complaint of victimisation will be dealt with seriously, promptly
and confidentially. Victimisation will result in disciplinary action and may warrant
dismissal.

Annex

1. Direct Discrimination
Direct Discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another on
the grounds of their gender, marital status, family status, religious belief, political
opinion, disability, age, race or ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, trade
union membership/non-membership or criminal record.

2. Indirect Discrimination
Indirect discrimination can occur when a requirement or condition which cannot be
justified on the grounds other than gender, marital status, religious belief, political
option, disability, age, race or ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, trade
union membership/non-membership or criminal record is applied equally but has the
effect in practice of disadvantaging a considerably higher proportion of persons in one
or other of the above groups.

In order to establish a complaint of indirect discrimination, an applicant must show
the following:

       That a requirement or condition has been applied.
       That the said requirement or condition adversely impacts against the person
        because of his/her gender, marital status, family status, religious belief,
        political opinion, disability, age, race or ethnic origin, nationality, sexual
        orientation, trade union membership/non- membership or criminal record.
       That he/she has suffered detriment by reason of being unable to comply with
        the condition or requirement.

3. Disability Discrimination
Disability discrimination occurs when, for a reason related to his/her disability, a
disabled person is treated less favourably than other people, and this treatment cannot
be justified. It also occurs when an employer fails to comply with the duty to make a
reasonable adjustment in relation to the disabled person, and the failure cannot be
justified.

4. Victimisation
Victimisation occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another because
that person has, for example, asserted rights under any of the discrimination laws or
has helped another person to assert such rights or given information to the relevant
statutory body, or because it is suspected that the person might do any of these things.

5. Harassment
Harassment is unwanted and unreasonable behaviour which impacts negatively upon
the recipient. In complaints of discrimination which result in a complaint at tribunal
both the employing organisation and individuals responsible for acts of discrimination
can be held financially responsible for their actions.

                                                                                  - 23 -
6. Complaints
Complaints of sex/marital status, race/nationality/ethnic/national origin, and disability
discrimination should be lodged with the industrial Tribunal within three months from
the date of the alleged act of discrimination.

In respect of equal pay, the complaint can be lodged at any time while the person is in
the job or within six months of leaving the job.

Complaints to a Fair Employment Tribunal must be lodged within three months from
which a complainant first knew, or might have known, of the act of discrimination or
within six months from the date when the act occurred, whichever is earlier.




                                                                                   - 24 -
                3rd floor, Cathedral Quarter Managed Workspace,
                        109-113 Royal Ave, Belfast BT1 1FF
                              t 028 9024 2828 f 028 9031 4829
           e info@belfastinterfaceproject.org w www.belfastinterfaceproject.org


Vision - ‘what we want to see’
Our overall vision is of a Belfast in which today's interface communities:
     • Are free of tension, intimidation and violence both within and
        between communities;
     • Have come to terms with the legacies of the past;
     • Are socially and economically vibrant, within an attractive
        physical environment;
     • Enjoy freedom of movement in accessing facilities and services;
     • Have respect for cultural difference and diversity.

Mission - ‘our part in bringing this about’
Belfast Interface Project is a membership organisation committed to
informing and creating effective regeneration strategies in Belfast's
interface areas.

Aims:
To influence policy and advocate for change;
To advocate with agencies and others in order to address issues of safety
in interface communities;
To support interface communities to develop positive relationships;
To ensure that membership remains reflective of interface communities
and that the organisation is managed efficiently and effectively.

Values - ‘the key principles by which we will do this work’:
Through promoting:
     mutual understanding;
     the acquisition and dissemination of new knowledge;
     respect and tolerance;
     shared ownership of common issues, concerns, resources and
     opportunities;
     creativity and innovation;
     equity and accountability;
     self-help and mutual support.




                                                                                  - 25 -
- 26 -
Belfast Interface Project




     Strategic Plan
      2009 - 2014




                        - 27 -
Contents

1. Introduction                                                      3
1.1 The Legacy of Separation                                         3
1.2 Interfaces and Residential Segregation                           4
1.3 Removal of Interfaces                                            4
1.4 Development of Infrastructure                                    5
1.5 Prospects for Change                                             6
1.6 Conclusion                                                       6

2 Economic and Social Context                                        7
2.1 Potential for economic growth                                    7
2.2 Social policy context                                            7

3. Key Regeneration Issues for Interface Communities                 9
3.1 Attractiveness of the Physical Environment                       9
3.2 Economic Activity                                                9
3.3 Freedom of Movement                                              10
3.4 Inter-community tension/ intimidation /violence                  11
3.5 Community Dialogue                                               12
3.6 Summary                                                          12

4. Development of the Strategic Plan                                 14
4.1 Reducing Interfaces                                              14
4.2 Conflict Resolution                                              14
4.3 BIP’s Role in promoting Shared Space                             15
4.4 Visibility                                                       15

5. Government Policy Context                                         16
5.1 Programme for Government                                         16
5.2 A Shared Future                                                  16
5.3 Equality Commission                                              16
5.4 NI Human Rights Commission                                       17
5.4 People and Place                                                 17
5.5 Positive Steps                                                   17
5.6 Community Relations Council                                      17
5.7 Peace III                                                        18
5.8 International Fund for Ireland                                   18
5.9 Belfast City Council                                             18

6. On Sharing and Partnership Working                                20
6.1 Exploring Sharing                                                20
6.2 Understanding Sharing                                            21
6.3 The Complexity of Sharing                                        23

7. BIP Services 2004-2008                                            24
7.1 Member’s Feedback                                                24
7.2 Additional Service Needs                                         27
7.3 Summary                                                          30

8 Belfast Interface Project 2009-2014                                34
8.1 Regeneration of Interface Areas                                  34
8.2 Aims of Belfast Interface Project 2009-2014                      34
8.3 Policy: Providing Intermediary and Bridging Functions            35
8.4 Service Advocacy                                                 37
8.5 Supporting Change and Transformation                             38
8.6 Efficient and Effective management of membership organisation    41

9. Appendix                                                          42-
52




                                                                    - 28 -
1    Introduction

The preparation of this strategic plan comes at a time of change for Belfast’s
interface communities. The days of armed violence and of widespread civil
disturbance at interfaces appear to be over and of course the greater
community is thankful for this. There is anecdotal evidence that sizeable
numbers of young people, especially, have been prepared to put differences
aside and are mixing in large numbers in the city centre at night.

At the same time, however, continuing and significant issues of ‘anti-social
behaviour’ and youth-led violence at many interfaces are further evidence of
the extent to which sizeable numbers within the younger generation have
been socialised into conflict at interfaces, even where this is against the
express wishes of local community leaders, political parties and paramilitary
groups. It is difficult to overstate just how debilitating this ‘low level’ violence
can be for interface residents who experience this.

1.1 The Legacy of Segregation

The two main communities in Belfast are still highly segregated and
differentiated in terms of housing, education, workplace and many other
aspects of everyday life. Within weeks of the establishment of the new
Executive, for example, there was an announcement that a new interface
security fence was to be installed in an area of North Belfast. In this way,
there exists a time-lag in terms of the effects of the new political dispensation
in helping people to feel free of the need to keep largely within their own
communities for reasons of perceived safety.

Interface areas have for many years been characterised by three distinct
kinds of difficulty:

Social and economic disadvantage;
Violence and its legacies; and
Perceived restrictions upon safety and freedom of movement in accessing
facilities and services which require travel into or through the ‘other’
community.

1.2 Interfaces and Residential Segregation

Nowhere is this more evident than in the ongoing debate regarding the future
provision of housing through which to meet the larger nationalist housing
need, while still catering for and addressing the concerns within the unionist
community that such provision will further erode their areas of traditional
housing and, thereby, their sense of security. There has been in recent years
an influx into the city of large numbers of members of ethnic minority
communities so that civic society is dealing not just with issues relating to how
members of our nationalist and unionist ‘old diversity’ manage to live their
lives together in peace, but also how best we can accommodate and welcome
these members of our ‘new diversity’ into our city.


                                                                                - 29 -
Accompanying this recent demographic and political change, housing
affordability has emerged as a major issue for many interface communities
experiencing intensive property speculation and change as sizable
proportions of, previously, public housing stock have moved into private and
diverse ownership. Increasingly, young people find that local home ownership
is beyond their means, while local provision of social housing is dwindling, so
that many young home-makers are moving out of their areas to affordable
housing elsewhere or contributing to local overcrowding by forming second
households in their parents’ homes.

1.3 Removal of Interfaces

The interest of the US-Ireland Alliance in investigating the possibility of the
symbolic removal of an interface structure, to coincide with the marking of the
10th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement, while ultimately unsuccessful, has
sparked a debate across the interface community sector in Belfast as to what,
exactly, should be the future for these structures and communities. Stemming
from this debate, a number of suggestions have been put forward for
discussion, for example that it may be possible to replace sections of interface
wall/fence with gates that could be locked at times of security concern, as a
way for interface communities to ease safely towards a future without walls.

Similarly, at a statutory level, there is a growing interest in beginning to get to
grips with the issue of addressing the prevalence of government-built interface
security fences – as one person put it:

“We have a system for putting them up, but we don’t have one for taking them
down”.

There is growing evidence of co-operation amongst interface community
groups and activists on a wide range of issues of common benefit and
concern. The increase in BIP membership from approx 30 in 2003 to 70 in
2008 indicates to us that interface communities and civil society groups within
them are pressing for change.

1.4 Development of Infrastructure

Alongside this growth in capacity, in very recent years, a new infrastructure of
inter-community networks and forums has emerged which provides the
practical logistical support for this, including both city-wide and more localised
structures, keen to engage with the statutory and voluntary sectors for the
betterment of their communities. Making up an important element within this
infrastructure, networks of loyalist and republican ex-combatants, working
together to quell interface violence and to build new positive working
relationships both amongst themselves and across their wider communities,
have emerged into public visibility.

For many, this joint work began some years ago and indeed some would say
that the current political settlement would not have been possible without their
work behind the scenes. Many of those involved in ‘fire-fighting’ interface


                                                                             - 30 -
tension and violence in the past feel now that they have a right and a
responsibility as well as an opportunity to take up a more visible and broader
role in terms of peace-building in interface areas. Accompanying this
emergence into visibility, ex-combatant groups have contended with a range
of reactions including welcome, ambivalence and suspicion from amongst
some more visible and long-standing groups and agencies, both locally and
further afield, in terms of respective track-records and future roles and
responsibilities in relation to peace-building work in interface areas.

It will be important that factionalism doesn’t develop to undermine the
effectiveness of development work in interface areas. BIP has an open door
policy in this regard and will liaise with any group for the benefit of interface
communities, as we have done in the past.

1.5 Prospects for Change

The statutory and voluntary sectors have in recent years developed a range of
new government initiatives through which to promote the social and economic
regeneration of the city. A number of these are at an early stage, while others
are at more advanced stages. All depend for their success upon successful
engagement with the communities which they are there to benefit.

 At the 2008 investment conference in Belfast, Mayor of New York Michael
Bloomberg outlined that “The historic cultural barriers between the two
communities here are slowly coming down. And the sooner they do, and the
sooner the physical barriers come down as well, the sooner the flood gates of
private investment will open."

Welcoming this statement a few days later, First Minister Rev Ian Paisley
clarified his position that local communities would ultimately be responsible for
making decisions about their interface walls and fences: "Outsiders pulling
down walls will accomplish nothing. But when those on both sides of the wall
mutually come to agreement and say we are taking down these walls, then we
will have won a great victory and I look forward to that victory being sealed
over and over again in these areas where there has been great trouble in the
past days." At BIP, we welcome these sentiments and look forward to their
translation into concretely resourced strategies that will support interface
communities in this task.

1.6 Conclusion

While fear and insecurity remain for understandable reasons given the age of
our conflict, the relative youth of our power-sharing institutions, and the
continuing albeit lower level interface violence, there is also a growing
acknowledgement both that change is inevitable and that this can be positive
and also that, perhaps for the first time, the capacity and the will exists to
create that change across a range of sectors, agencies, groups and
individuals.




                                                                             - 31 -
2    Economic and Social Context

The Programme for Government sets out the Executive's strategic priorities
and key plans for 2008-2011. The Programme for Government has been used
in determining the Budget and Investment Strategy within which growing the
economy is the primary focus.

The Northern Ireland Programme for Government acknowledges that ‘Building
a strong economy requires…an inclusive and stable society’ through two
priorities: to grow a dynamic, innovative economy and promote tolerance,
inclusion and health and well-being.
Factors relevant to this context include the following:

2.1 Potential for economic growth
The restrictions upon labour mobility created by physical interface structures,
together with the accompanying ‘chill factors’ which are sustained by
segregation and fear, act as deterrents to investment and impediments to
competitiveness. It was within this context that Mayor Bloomberg made the
comments noted at 1.5 above.
Similarly, the duplication of limited resources in order to ensure equity of
access to facilities and services ‘on both sides’ of the interface represents an
ineffective use of resources particularly against the backdrop of the current
economic downturn.
An easing of restrictions upon the mobility of the labour and consumer
markets, in relation to the ease with which people feel it is safe to travel to
work and to access services and facilities within space that is shared rather
than ‘their’ space, is required in order to promote the conditions necessary for
shared economic growth in the city. Otherwise, any economic growth is likely
to be constrained within each community separately on a cultural apartheid
basis or else it will be confined to the more neutral and accessible city centre.

2.2 Social policy context:

A range of policies and strategies have emerged within recent years which
have supported the positive relationship-building work outlined earlier. Belfast
City Council’s Good Relations Unit has supported local projects through small
grant funding, recently supplemented with Peace III funding.
The Housing Executive’s Shared Neighbourhood Programme aims to support
and encouraging the development of shared neighbourhoods across Northern
Ireland;
The Interface Working Group represents a further significant step forward.
This high level inter-agency group has been working on sharing information
about existing and prospective new interfaces and relevant policies, and the
development of a strategic approach to the
transformation of interface areas and physical barriers.
In short, a policy focus and interest, albeit relatively undeveloped, is emerging
in relation to interfaces, shared space and demographic change;
This interest in addressing the impact of segregation and division in increasing


                                                                            - 32 -
potential for social and economic growth is likely to continue as the Reform of
Public Administration (RPA) makes its recommendations in terms of
maximizing efficiency and reducing unnecessary duplication of local authority
facilities services.
Against this backdrop, it is useful to be reminded that Trina Vargo of the US-
Ireland Alliance commissioned local surveys of residents in 3 interface areas
of Belfast in January 2008.
Key findings of the poll:
      81% of respondents wanted the walls to come down;
      21% said now;
      60% said yes, when it’s safe enough, but not at present;
      17% said they didn’t care if the walls never come down;
      There was strong agreement that the walls serve to help residents feel
safer by keeping the communities separated. They also felt the walls served
to stop young gang-related activity.
      61% agreed that local politicians should be doing more to create
conditions for the walls to come down, with only 10% disagreeing.
      52% felt that the two communities are growing in their confidence in each
other.
      58% lacked confidence in the ability of the police to preserve peace and
maintain order if the walls came down.

Encouragingly, those polled seem reluctant to simply place blame on ‘the
other side,’ and accepted that both sides of each interface area share
culpability. There was a net disagreement with the proposition that ‘the other
side could not be trusted.”
These findings underscore the huge role that fear and concerns about safety
continue to play in interface communities and the importance of the N.I.
Executive’s new Cohesion, Sharing and Integration (CSI) strategy, due to be
published in 2009, which will aim to tackle racism, sectarianism and
intolerance.


3   Key Regeneration Issues for Interface Communities

As a membership-based organisation, it is important that BIP is sensitive to
the needs of member groups, agencies and individuals. With this in mind, BIP
first surveyed members’ perceptions of their key issues in 2004 and repeated
this exercise, using an independent research agency, in 2008 in order to
measure any changes over the intervening period. This section outlines some
key findings of the research. In general, in interpreting the graphs, positive
change is represented by columns increasing in height as they move towards
the left-hand margin of the graph; conversely, negative change is noted in
columns increasing in height as they move towards the right-hand margin.

3.1 Attractiveness of the Physical Environment




                                                                          - 33 -
Chart 1: Members’ perceptions of changes in level of attractiveness of the
physical environment in their own interface area in: previous 10 years (1994-
2004); last 4 years (2004-2008)




Chart 1 shows that 50% of respondents reported positive changes to levels of
attractiveness of their physical environment in the 2008 survey, while a
matching 50% reported no change in this area. While there is clearly room for
further development in this area, the figures show an improvement over the
2004 survey results in which 35% of respondents report that levels of
attractiveness of the physical environment has actually reduced over the
previous 10 years. No respondents report a reduction in the 2008 survey.

3.2 Economic Activity

Chart 2: Change in level of economic activity in members’ own interface areas
in: previous 10 years (1994-2004); last 4 years (1994-2008)




In Chart 2 the 2004 survey results show that more than half of respondents
report that levels of economic activity in their communities have reduced over
the previous 10 years, with 30% reporting that levels were much lower in
2004; 10% report no change over the period and only 25% report an
improvement. In 2008 the proportion reporting an improvement grew to
almost 36% while, significantly, the proportion reporting no change has risen
from 20% to 57%.

3.3 Freedom of Movement

Chart 3: Change in the level of freedom of movement in accessing facilities
and services in interface areas throughout Belfast over the previous 10 years
(1994-2004); last 4 years (1994-2008)


                                                                          - 34 -
Chart 3 shows some positive movement over the period 2004 to 2008, with
42% reporting that levels of freedom of movement in accessing facilities and
services has increased over this period, compared to only 18% in the 2004
survey. As with chart 2, however, chart 3 also shows that a significant
majority, at 57%, report no change in this area.

3.4 Intercommunity tension/intimidation/violence

Chart 4: Changes in levels of intercommunity tension/intimidation/violence
between the two main communities in Belfast over the previous 10 years
(1994-2004); last 4 years (1994-2008)




Chart 4 shows a marked shift over the period of the two surveys. In the 2004
survey 48%, almost half, of respondents reported that levels of inter-
community tension and violence had increased over the period 1994 to 2004,
compared with 30% who felt it remained unchanged and 20% who felt it had
decreased over the period. In contrast, 65% of respondents in the 2008
survey report that levels of inter-community tension and violence have
decreased, with 25% reporting that it these have decreased a lot. In both
surveys, approximately 30% report no change over the period, underlining
that this is still an issue in some areas.

3.5 Community dialogue

Chart 5: Changes in level of community dialogue between the two main
communities in Belfast over (the last 10 years 2004) / (the last 4 years 2008)


                                                                          - 35 -
Despite the levels of intercommunity tension and violence reported over the
period 1994-2004 in chart 4 above, chart 5 shows that a majority, 60%, of
survey respondents indicate that levels of inter-community dialogue has
increased over that period. The 2008 survey results continue this trend, with
fully three quarters, 76% of respondents, reporting an increase in levels of
inter-community dialogue. Despite this positive picture, a significant minority
of almost 25%, however, report that levels of dialogue have remained
unchanged since 2004 or have actually decreased.

3.6 Summary

This brief ‘snapshot’ shows clear patterns over the period1994 to 2008:
While levels of attractiveness of the physical environment in some interface
areas have improved in recent years, there is clearly room for significant
further improvement in this area.
Levels of inter-community tension and violence in interface areas have
reduced considerably, accompanied by a growth in levels of inter-community
dialogue in many interface areas.
Levels of economic activity in interface areas have been much slower to
improve in interface communities, accompanied by continuing difficulties in
terms of levels of freedom of movement in accessing facilities and services.
While 42% report that levels of freedom of movement have increased, a
significant majority reported no change in this area.




                                                                           - 36 -
4    Development of the Strategic Plan
The process of developing this strategic plan began with the annual forward-
planning residential for members of the Board of Directors of Belfast Interface
Project together with staff, held in January 2008 and facilitated by an
independent external consultant, Julie Harrison. The strategic planning
process, subsequently, continued beyond the residential with board meetings
and smaller group discussions set aside specifically for this, so that this
document represents the result of a sizeable piece of work by board members
and staff over an extended period. BIP sees this plan as a ‘living document’
which will change over time and which will be subject to annual review and
reassessment.

4.1 Reducing Interfaces

An important consideration is that BIP’s aim, ultimately, is to work to build
capacity which removes the case for its existence in future and so BIP needs
to continue its work at policy level in the development of indicators that are
acceptable, realistic and grounded in the views of local interface communities
in order to monitor indicators of need that it is well-placed to address or
otherwise. With this in mind BIP will continue periodically to survey views of
members and non-member key-stakeholders on these issues. A priority for
BIP in the future, it was felt, is that BIP should support processes of change
through being more proactive, rather than reactive owing to the nature of
much interface work in the past.

4.2 Conflict Resolution

BIP needs to promote and support processes of conflict transformation, rather
than solely conflict management. While it is important, it is felt, BIP should be
able to respond to requests for local facilitation independently and impartially
where needed and appropriate, BIP needs to act as an independent referral
agency wherever possible, referring requests for this work to locally
appropriate agencies. In this way, it is felt, BIP needs to clearly support
existing and emerging inter-community infrastructure, while at the same time
retaining the capacity to deliver localised support where this is appropriate
and through consultation and agreement with existing groups and agencies
where possible.

Examples of this support work over the past 10 years include:
The cross community development and ownership of Stewartstown Road
Regeneration Project;
The support work with interface community representatives in East Belfast in
order to design and implement a conflict transformation project there following
the violence of 2002; Supporting the development of Finaghy Cross Roads
Group joint strategic plan; and
The development of a number of mobile phone networks now largely
sustainable by organisations based in interface communities;


                                                                            - 37 -
Supporting the development of a model of youth mediation at the Whitewell /
Whitecity interface; and
Continuing to support the Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group.

4.3 BIP’s Role in promoting Shared Space

Acknowledging the growing focus on sharing (shared space, ‘A Shared
Future’, etc) as a concept which is likely to inform and drive future policy
debate and development, it is noted that BIP’s role will be to participate in this
with both realism and vision. In relation to this issue, it is acknowledged that
part of BIP’s role will be to support the expression and documentation of and
engagement with the range of emotions and experiences that exist within
interface communities regarding the concept of sharing as well as other
issues that may arise.

4.4 Visibility

Finally, it is noted that BIP has in the past generally kept a relatively low
profile in terms of local media attention, although with a higher profile
internationally, not out of any desire to hide activities but simply due to the
sensitivity of the work and because volume of work has prevented the
expenditure of energy and resources in promotion of BIP outside of our
natural constituency and networks to other stakeholders. It is felt that, given
the current environment, BIP needs to develop and maintain a more visible
profile while maintaining our independent role.




                                                                             - 38 -
5. Government Policy Context
BIP, although it is an independent agency, exists within a policy environment
which is implemented and influenced by a range of bodies operating from
within a number of geographical contexts. These include the European level,
an Ireland-wide context, at regional Northern Ireland level, and the Belfast
city-wide context. This policy environment includes a framework for the
resourcing of interface-related work and a framework outlining the range of
principles, rights and responsibilities which underpin that work. This section
briefly outlines some key elements within the current policy context; each
policy area is described more fully in Appendix 1.

5.1 The Programme for Government 2008 - 2011

The Programme for Government, the first produced by a devolved N.I.
assembly in many years, sets out the N.I. Executive’s long term aspirations as
well as plans and priorities for 2008-2011 and includes two overarching cross-
cutting themes of promoting a shared and better future for all and the
development of new and innovative measures that will address existing
patterns of socio-economic disadvantage and target resources and efforts
towards those in greatest objective need.

5.2 A Shared Future Strategy - Policy and Strategic Framework for
Good Relations in Northern Ireland (2005)

The aim of this policy, launched by the Office of the First Minster and Deputy
First Minister in March 2005, is to establish, over time, a shared society
defined by a culture of tolerance: a normal, civic society, in which all
individuals are considered as equals, where differences are resolved through
dialogue in the public sphere and where all individuals are treated impartially;
a society where there is equity, respect for diversity and recognition of our
interdependence. The strategy sets out thirteen policy objectives to realise
this aim.

5.3 Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Corporate Plan 2006 –
2009

The role of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is to promote
equality of opportunity and affirmative action, work towards the elimination of
unlawful discrimination, keep relevant legislation under review, promote good
relations between persons of different racial groups, and oversee the
effectiveness of statutory duties on public authorities. The Commission has
identified four main priority areas for its work during the period of this
corporate plan: making the case for equality; building access to equality
provisions and protections; delivering equality, and ensuring high quality
organisational performance.




                                                                            - 39 -
5.4 The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has four main functions:
litigation, investigation, education and promotion, and advising government.
Four key issues for the Commission include: advising Government on the
scope for a constitutional-level Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, to include
rights not protected by the European Convention; advising regarding methods
of ‘Dealing with the Past’; the protection of human rights within the context of
combating terrorism, and the encouragement of dialogue and a human rights-
based approach as the way forward in conflict intervention and resolving
community tensions.

5.5 People & Place – A strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal

This strategy, launched by government in June 2003, seeks to target those
communities throughout Northern Ireland who are suffering the highest levels
of deprivation and to bring together the work of all government departments in
partnership with local people to tackle disadvantage and deprivation in all
aspects of everyday life. The Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy details four
strategic objectives: community renewal; economic renewal; social renewal,
and physical renewal. A key element of the strategy’s approach has been the
establishment of Neighbourhood Partnerships in each Neighbourhood
Renewal Area (NRA) as vehicles for local planning and implementation.

5.6 Positive Steps (2005)

‘Positive Steps’, the Government’s response to ‘Investing Together, the report
of the Task Force into the resourcing of the Voluntary and Community Sector’,
states Government’s support for the Voluntary and Community Sector and
goes on to outline a range of new government commitments in relation to
supporting: funding the Voluntary and Community Sector; community
development and change; service delivery; cross cutting policy areas; internal
governance, management and accountability; the relationship between the
government and the voluntary and community sector; voluntary and
community sector support & development services and, finally, next steps to
be taken in supporting the delivery of these.

5.7 Community Relations Council (CRC) - Interim and Strategic Plan
2007 – 2010

The plan outlines the approaches that CRC will take, including: identifying and
developing new and effective approaches to peace-building and reconciliation
in partnership with people, organisations and government; promoting the
adoption of good relations policies and practice at local, community and
institutional level; assisting communities and institutions in working through
and beyond the legacies of the Troubles, and the following principles on which
the Council’s work is founded: equity and equality; human rights; respect for
diversity; interdependence; non-violence, openness, transparency and
accountability.



                                                                           - 40 -
5.8 Peace III Operational Programme. EU Programme for Peace and
Reconciliation 2007 – 2013 (Northern Ireland and the Border Region of
Ireland)

The overall aim of the PEACE III Programme is to reinforce progress towards
a peaceful and stable society and to promote reconciliation. The Programme
has two strategic objectives: a) Reconciling communities: key activities will
facilitate relationships on a cross-community and/or cross-border basis to
assist in addressing issues of trust, prejudice and intolerance, and accepting
commonalities and differences. In addition, key activities will seek to
acknowledge and deal with the hurt, losses, trauma and suffering caused by
the conflict; and b) Contributing to a shared society: key activities will address
the physical segregation or polarisation of places and communities in
Northern Ireland and the Border Region with a view to encouraging increased
social and economic cross community and cross-border engagement.

5.9 International Fund for Ireland 2006 – 2010 Strategic Plan

The mission of the IFI, established in 1986, is to underpin efforts towards
peace by promoting economic and social advance and encouraging contact,
dialogue and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists throughout
Ireland’. Strategic Objectives include the following: helping to build and
realise the vision of a shared future for the communities in Northern Ireland
and both parts of the island; promoting understanding between the different
communities/traditions in Ireland; working with those communities suffering
the greatest economic and social deprivation, scarcity of employment and
poverty of aspiration; facilitating more integration between the two
communities; dealing with the problems of the economically inactive and long-
term unemployed; building strong strategic alliances with other agencies and
bodies active on the ground; helping ensure the long term continuation of its
work in Ireland beyond the lifetime of the Fund; and sharing the expertise and
learning acquired over twenty years with peace-builders in other regions.

5.10 Belfast City Council (BCC) Corporate Plan (2007 – 2008)

The Belfast City Council 2007 – 2008 Corporate Plan vision is to make Belfast
a better place for everyone, a vision of Belfast as a modern and welcoming
city with a quality of life to rival the best in the world - a city that is never
content to stand still but improves over the years. BCC has identified four
objectives to help make this vision a reality: Providing Civic Leadership;
Improving Quality of Life, Now and for Future Generations; Promoting Good
Relations by encouraging fair treatment, understanding and respect for people
of all cultures, and delivering best services by providing high quality, value for
money services, when and where people need them.

5.11 Belfast City Council (BCC) ‘Good Relations Strategy – Building Our
Future Together’ (2004)

This strategy aims to promote fair treatment, understanding and respect for
people of all cultures and faiths across the city. The vision of the strategy is


                                                                             - 41 -
for a stable, tolerant, fair and pluralist society, where individuality is respected
and diversity is celebrated, in an inclusive manner. The Good Relations
Strategy has the following high-level objectives: promoting community
relations; contribute to a more stable, tolerant society by establishing a
community relations programme; celebrating cultural diversity; contributing
towards an inclusive pluralist society; promoting and supporting the
celebration of such diversity in an inclusive manner which avoids offending
those with different views; promoting equality through service delivery, and
promoting equality through a representative workforce.

6     On Sharing and Partnership Working
To say that there has been little positive contact between interface
communities over the period of ‘the Troubles’ would be an understatement, as
interface communities have been characterised by segregation and greatly
reduced communications over this period of violent conflict. Many interface
communities report difficulties in terms of perceived safety in accessing
facilities and services particularly where this requires travelling into or through
the ‘other’ community.

The issue of shared housing is particularly sensitive in this early stage in our
political settlement, with a need to acknowledge both the real and pressing
demand which exists for housing and the security concerns which have been
expressed in terms of its provision.

Given that this has been the case, it is hardly surprising that, while the
concept of sharing of activities, facilities or services on an inter-community
basis is generally welcomed as a positive goal, many community groups and
activists feel a need to approach this complex issue carefully and
incrementally.
With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that, for some unfamiliar with the
concept, the prospect of sharing with members of the ‘other’ community can
appear frightening and risky.

6.1 Exploring Sharing

Against this backdrop, it is important that the concept of sharing is explored
and promoted realistically and that we develop our expertise in this area. This
might include, for example, promoting progressive and incremental sharing
where this is appropriate, recognising that, for some people, there may be a
sharing continuum which moves from ‘currently easy to share’ to ‘currently
difficult to share’ and that this continuum might include shared services,
shared activities and shared space.

It is our experience at BIP that sharing can be difficult and threatening.
Notwithstanding this, however, providing risks are taken and based on a
sound and people-focussed process, sharing can be enriching, sustaining
communities and enabling people to work together on practical issues for their
common benefit.
It is important that, wherever possible, sharing is promoted within a framework
that recognises that this should be a voluntary process rather than a coercive

                                                                               - 42 -
one, and that this is not a ‘quick fix’ – our history of segregation and
communities living virtually ‘parallel lives’ is such that the adoption of sharing
as a natural way to view interactions between our previously-divided
communities will take some time, experience and expertise to become
embedded within our society.

BIP’s position is that there is a need to move towards a greater degree of
sharing on the part of today’s interface communities and that this process
should be promoted sensitively and incrementally. Positive sharing
experiences, we feel, are much more likely to result where there exist a
unifying goal, external support, the active involvement of local leaders which
engages with negativity and apathy, and tangible mutual benefit. Through
these positive experiences of sharing, it is to be hoped that interface
communities will feel ever more confident in accessing shared resources.

6.2 Understanding Sharing

In summary, sharing is understood by Belfast Interface Project as:

Non-threatening;
Shared sports/health facilities/childcare and other services that sustain both
communities
Not about losing culture/identity;
Based on a sound process and shared experiences;
Not a quick fix;
Focussed on people;
Working together for community benefit;
Practical and pragmatic;
For mutual benefit; and
Not coercive.

However, sharing can also be:
Unfamiliar;
Frightening;
Risky;
Easier with some things than others; and
A continuum from services to activities to space.

Sharing requires:

A unifying goal;
Good local knowledge;
Shared spaces;
Sound leadership and capability;
Tangible mutual benefit;
Mobility and confidence;
Support; and


                                                                              - 43 -
Engaging with negativity and apathy.

6.3 The Complexity of Sharing

The development of these aims and consequent roles is predicated on an
understanding that the promotion of sharing is complex. While for some the
‘right to share’ may be seen as natural and incontrovertible, for others the
prospect of sharing can mean ‘giving up what’s ours’ and can lead to
insecurity, anger and disengagement. BIP envisages that progress across the
city in addressing issues relating to sharing will not be uniform and will require
engaging with residents of interface areas as citizens in shaping the future of
the city and their services.




                                                                            - 44 -
7   BIP Services 2004 – 2008

7.1 Members’ Feedback

Section 2 of this document outlined some findings of a recent (2008) BIP
survey of key issues for our membership. This section of the report outlines
some further findings of the survey in relation to members’ perceptions of the
usefulness of BIP’s activities and services over the period 2004 - 2008 and
additional service needs identified.

Developing the Knowledge Base

Chart 6 below outlines the extent to which members found BIP’s activities
useful in relation to providing information and developing the knowledge base
regarding interface areas.

Chart 6: Extent to which members found the services useful




Members rate the Interface newssheet highly with almost four out of five rating
it as a 4 or higher and with an average rating of 4.1 or 82%. Chart 6 also
shows that members found BIP’s activities in relation to identifying,
documenting and disseminating effective practice also useful with a high
average score of 4 out of 5. Members found BIP’s activities in relation to
updating website information, resources and links useful with an average
score of 3.2 or 64%. Members found BIP’s activities in relation to mapping
NIO and other interfaces useful and this is rated with an average score of 3.7
or 74%. Members found BIP’s activities in relation to sharing perspectives on
the issue of shared space useful and they rated this with an average of 3.6 or
72%. Members found BIP’s activities in relation to signposting to training and

                                                                          - 45 -
development opportunities useful and this is rated with an average score of
3.8 or 76%.

Developing Positive Relationships

Chart 7 outlines the survey findings in relation to how useful members found
different practices that BIP has been involved in for providing support to
interface communities to develop positive relationships. These include:

•    Supporting access to crisis response mechanisms;

•    Providing opportunities for informed debate on conflict transformation;

•    Supporting conflict management, reconciliation and transformation and;

•    Providing networking opportunities.

Chart 7: Extent to which BIP members found the practices useful




Members found BIP’s activities in relation to supporting access to crisis
response mechanisms useful with the most frequently occurring score 4, or
80%, representing a third of the respondents (which is high). Members found
the provision of opportunities for informed debate on conflict transformation
useful and rate BIP’s activities in relation to this with an average score of 3.8
or 76%, leaning towards the higher points in the scale. Members rate BIP’s
activities highly in relation to supporting conflict management, reconciliation,
and transformation, with an average score of 4.2 and almost 90 percent of
respondents rating it either 4 or 5, including over a third giving it the highest
rating, 5. BIP’s activities in relation to providing networking opportunities are
rated very close to the higher scores with an average of 3.9 or 78%.

Supporting Change
Chart 8 outlines the summary responses in relation to the usefulness of:
activities supporting interface communities to contribute to shaping changes;

                                                                            - 46 -
activities supporting interface communities to develop shared space;
activities in relation to supporting conflict management, reconciliation and
transformation; and
thematic discussions, conferences etc.
Chart 8: Extent to which members found the activities useful




In Chart 8 members rate this very close to the higher scores on average (3.9
or 78%). Members rate the usefulness of BIP’s activities in supporting
interface communities to develop shared space highly, with the most
frequently occurring score being 5 and nearly 80 percent of them giving this
the higher scores of 4 or 5.

Members’ responses indicate they rate BIP’s activities in supporting conflict
management, reconciliation, and transformation highly. In the context of
supporting change within and between interface communities, this is also
highly rated with the most frequently occurring score being 4 and over 85
percent of respondents giving scores of 4 or 5. Members rate activities such
as BIP’s thematic discussions and conferences between the mid and high
points in the scale with an average of 3.6 or 72%.

7.2 Additional services needs

BIP’s members identify some other types of support that they feel would be
useful in relation to a number of issues.

Supporting local policy initiatives
This particularly refers to providing information on best practice and support
on how to develop local policy initiatives. Such support may include providing
access to networking opportunities and support for developing lobbying skills.
Subject areas include how BIP might inform/support organisations on
‘approaches to shared neighbourhoods’ and ‘help with Peace 3 Plans’. A
view generally expressed in the semi-structured interviews, however, is that

                                                                               - 47 -
these are largely influenced by, and dependent on, city-wide policy
developments.

Supporting city-wide policy change
Given the identification of local plans with the city-wide context, groups
generally expressed the view that BIP’s main role in relation to this should be
in influencing city wide policy development on issues that effected interface
areas and assisting organisations to become more actively involved in this
process through providing access to appropriate information and access to
lobbying skills. The provision of more networking opportunities is also
identified with a view to BIP developing a focus on ‘addressing’ issues rather
than ‘managing’ them. The view is expressed that BIP needs to be
represented on ‘bigger partnerships’ in relation to this.

Supporting practice and debate in the promotion of a shared and better
future
The view is expressed that there needs to be ‘more discussions around this’.
BIP needs to be more proactive in the debate on how a shared and better
future should be promoted. This might entail tailored programmes targeted on
individual communities to enable this to happen at a local level.

Improving the physical environment in interface area
The membership surveys suggests BIP needs to ‘work more on the ground’
with communities in relation to this, while promoting networking opportunities
for members as well as lobbying for change on this issue to the appropriate
agencies. The ‘work more on the ground’ aspect of this, it is felt, might
include general advice for communities wanting information on best practice
pertaining to how others (e.g. Stewartstown Road) had achieved this as well
as developing a broader facilitating/mediation role including relationship
building between communities. One specific response referred to providing
support to enable groups to access ‘funding and/or attractive creative
activities to engage young people in regenerating their neighbourhood/s’.

Improving social and/or economic activity in interface areas
Related to issues mentioned in 4.5.2 to 4.5.4 above, the membership survey
suggests BIP could become involved in ‘presenting a positive image of
interface areas as an asset in city plans etc’ as well as lobbying for resources
to address this issue, at a local community as well as city wide level. The
need for a broader facilitating/mediation role including, relationship building is
also suggested. On a more direct level it is suggested BIP might become
involved in providing ‘vocational training opportunities and skills based
initiatives with real prospects’ as well as providing support for job creation
projects.

Addressing the legacies of conflict/ intercommunity division
It is suggested support is needed for more discussions around this as well as
for facilitating more dialogue and joint working around common issues and,
again, the need to develop a broader facilitating/mediation role including
relationship building. It is also mentioned that it is ‘people living/working in
interface areas (who) should be leading the agendas in discussions on living


                                                                              - 48 -
in post-conflict society’. One respondent, while noting that there are issues
preventing progress in relation to this, suggested that BIP might become more
involved in ‘creating available space and resources to effectively address
(those) issues’. It is also suggested that BIP needed to provide more sign-
posting for members to training organisations involved with these issues.

Improving the freedom of movement in accessing facilities and services
for people
The role of BIP in providing support to address this issue is again perceived
as developing a broader facilitating/mediation role including, as one member
states, ‘supporting relationship-building initiatives to demonstrate the safety of
using facilities in ‘other’ areas’. Another member suggested that there needed
to be more information on government policy on this issue – ‘especially
around planning consultation periods’. It is noted by a number of members
that there was no agency that is specifically identified as a source of support
in this area of work.

Addressing intercommunity tension/intimidation/violence
In general, members indicate this issue requires additional resources to
support discussions and initiatives involving all of the appropriate
stakeholders. It is suggested that BIP may have a role in relation to supporting
different communities in ‘learning about different ways to celebrate diversity’
and this may entail providing support to members to enable them to ‘look at
what other interface groups are doing’ in relation to this. There is a widely
held view that this issue has increasingly become associated with ‘youth led
violence’ and with the assistance of a Project Worker providing advice and
information on how to access resources (funding) may help to address this
issue. It is felt this may also be assisted by disseminating information on the
roles/responsibilities of different agencies in relation to this. There is a need
to focus on ‘preventative’ rather than ‘reactive’ initiatives/interventions.

Addressing youth led/anti-social interface violence
Suggestions for more support in relation to this issue closely mirror the above,
only with an emphasis on youth focused activities/initiatives. In addition it is
suggested perhaps more work could be developed with the PSNI on how they
could ‘manage their approach to this more constructively’. It is also suggested
that there is a need to ‘make this issue more visible’ in the sense of
distinguishing it from previous (politically motivated) interface violence in order
to support members in accessing resources to address it.

Other forms of support
One regional organisation suggested that there might be a role for BIP in
supporting work on other interfaces outside Belfast. It was also suggested
that there was a need to develop practical materials with other relevant
agencies for improving practice in relation to issues such as youth led/anti-
social interface violence discussed above. Other practical forms of support
might also include a ‘comprehensive database of potential funders and other
groups involved in interface work’. One member suggested ‘organising
seminars/workshops to talk about the experiences of people from different
cultural backgrounds living/working in interface areas’.


                                                                             - 49 -
7.3 Summary

The membership survey informs the development of BIP’s plans for the period
2009-2014 through members’ assessment of the usefulness of current
services and their future needs. In addition, there is some indication BIP
should consider developing its role to support work on other interfaces outside
Belfast. BIP’s interface work also needs to take into account the increasing
cultural diversity of residents living interface communities. In terms of the
services members, the frequently recurring themes include:
information - particularly on best practice - and research;
networking opportunities to enable members to exchange practice and
develop relationships; and
‘relationship building’ between communities and across specific interfaces.

The more specific responses / suggestions in relation to the individual issues
indicate some of the areas in which BIP might become involved. However,
BIP’s involvement in all or even a number of these has substantial resource
implications. Although these are areas of work BIP is already engaged in to an
extent, their prevalence in the responses indicates that there is much more
BIP could be doing.

Members Views on Current Services
The membership survey clearly indicates services provided by BIP -
information, developing positive relationships and supporting change - are
valued. Eighty-two percent value the newssheet and the dissemination of
effective practice. Research such as mapping the NIO interfaces (74%) and
sharing perspectives on the issue of shared space is particularly useful (72%).

In terms of building positive relationships, 89% rate supporting in conflict
management, reconciliation and transformation highly; members value
networking opportunities (78%) and opportunities for informed debate (76%).

When it comes to supporting change members rated highly BIP’s activities in
supporting conflict management, reconciliation and transformation within and
between communities (85%); 80% rate BIP’s supporting interface
communities to develop shared space and 72% rated the thematic
discussions and conference.

Members Needs for Services
In terms of the need for services in the future, members are realistic that local
and city-wide policy initiatives largely influenced by, and dependent on city-
wide policy developments. This requires BIP to be involved in ‘bigger
partnerships’ and to use its influence help interface communities to be actively
involved in such developments. Members also indicate BIP should be more
proactive in supporting practice and debate in creating a shared and better
future including the development of tailored programmes targeted on
individual communities to enable progress to be made. Furthermore,
members indicate that BIP should play an active role in advocating for


                                                                            - 50 -
resources particularly in relation to improving the social and economic activity
and addressing interface tension, intimidation and violence.

BIP’s policy and advocacy role is also seen as significant in terms of achieving
improved social and economic activity in interface areas by lobbying for
resources. As outlined in section two increasing freedom of movement in
interface areas remains a huge challenge and members indicate that BIP
should:
support efforts to demonstrate how it is safe to use facilities in ‘other’ areas;
and
address the complexities that arise from no one government agency being
responsible for this matter.

There are a number of common themes emerging in relation to the types of
support members indicate BIP should provide. The view was expressed that
BIP needed to ‘work more on the ground’. This included the extension of the
facilitation / mediation role in order to support change in four major areas –
improving the physical environment, improving social and economic activity,
addressing the legacy of the conflict / inter-community division and improving
freedom of movement. This would include providing general advice, facilitation
including the development of relationships between specific interface
communities and organising networking opportunities.

In terms of addressing interface tensions /intimidation / violence members
identify particular support needs in this area. They are particularly interested
in support around youth led violence citing the need to disseminate good
practice currently underway in interface areas, to combine this with
approaches that celebrate cultural diversity. Resourcing such work with young
people (including diversionary activities) is difficult. Members highlight the
need for support at the project level suggesting:
The need for a dedicated project worker to help community groups access
resources; promote discussion and initiatives involving all the stakeholders;
engage a wide range of agencies (including PSNI) whose responsibilities
touch on this issue; and
the need to develop practical materials with relevant agencies that would lead
to improved practice in the area of youth led / anti-social violence at
interfaces.

In terms of addressing the legacy of the conflict / inter-community division,
members indicate the need for a broader facilitation / mediation role for BIP
while making the point that discussions need to be led locally and BIP’s role in
supporting this may lie in helping to create the available space and in sign-
posting groups to training organisations involved with these issues. Following
on BIP’s development of the Labour Mobility Project, members suggest BIP
has a role in supporting job creation projects and becoming more involved in
vocational training opportunities and skills based initiatives.




                                                                            - 51 -
8     Belfast Interface Project Aims and Objectives 2009-2014 and
Indicative Actions
BIP’s work in recent years has primarily been in the areas of research into
interface issues, sharing information regarding effective practice, facilitation
and mediation work, provision of membership support and networking
opportunities, and trying to influence policy where possible.

8.1 Regeneration of Interface Areas

Regeneration in the city has focused successfully on the city centre while the
regeneration of whole neighbourhoods affected by interfaces has lagged
behind. Successful development of interface areas in future will require
interface communities to come to mutual agreements regarding land use and
the appropriate provision of facilities and services. Following this, the
opportunities to develop vacant and underused land for the benefit of local
communities, in order to meet social and economic needs and to promote
long term stability and sustainability at interfaces, are considerable.

8.2 Aims of Belfast Interface Project 2009-2014

Within the context of the need to promote a shared and better future, and
bearing in mind the range of levels of capacity across the interface community
sector, BIP sees the following aims as appropriate over the period 2009 -
2014:
Policy: Providing Intermediary and Bridging functions;
Service Advocacy;
Supporting Change and Transformation; and
Managing the membership organisation efficiently and effectively.

Given the role of some young people in continuing albeit low-level violence in
interface areas, and the anecdotal evidence of increasingly shared activities
amongst young people in the city centre, it is anticipated that BIP will
incorporate a youth ‘strand’ of work into each aim where practicable.


8.3 Policy: Providing Intermediary and Bridging functions

During 2005-2008, BIP has participated in a number of policy forums
particularly in relation to the promotion of Good Relations. These have
included:
the Interface Working Group;
the advisory group for Belfast City Council Good Relations Unit’s Conflict
Transformation Project; and
Community Relations Council.

In view of the political progress that has now been made and the rapid
development of Belfast and other urban areas, it is critical that communities

                                                                              - 52 -
that desire change and statutory and public agencies, including the Office of
First Minister & Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) that can deliver change are
more closely linked than before.

This will require BIP to build on its existing networks to influence policy and
implementation in order to support the development of partnerships between
local communities, statutory agencies and policy makers. BIP will build on the
Good Relations work with Belfast City Council and will continue to advocate
for adequate resources to tackle issues in interface communities with statutory
agencies and public bodies. It is anticipated that this will create linkages
between community groups and agencies on the delivery of services and
community transformation and change.

Work in this area will include a rights-based approach and will be based on
opportunities provided by and requests from members, interface community
groups and agencies. This work will also be supported by evidence from
membership surveys and other research.

Aim 1:
BIP aims to be proactive in linking and involving local communities in
changing policy and in advocating for change that is of practical benefit to
interface communities.

Objectives:
Identify and engage with other stakeholders to identify issues, concerns and
areas for cooperation.
Actions:
Develop policy networks and interest groups from our membership among the
interface community sector to ground the policy work, and act as a catalyst in
promoting and facilitating these to lead effective change with their
neighbourhoods and residents.
Carry out a survey of issues and perceived obstacles/barriers for the private
and statutory sectors in relation to the social and economic regeneration of
interface communities. Hold a seminar event to discuss findings with key
stakeholders and support further policy development in this area.
Disseminate information through seminars, briefings, etc.

Represent the views of BIP to influence decisions of key bodies.
Actions:
Continued membership of the inter-agency Interface Working Group and
development of a process through which to plan for the eventual
removal/change of existing physical interface structures through consultation
with interface communities.
BIP will extend advocacy into other policy arenas with the local political
institutions and agencies in order to support service advocacy, change and
transformation.

Develop the knowledge base regarding key issues and effective practice in
interface areas, disseminate information to members and key stakeholders,
and provide opportunities for networking and discussion.


                                                                               - 53 -
Actions:
Commission research in the area of effective practice:
Work with young people has assisted in reducing violence in interface areas;
Effective approaches to the development of sharing in interface areas.

Develop opportunities to share information and research about interface
communities and issues with interface communities in urban settings
throughout Northern Ireland.
Actions:
Deliver a series of seminars outlining BIP’s findings and perspectives
gathered to date, with opportunities for feedback and discussion, at a range of
N.I. urban venues outside of Belfast.

8.4 Service Advocacy

In aiming to support improvements in provision of services to interface
communities through clearly defined pieces of work, BIP recognises the
potential of Community Support Plans and community involvement strategies
focused on promoting dialogue and interaction and the potential to develop,
for example, shared sports/health facilities/childcare/library and other services
that sustain both communities. BIP recognises also that the development of
community planning and the impact of the review of public administration
(RPA) will affect many interface communities as area boundaries change as
well as the structures of statutory and other agencies in servicing these.
Interface communities face particular challenges in relation to the delivery of
accessible services, the promotion of social and community cohesion, and
provision of affordable housing.

Aim 2:
BIP aims to support interface communities and to advocate with agencies and
others in order to address issues of safety in interface communities and safe
access to work and services, through improved relationships between
communities, increased labour mobility and the development of shared
services.

Objectives:
Promote accessibility of local services and facilities.
Actions:
On a pilot basis, proactively identify a number of clearly defined statutory
services and facilities which are associated with access difficulties and,
through working with the relevant agencies, community and youth groups and
individuals, promote greater access to these.
Advocate the advantages of sharing through large and small group
discussions and the dissemination of successful models, taking into account
the realities and difficulties which may apply.

Connect people living in interface communities with opportunities and
resources for training and development in order to support social and
economic mobility.
Actions:

                                                                            - 54 -
Build upon our existing labour mobility training project by providing
opportunities on a cross-community basis for employment-related and inter-
cultural training, education and strategic planning for adults and young people
in interface areas.

Support interface communities in gaining access to crisis response
mechanisms where required.
Actions:

Advocate the development of a ‘key contacts’ website or similar, outlining
details of conflict transformation support projects, inc out-of-hours emergency
contact details, across the city.

Develop, with others, good relations and other indicators with which to
measure change in interface areas.
Actions:
Support the development, on a local interface community basis, of good
relations indicators against which potential to remove/change interface
structures can be measured, together with actions which help over time to
increase measurements recorded.

8.5 Supporting Change and Transformation

The further development of leadership at local level that is both positive and
capable of delivering change is seen as a critical task for interface
communities. BIP can make a contribution through supporting interface
communities to build networking capacity in order to address issues of
contested space and to engage in the debate about the future of our city and
the sharing of it. The capacity and willingness to engage is not uniform and
there is often a price to be paid for each ‘breakthrough’ in local interface
community relations, as each has the potential to create a local backlash of
resistance to change. Nationalist areas have often been marked by local co-
ordination of efforts whereas Unionist areas have often been marked by a
history of factions and fragmentation. This paradigm is constantly shifting,
however, and this work is resource intensive. BIP, as an independent
organisation, has worked successfully in these diverse situations in supporting
residents to develop effective strategies.

Aim 3:
BIP aims to support interface communities to develop positive relationships by
encouraging and enabling co-operation, promoting articulation and
understanding of key issues involved in sharing and division, and providing
support through change.

Objectives:
Support conflict transformation, reconciliation and conflict management, in
communities, including through provision of opportunities for informed debate
and intervention.

Actions:


                                                                           - 55 -
Advocate the development of a city-wide dialogue initiative involving a range
of different constituencies, each with a conflict transformation role/interest.
Respond to requests and provide independent facilitation, mediation and
mentoring support at local interfaces on a limited basis where appropriate, to
assist in reconciling local tensions and encourage the sharing of facilities and
activities and the taking up of opportunities at interfaces which meet local
needs.
Actively promote a youth mediation model of youth engagement in conflict
transformation work with appropriate best practice projects.

To support interface communities interested in developing dialogue with
‘other’ communities and local residents including black and ethnic minority
(BME) residents.

Actions:
Commission a piece of research with and jointly steered by BME communities
to identify the needs of members of ethnic minority communities living in
interface communities. Hold a seminar event to discuss findings with key
stakeholders and support further policy development in this area.

8.6 Efficient and effective management of membership organisation

BIP is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status and also a
membership organisation, and so this final aim incorporates the maintenance
of membership functions as well as the more traditional internal governance
and finance and administration mechanisms and systems.

Aim 4:
BIP aims to ensure that membership remains reflective of interface
communities as changes occur and that the organisation is managed
efficiently and effectively.

Objectives
Consult, support and continually develop BIP membership to reflect the
changing interface communities.
Actions:
Carry out a survey of membership needs in 2011 and act on findings; continue
to develop our membership and seek to provide appropriate support services.
Continue to produce our Interface news-sheet, outlining good practice in
addressing interface community issues and promoting increased
communication amongst groups across the city, and develop the website as
an interactive tool.

Manage the organisation effectively and efficiently.
Actions:
Ensure efficient, accountable and transparent management of finances,
commission an annual audit, and ensure that the work of BIP is independently
evaluated and monitored appropriately.




                                                                            - 56 -
Hold an annual team building and forward planning residential in order to
review the Strategic Plan and develop the operational plan, and acquire the
financial and human resources required to implement the strategic plan.
Hold a regular AGM.
Maintain an effective staff team supported by a system for appraisal and
support and up to date policies and procedures, and provide training
opportunities to Management Committee and staff as practicable.




                                                                         - 57 -
9    Appendix
The policies relevant to Belfast Interface Project have been identified in terms
of regional, agency and local arenas.

Programme for Government

The Programme for Government sets out the Executive’s plans and priorities
for 2008-2011 as well as some longer term aspirations which will be pursued
by working with and for all the people of Northern Ireland. The Programme’s
overarching aim is ‘to build a peaceful, fair and prosperous society in Northern
Ireland, with respect for the rule of law and where everyone can enjoy a better
quality of life now and in years to come’.
The Programme focuses on equality as an important issue for Northern
Ireland government and identifies five key strategic priorities (P: 6):
Promoting tolerance, inclusion, health and well-being;
Investing to build our infrastructure;
Protecting and enhancing our environment and natural resources;
Delivering modern, high quality and efficient public services; and
Growing a dynamic, innovative economy.

The Programme also identifies two cross-cutting themes:
A shared and better future for all: ‘equality, fairness, inclusion and the
promotion of good relations will be watchwords for all of our policies and
programmes across Government.’ And
Sustainability: ‘building a sustainable future will be a key requirement for our
economic, social and environmental policies and programmes … The
development of new and innovative measures that will address existing
patterns of socio-economic disadvantage and target resources and efforts
towards those in greatest objective need is now viewed as the main challenge
for all of us.’

The Programme’s priorities and themes closely accord with BIP’s vision for a
future in which today’s interface communities:
Are free from tension, intimidation and violence both within and between
communities;
Have come to terms with legacies of the past;
Are socially and economically vibrant, with an attractive physical environment;
Enjoy freedom of movement in accessing facilities and services; and
Have respect for cultural difference and diversity.

A Shared Future Strategy - Policy and Strategic Framework for Good
Relations in Northern Ireland (2005)

In March 2005 the Office of the First Minster and Deputy First Minister
launched the ’A Shared Future’ policy and strategic framework for good
relations in Northern Ireland.
The strategy sets thirteen clear policy objectives to realise this aim:

                                                                           - 58 -
                               1
Eliminate sectarianism, racism and all forms of prejudice to enable people to
live and work without fear or intimidation;
Reduce tension and conflict at interface areas;
Facilitate the development of a shared community where people wish to learn,
live, work and play together;
Promote civic-mindedness via citizenship education through school and
lifelong learning;
Protect members of minorities (whether for example by religion, race, or any
other grounds) and mixed marriages from intimidation and ensure
perpetrators are brought to justice;
Ensure that all public services are delivered impartially and guided by
economy, efficiency and effectiveness;
Shape policies, practices and institutions to enable trust and good relations to
grow;
Encourage understanding of the complexity of our history, through museums
and a common school curriculum;
Support cultural projects which highlight the complexity and overlapping
nature of identities and their wider global connections;
Support and learn from organisations working across ethnic divides for
reconciliation, including those operating on a north-south basis;
Ensure voice is given to the diverse victims of violence in Northern Ireland,
including via archives and victim-centred reconciliation events;
Encourage communication, tolerance and trust across Northern Ireland, but
particularly in areas where communities are living apart; and
Promote dialogue between and mutual understanding of, different faiths and
cultural backgrounds, both long standing within Northern Ireland and recent
arrivals to these shores, guided by overarching human rights norms.

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland Corporate Plan 2006 – 2009

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is an independent public body
established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Relevant legislation provides
that the Commission must promote equality of opportunity and affirmative
action, work towards the elimination of unlawful discrimination, keep relevant
legislation under review, promote good relations between persons of different
racial groups and oversee the effectiveness of statutory duties on public
authorities. The Commission’s vision is of Northern Ireland as a shared,
integrated and inclusive place, a society where difference is respected and
valued, based on equality and fairness for the entire community. The mission
of the Commission is to advance equality, promote equality of opportunity,
encourage good relations and challenge discrimination through promotion,
advice and enforcement.

Four main priority areas have been identified by the Commission for its work
during the period of this Corporate Plan:

Making the Case for Equality: The Commission will work to promote a greater
understanding of and support for equality in Northern Ireland

                                                                           - 59 -
Building access to equality provisions and protections: The Commission will
work to facilitate greater access to equality for the whole community.
Delivering equality: The Commission will use its full range of powers to deliver
equality across the range of equality strands; and
Ensuring high quality organisational performance.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is an independent public
agency – it is not an NGO, and not a government body. It was established by
Parliament through the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and started its work on 1
March 1999. As Human Rights and Equality were deemed to be central to the
conflict in Northern Ireland so the creation of a Human Rights Commission
(and an Equality Commission) was a key outcome of the Belfast (Good
Friday) Agreement 1998.
Currently the only UN-recognised National Human Rights Institution in the
United Kingdom, the Commission has four main functions –
litigation, investigation, education and promotion, and advising government.
The Commission bases all of its work on international human rights standards
including those of the United Nations and the Council of Europe.

Four key issues for the Commission include:

Bill of Rights: of all the international standards, the only one enforceable in
Northern Ireland courts is the European Convention on Human Rights. The
Commission has the legal duty to advise Government on the scope for a
constitutional-level Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, to include rights not
protected by the European Convention.
Currently a Bill of Rights Forum, established by government in December
2006 and comprising representatives from local political parties and civil
society, is reviewing this issue. The Commission looks forward to receiving
the views of this body before submitting its advice to government on the
proposed Bill.
Dealing with the past: the Commission has done a great deal of work around
the investigation of deaths, particularly in the context of the 3,500 deaths from
the Northern Ireland conflict. The Commission believes that any future ‘truth
process’ needs to be based on widespread consultation, in order to command
the greatest possible public confidence.

It has concerns around the adequacy and independence of the inquiry system
set up to investigate, in particular, cases where state collusion in killings has
been alleged.

Counter-terrorism: the Commission is convinced of the need to protect
human rights in the context of combating terrorism. It wants to see rapid
progress towards normalisation of security and policing arrangements in
Northern Ireland, including proper oversight of intelligence operations. It
opposes ‘extraordinary rendition’.
Conflict intervention: as a body created by the peace process, the
Commission encourages dialogue and a human rights-based approach as the

                                                                            - 60 -
way forward in resolving community tensions. It will seek to contribute its
expertise to the range of organisations already dealing with such issues.

People & Place

In June 2003, government launched ‘People and Place – A strategy for
Neighbourhood Renewal’. The strategy seeks to target those communities
throughout Northern Ireland who are suffering the highest levels of deprivation
and to bring together the work of all government departments in partnership
with local people to tackle disadvantage and deprivation in all aspects of
everyday life. The Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy details the four strategic
objectives of People and Place:
Community Renewal - To develop confident communities that are able and
committed to improving the quality of life in their area;
Economic Renewal - To develop economic activity in the most deprived
neighbourhoods and connect them to the wider urban economy;
Social Renewal - To improve social conditions for the people who live in the
most deprived neighbourhoods through better coordinated public services and
the creation of safer environments; and
Physical Renewal - To help create attractive, safe, sustainable environments
in the most deprived neighbourhoods.
A key element of the strategy’s approach has been the establishment of
Neighbourhood Partnerships in each Neighbourhood Renewal Area (NRA) as
vehicles for local planning and implementation. Given that 12 of the 15 NRA’s
in Belfast contain the total Northern Ireland Office identified Interfaces in the
city, it is not surprising that BIP board members have been active
stakeholders on several of the Neighbourhood Renewal Partnerships since
their formation and have aided the development and production of
Neighbourhood Action Plans that seek to address social disadvantage and
poor infrastructure.

Positive Steps (2005)

‘Positive Steps’ is the Government’s response to ‘Investing Together, the
report of the Task Force into the resourcing of the Voluntary and Community
Sector’. The document opens with the following statement: ‘The Government
values the contribution of the voluntary and community sector in addressing
social need and deprivation. Effective partnership working with the sector can
help the Government achieve its objectives. The voluntary and community
sector makes a significant contribution to life in Northern Ireland and is a key
social partner working with the Government to deliver social, economic,
cultural and environmental change. Voluntary and community organisations
have a track record of tackling social need and deprivation and are well
placed to develop and deliver improved frontline services, particularly to the
most disadvantaged people in society’ (P: 3).
“Positive Steps” goes on to outline a range of new government commitments
in relation to supporting:
Approaches to funding the Voluntary and Community Sector;
Community Development and change;


                                                                              - 61 -
Service Delivery;
Cross Cutting Policy Areas ;
Internal Governance, Management and Accountability;
Relationship between the Government and the Voluntary and Community
Sector;
Voluntary and Community Sector Support & Development Services; and
Next steps to be taken in supporting the delivery of these.

 Community Relations Council (CRC) - Interim and Strategic Plan 2007 –
2010

CRC’s vision is outlined in this plan as: ‘A peaceful, inclusive, prosperous,
stable and fair society founded on the achievement of reconciliation, equality,
co-operation, respect, mutual trust and good relations’.
CRC aims to lead and support change to achieve this vision by:
Identifying and developing new and effective approaches to peace-building
and reconciliation in partnership with people, organisations and government;
Promoting the adoption of good relations policies and practice at local,
community and institutional level;
Assisting communities and institutions in working through and beyond the
legacies of the Troubles;
Managing the grant making and other services of the Council in an effective,
efficient and economical way; and
Ensuring that Council members and staff have sufficient capacity to deliver
the corporate objectives.

The Council’s work is founded on the following principles:
Equity and Equality:
CRC is committed to fair treatment for all, through open access to resources,
structures and decision-making processes at all levels of society, as an
essential basis for good community relations;
Human Rights:
The Council is committed to upholding the human rights of all as a
fundamental basis for good community relations;
Diversity:
The Council is committed to the promotion of inter-cultural respect and
freedom of expression and movement (whether expressed through religious,
ethnic or political background) and supports the peaceful expression of variety
and difference;
Interdependence:
CRC recognises and affirms the interconnectedness of the personal and
community experiences of all those living and working in Northern Ireland.
The Council exists to promote good relations based on trust, respect and
inclusion;
Non-violence:
The Council recognises non-violence as an essential condition for the growth
of trust, dialogue and conflict transformation; and
Openness, Transparency and Accountability:


                                                                           - 62 -
As a provider of public services, the Council will uphold this principle in all its
work.
BIP actively supports and has delivered upon these principles, and indeed the
director of BIP has been a CRC Council member over the period 2001 – 2008.

Peace III Operational Programme. EU Programme for Peace and
Reconciliation 2007 – 2013 (Northern Ireland and the Border Region of
Ireland)

In carrying forward the key objectives of the previous Programmes (PEACE I
and II), the overall aim of the PEACE III Programme is:

‘To reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society and to promote

reconciliation’ (P:37).

The PEACE III Programme has two strategic objectives (P: 37 – 38):

Reconciling communities: key activities will facilitate relationships on a cross-
community and/or cross-border basis to assist in addressing issues of trust,
prejudice and intolerance, and accepting commonalities and differences. In
addition, key activities will seek to acknowledge and deal with the hurt, losses,
trauma and suffering caused by the conflict; and

Contributing to a shared society: key activities will address the physical
segregation or polarisation of places and communities in Northern Ireland and
the Border Region with a view to encouraging increased social and economic
cross community and cross-border engagement.



The PEACE III Programme 2007-2013 will be based on facilitating
relationships, encouraging dialogue and promoting change within individuals
and within/between communities. ‘Given the need to focus on addressing the
problems specific to Northern Ireland and the Border Region, attention is
required on relationships and individual change as they are the areas in which
the problems of polarisation, division, prejudice and trauma are most apparent
and represent an appropriate level for changing mindsets, attitudes and
behavioural patterns and addressing the hurt caused by the conflict’ (P:38).

International Fund for Ireland 2006 – 2010 Strategic Plan

Since it was established in 1986, the International Fund for Ireland has
promoted economic and social advance and encouraged contact, dialogue
and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists throughout Ireland.

The mission of the International Fund for Ireland is to: ‘underpin efforts
towards peace by promoting economic and social advance and encouraging
contact, dialogue and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists
throughout Ireland’.

                                                                             - 63 -
Strategic Objectives (P: 6) include the following:
Helping to build and realise the vision of a shared future for the communities
in Northern Ireland and both parts of the island;
Promoting understanding between the different communities/traditions in
Ireland;
Working with those communities suffering the greatest economic and social
deprivation, scarcity of employment and poverty of aspiration using shared
economic concerns more systematically as a platform for stronger relations
and reconciliation with their neighbours;
Facilitating more integration between the two communities;
Dealing with the problems of the economically inactive and long-term
unemployed;
Building strong strategic alliances with other agencies and bodies active on
the ground, ensuring that efforts are complementary, sustainable and mutually
reinforcing;
Helping ensure the long term continuation of its work in Ireland beyond the
lifetime of the Fund; and
Sharing the expertise and learning acquired over twenty years with peace-
builders in other regions.

Belfast City Council (BCC) Corporate Plan (2007 – 2008)

Belfast City Council 2007 – 2008 Corporate Plan vision:
‘We want to make Belfast a better place for everyone. We have a vision of
Belfast as a modern and welcoming city with a quality of life to rival the best in
the world - a city that is never content to stand still but improves over the
years.

In short, ‘We Believe in a Better Belfast’. By ‘better’ we mean that we want
to help create a city:
• Which is vibrant and prosperous;
• Which is attractive and clean;
• Which is safe and secure;
• Where there is equality of treatment and opportunity for everyone;
• With good relations between all citizens;
• Where quality of life improves continuously;
• Where the decisions that are made reflect what is best for this and future
generations;
• Where customer focused council and public services are provided fairly;
• Where all organisations work in partnership for the common goal of a better
society; and
• With a strong cultural life’ (P:13).

BCC has identified four objectives to help make this vision a reality:
Providing Civic Leadership by highlighting the challenges that face the city
and working with others to achieve co-ordinated solution;
Improving Quality of Life, Now and for Future Generations by creating a
cleaner, more attractive, safer and healthier city, with a strong economy;
Promoting Good Relations by encouraging fair treatment, understanding and
respect for people of all cultures;


                                                                             - 64 -
Delivering Best Services by providing high quality, value for money services,
when and where people need them.

Belfast City Council (BCC) ‘Good Relations Strategy – Building Our
Future Together’ (2004)

This strategy was drawn up by the Good Relations Steering Panel, which
included councillors from all parties, council officers, church leaders, trade
unions, business leaders and the Community Relations Council. The strategy
aims to promote fair treatment, understanding and respect for people of all
cultures and faiths across the city.

Vision (p:9).

‘Our Vision in terms of this Good Relations Strategy is for a stable, tolerant,
fair and pluralist society, where individuality is respected and diversity is
celebrated, in an inclusive manner. Although legislation can be an important
driver for change, used alone it can hinder the growth of trust and openness.
We intend to go beyond compliance with the equality legislation and are
determined to demonstrate our commitment to the principles of equity,
diversity and interdependence in a pro-active manner, with the aim of
mainstreaming these into all of our work - our policies, structures and
procedures’.

The Good Relations Strategy has the following high-level objectives:
Promoting Community Relations:
To contribute to a more stable, tolerant society by establishing a community
relations programme.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity:
To contribute towards an inclusive pluralist society, by establishing a cultural
diversity programme, which acknowledges and respects the cultural diversity
within the City, and to promote and support the celebration of such diversity in
an inclusive manner which avoids offending those with different views.

Promoting Equality through Service Delivery:
To ensure equality of opportunity in the delivery of our services, in a manner
which will respect and cater effectively for the needs of different users.

Promoting Equality through a Representative Workforce:
To create a welcoming and supportive employment environment that will help
us to attract and retain a workforce which is broadly representative, at all
levels and in all occupations, of the community we serve.




                                                                           - 65 -
                 3rd floor, Cathedral Quarter Managed Workspace,
                         109-113 Royal Ave, Belfast BT1 1FF
                                t 028 9024 2828 f 028 9031 4829
                   e info@belfastinterfaceproject.org w www.belfastinterfaceproject.org


                               Belfast Interface Project
                                       Annual Report
                         December 2010 – October 2011
Overview
This is a summary of the Belfast Interface Project’s (BIP) main achievements
over the period Dec. 2010 – Oct 2011.
The Board and Staff have continued to advance the development programme
set out in the review of our strategic and operational plans. Following on from
the restructuring of our staff team in 2010 which saw the appointment of a
Strategic Director, we have continued to increase our capability by recruiting
Jenny Young (International Internship), Iwona Wardach (Grundtvig Assistant)
and John Atchison (IT Coordinator Student Placement). This has enabled BIP
to be effectively and professionally equipped to deliver not only in terms of
service to our membership but also in relation to our current and future
strategic progression. It is perhaps also important to mention at this stage that
this has come about without any increased financial cost to BIP.
Having launched our latest piece of work in 2010 ‘Crossing The Line - key
features of effective practice in the development of shared space in areas
close to an interface', I am delighted to announce that in the next few weeks
we also intend to launch our new research publication ‘Mapping Defensive
Architecture’ which we believe will be the most comprehensive piece of work
to date in relation to the collation, identification and ownership of interface
barriers and blighted space in Belfast’s interface areas. This we feel will be an
invaluable asset to community groups, statutory organisations and
government agencies. It will also have a practical purpose in terms of BIP in
relation to our advocacy of investment and regeneration in interface
communities and our current relationship with Ard Architects and the BRIC
Project.
Belfast Interface Project continues to be a member of the Interface Working
Group, Interface Community Partners Group, BCC Tension Monitoring Project
and the Interface Practice Collective (IPC) all of which are attempting to
develop a long-term ‘roadmap’ towards a future where the necessity for
interface barriers is reduced over time. Chris O’Halloran (Practice
Coordinator) has been nominated to the Interface Working Group (IWG) as
one of the four community partners and Joe O'Donnell (Strategic Director) is
on the BCC Tension Monitoring Group. In relation to community engagement
we have increased our connection and relationship with groups both within
and outside of Belfast in an attempt to improve partnership, collaboration and
the exchange of best practice within the sector. Therefore today we are also


                                                                                          - 66 -
pleased to announce that the Interface Practice Collective will deliver its first
seminar entitled ‘The Trouble with Interfaces’ on Tuesday 18th October 2011
at 9.30am-1.00pm in The Wellington Park Hotel.
We maintain an engagement with key public and statutory organisations
including the Strategic Investment Board (SIB), Belfast City Council (BCC),
OFMdFM, Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), Department of Justice
(DOJ) and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Belfast Interface Project continues to play a positive role in terms of interface
regeneration across Belfast and our staff continue to support the development
of a number of significant projects including Stewartstown Road Regeneration
Project, Black Mountain Shared Space Project, Cromac Regeneration
Initiative and Skainos.
BIP is also represented on the Beyond Belfast steering group which has
overseen production of the CRC/RCN report ‘Beyond Belfast: Contested
Spaces in Urban, Rural and Cross Border Settings’. We have attended follow-
up meetings of a small planning group to plan how best to build on the
findings of the report; we retain an interest in securing a niche in this area of
work outside the city, which complements the work of existing groups
including the Rural Community Network.
We have also met separately with a number of groups outside of Belfast to
explore possible areas of cooperation and partnership in the future and I
welcome some of them here today.

In terms of future planning we have submitted a completed (Peace III) funding
application to deliver a Youth Intervention Project citywide. This application
has successfully progressed to the second round of assessment and we
should know by Oct/Nov 2011 if it has ultimately been awarded funding. We
have also submitted an application to OFMDFM/AP (Contested Space
Programme) for project funding which would complement the Peace 3
programme application. This application fell slightly short of the required
threshold for funding when first submitted but we have been asked to re-
submit it again with some minor alterations in the next funding call as not all
the monies were allocated in the first round.

At our AGM last year we were able to inform you that our updated website at
www.belfastinterfaceproject.org was up and functioning and today we are glad
to report that the next few weeks will also see ‘Interfaces’ our online E-bulletin
become available both at our website and through electronic distribution. We
will do our best in the coming months to develop new and innovative ideas in
the way that Belfast Interface Project works and we are for example currently
in discussions with Belfast Metropolitan College to secure the services of a
group of degree course students to deliver a specific project focussed on how
we market and publicise the work we do.

In conclusion I would like to thank our membership, staff and board for the
time, effort, hard work and personal support they have given me over the past
year and I am absolutely convinced that Belfast Interface Project is well
placed to promote on behalf of our membership the key themes outlined in our
Strategic Plan which we are committed to deliver for interface communities


                                                                             - 67 -
across the city of Belfast - these are Policy, Service Advocacy and Conflict
Transformation. These key tenets are in our view as equally important at
grassroots level (in local neighbourhoods) as they are at legislative level
within government.

Joe O’Donnell
Strategic Director
October 2011




                                                                       - 68 -
                          Belfast Interface Project

                               Annual Report

                  December 3rd 2010 – October 7th 2011

Policy: People & Places
Aim 1: To be proactive in linking and involving local communities in
changing policy and in advocating for change that is of practical benefit
to interface communities.
Objectives:
1.1. BIP will work in partnership to influence policy.
   Actions:
1.1.1 Develop a practitioner’s network from BIP membership and the
interface community sector.
Actions
 A successful residential was held on June 10th /11th to agree a draft set of
Terms of Reference for the planned Interface Practice Collective (Practitioners
Forum). We helped develop this project (Interface Practice Collective) in 2011
by holding a series of citywide meetings ensuring both community and
geographical balance, agreeing terms of reference and detailing a programme
of work for the next 12 months. BIP currently provides admin support to IPC
and the first seminar will take place on Tues 18 Oct 2011 in the Wellington
Park Hotel 9:30am – 1:00pm entitled ‘The Trouble with Interfaces’

1.2. Promote over a three to five year period the importance of an
integrated strategy to transform interface communities into cohesive
communities.
   Actions:
1.2.1 Annual review of opportunities to influence policy areas by
working in partnership with agencies and departments over a 3-5 year
period
 BIP continues to be represented on the Interface Working Group (IWG),
Interface Community Partners group, Community Dialogue Executive, board
of Institute for Conflict Research and BCC Tension Monitoring Group.
 BIP staff are also on a number of significant regeneration projects across
the city including; Stewartstown Road Regeneration Project (SRRP), Black
Mountain Shared Space Project (BSSP), Cromac Regeneration Initiative
(CRI) and Skainos.
 BIP have also formed a partnership with Irish Peace Centres (IPC) and
Community Dialogue to fund and deliver the Inner East Outer West project. It
is practically completed and Julie Harrison consultancy will produce a short
(IPC-funded) publication outlining value and learnings from the project, drawn
from local feedback and literature on effective practice elsewhere.
 We have also as outlined in the report summary had a number of positive
engagements with key stakeholders in the community, statutory and public
sectors.


                                                                          - 69 -
 With PC support, Jenny Young (voluntary intern) is identifying possible
contacts in relation to the relevance of CPTED (crime prevention through
environmental design) as an approach which might contribute to the debate
regarding interface removal/amendment.

1.3. Develop capacity to influence and reflect within the Interface Policy
Network.
   Actions:
1.3.1 Design and implement a programme with the policy network of
facilitated sessions sharing experience, briefings to develop capacity for
reflection and influence.
 We have commissioned research by ICR to update current information re
defensive use of space in Belfast; we have also secured the remainder of
publication costs and are now awaiting the finalised information from ICR
before proceeding to publish this in hard-copy book format and on DVD in
PDF format.
 We have also been contacted by Karin Eybin at the Integrated Education
Fund (IEF) regarding the possibility of carrying out a survey within a number
of interface areas in order to assess levels of interest in integrated or more
shared education. We will be applying for funding to both the IEF and CRC to
progress this work
 We are also working with Ard architects (Ciaran Mackel) who aim to
definitively describe each interface in terms of dimensions, materials, etc. to
create a historical record and to inform discussion on interface barriers.

1.4. Develop knowledge base, aid reflection and influence action.
   Actions:
1.4.1 Commission and disseminate research or surveys as agreed.
 ‘Crossing The Line: key features of effective practice in the development of
shared space in areas close to an interface was published in 2010 and
launched by the Lord Mayor in the City Hall. Our next research publication
‘Mapping Defensive Architecture’ will be available in Oct/Nov 2011 and will
also have a suitably high profile launch.

1.5 Build on linkages with interface networks.
   Actions:
1.5.1 Develop relationships with non-member interface networks: meet
Management Committees of BCRC, NBIN, LINC etc. in 2009/2010 and
thereafter formally twice per year.
BIP board members made contact with the Steering Group of BCRC and held
two positive joint meetings which were useful in exchanging perspectives and
in identifying areas of potential collaborative work. Regular meetings between
BCRC Project Manager and BIP strategic director have also been initiated.
Meetings between the strategic director and other key stakeholders such as
SLIG, Intercomm, NBIN, LINC and BRN have also taken place, with board to
board meetings planned for the near future.



                                                                          - 70 -
1.6. Development of BIP and relevance of learning beyond Belfast.
   Actions:
1.6.1 Formally explore the interface-related issues and needs being
identified at specific locations outside of Belfast; enter into exploratory
discussions about the relevance of expertise and information which
could be shared.
 BIP is represented on the Beyond Belfast steering group which has
overseen production of the CRC/RCN report ‘Beyond Belfast: Contested
Spaces in Urban, Rural and Cross Border Settings’. We have attended follow-
up meetings of a small planning group to plan how best to build on the
findings of the report; we retain an interest in securing a niche in this area of
work outside the city, which complements the work of existing groups
including the Rural Community Network.
 We have also met separately with a number of groups outside of Belfast to
explore possible areas of cooperation and partnership in the future.


Advocacy: Culture & Identity
Aim 2: To support interface communities and to advocate with agencies
and others in order to address issues of safety in interface communities
and safe access to work and services, through improved relationships
between communities, increased labour mobility and the development of
shared services.
Objectives:
2.1. Advocate the advantages of sharing taking into account the realities
and difficulties which may apply.
   Actions:
2.1.1 Promote successful models of sharing across a range of networks
and communities.
 BIP continues to assist and support BSSP (Black Mountain Shared Space
Project) to progress their shared space project and CRI (Cromac
Regeneration Initiative) to establish a local shared facility. We have also
recently met with representatives from South Belfast Resource Centre (Sandy
Row) to facilitate a cross community partnership funded by IFI/CRC.
 We have also been asked for assistance by Glenda Davies Strategic Dev.
Manager with Sandy Row Comm. Forum to advise them on how they could
develop a shared space project in Sandy Row to re-image the area as a
unique destination point.
 Terence Brannigan, Chair of Glentoran Football Club, has invited BIP to join
Glentoran partnership management board and also to facilitate a number of
meetings re: the possible relocation of The Oval and its future development as
a shared space.

2.2. Promote accessibility of local services and facilities.
   Actions:



                                                                            - 71 -
2.2.1 On a pilot basis, proactively identify a number of clearly defined
statutory services or facilities which are associated with access
difficulties and, working inclusively with the relevant agencies,
community and youth groups and residents, promote greater access to
these.
 BIP is part of the MLK civic society reference group (Maze/Long Kesh) on
how best the future of this site could be developed as shared space

2.3. Support member groups with practical support and involve in each
others learning.
   Actions:
2.3.1 Provide information and assistance on obtaining youth resources
and crisis intervention.
 We have submitted a completed (Peace III) funding application to deliver a
Youth Intervention Project citywide. This application has successfully
progressed to the second round of assessment and we should know by
Oct/Nov 2011 if it has ultimately been awarded funding. We have also
submitted an application to OFMDFM/AP (Contested Space Programme) for
project funding which would complement the Peace 3 programme application.
This application fell slightly short of the required threshold for funding but we
have been asked to re-submit it again with some minor alterations to a further
funding process as not all the monies were allocated in the first round.

2.3.2 Build on labour mobility training project education.
 We have been unable as yet to secure funding for this initiative but will
continue to try and attract the necessary resources as we have had numerous
requests to re-run this project across the city.

2.3.3 Roll out youth mediation project - strategic planning for adults and
young people in interface areas.
 We successfully secured the funding to deliver the pilot youth/adult interface
project (IEOW) from Irish Peace Centres (IPC) and Community Dialogue. BIP
has chaired this consortium and now that the project is virtually completed we
hope that it will be refunded to deliver it citywide and over an extended period.


Conflict Transformation: Society & Structure
Aim 3: To support interface communities to develop positive
relationships by encouraging and enabling co-operation, promoting
articulation and understanding of key issues involved in sharing and
division, and providing support through change.
Objectives:
3.1. Support conflict transformation, reconciliation and conflict
management in communities.
   Actions:




                                                                            - 72 -
3.1.1 Advocate the development of a city-wide dialogue initiative
complementary to the Interface Working Group/Community Partners
group.
 This is currently being progressed through the Interface Practice Collective
meetings. The steering group has been put in place and a citywide
programme including a number of themed workshops are planned over the
next year. BIP is currently providing administrative support to Interface
Practice Collective.

3.1.2 Respond to requests and provide independent facilitation,
mediation and mentoring support at local interfaces and develop a
mentoring programme
 BIP provided a mentoring service to SLIG over this period.
 We have agreed with IPC that they will resource BIP to provide facilitation,
mentoring and mediation for our membership and others who may request
support.
 PC has worked to support the Greater Dunmurry Positive Relations Project
to design and deliver a community relations strategy in the Dunmurry area
and to prepare a funding application to IFI Community Bridges which would
resource this. GDPRP have recently learned that the application was
unsuccessful. PC aims to meet again with the group to explore other funding
options.

3.1.3 Actively develop strategic partnerships with facilitation / mediation
/ dialogue and training organisations to support activist and residents to
encourage dialogue and grow facilitation skills.
 BIP has been represented on the management group of a Mediation
Northern Ireland-led training partnership - the Belfast Mediation Capacity
Building Project – alongside Belfast Reconciliation Network, the North and
West Belfast Parades and Cultural Forum, and Tides Training Consultancy.
The project offered basic and advanced training in mediation skills to activists
in interface areas (funding dependent).
 BIP has also been represented on the management group of a Workers’
Educational Association-led training partnership - the Belfast Divercity Project
– alongside Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) and the Interaction Institute for
Social Change (IISC). The project offered a programme of training and
support for organisations who wish to explore the development of
collaborative working relationships across organisational boundaries and
cultural differences.(funding dependent)
 BIP signposted groups to training providers, funders and other conflict
transformation resources such as Intercomm, North Belfast Conflict
Transformation Forum, LINC, Ulster People’s College and others.
 We also continue to keep contact with Jim Lamb, Honorary Consul of
Ireland and President of the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh regarding the
possibility of promoting greater links between projects here and the U.S. We
have also very recently been loaned a ‘Gigapan’ which we hope will be useful
in developing links with the U.S. and in particular Carnegie/Mellon University.
 We have had a number of meetings with Trevor Ringland to discuss the
possibility of the Sport for Change project having an input into interfaces areas


                                                                           - 73 -
or with our membership organisations. This may have some more positive
relevance with the Olympic Games planned for 2012


Governance: Management & Administration
Aim 4: To ensure that membership remains reflective of interface
communities as changes occur and that the organisation is managed
efficiently and effectively.
Objectives
4.1. Ensure that membership remains reflective of interface
communities.
   Actions:
4.1.1 Consult, support and continually develop BIP membership to
reflect the changing interface communities
 We have been attempting to address the issue of increased membership
with some degree of success and have recently updated our membership list
application process online.

4.2. Increase the visibility of interface communities in promoting positive
change and cohesion; increase visibility of BIP.
   Actions:
4.2.1 Produce and distribute the Interface news-sheet.
 We have recently recruited an IT Coordinator (student placement) and we
plan to launch our e-zine online and for electronic distribution in the near
future

 4.2.2 Develop the website as an interactive tool.
 John Atchison IT Coordinator (USEL student) is currently on placement with
BIP, maintaining the website and creating the template for our e-bulletin which
we hope to launch in the next few weeks.
 We are in discussion with NVTV about more interactive provision on the
website.

4.3. Organisational effectiveness: Accountability and Strategy.
   Actions:
4.3.1 Independent monitoring and evaluation
 We are currently looking at costing in relation to monitoring and evaluation
and we may need to source funding to provide this work.
 4.3.2 Commission an annual audit
2010 -11 accounts have been prepared by auditor JL Grant. These were
signed and returned to auditor for final signatures, printing and availability at
AGM.
4.3.3 Hold an annual AGM
 BIP held its (10th) AGM in Dec 2010




                                                                             - 74 -
 4.3.4 Hold an annual team building and forward planning residential.
BIP’s annual team building and forward planning residential will be held in the
next few months and funding has been secured.

4.4. Organisational effectiveness: Human Resources and Finance.
   Actions:
4.4.1 Update policies and procedures as required.
 Policies and procedures have been reviewed and amended and we are
currently in discussion with NICVA to update our policy and procedures
manual.
4.4.2 Maintain an effective staff team
 Regular staff meetings are held, staffing has been increased in recent
months and our requirements will be continually reviewed.
     Jenny Young (Voluntary Intern)
     Iwona Wardach (Grundtvig Assistant)
     John Atchison (Student Placement)
4.4.3 Produce and review 5 year rolling budget annual budget and
projected cash flows.
 Budget to March 31, 2014 drafted to accompany new Strategic Plan.
Reviewed by board of directors and finalised in February 2010.
 Cash flow reports reviewed monthly.
 Annual budget agreed with treasurer – will need to be amended when
OFMDFM and CRC/Peace III funding news is confirmed.

4.5. Organisational effectiveness: Board development.
   Actions:
4.5.1 Develop an annual board development programme
We hope to put this in place after AGM in Oct 2011. While the Strategic
director and John McQuillan (board) have completed CAPT training
programme, PC Chris O’Halloran has now also completed this course in the
second phase. Any other board members looking to be part of this programme
should contact the director.




                                                                          - 75 -

								
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