News 5th December 2016

SCVO joins forces with partners across the UK to give people the tools to make government more open & responsive to their needs

by Connor McLean

(via SCVO)

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) in partnership with the Wales Council for Voluntary Organisations (WCVA), Involve, and Northern Ireland Environment Link has been awarded a £500k Big Lottery Fund grant to support more people to take part in the decisions that will shape their future.

The UK partners will work together over two years as part of the Open Government Pioneers Project to help people share the tools, techniques and resources required to engage and challenge their governments to serve them better. There will be a particular focus in supporting people who are not normally heard in the decisions that affect them.

The project is formally linked to the International Open Government Partnership, where governments and civil society have been given an equal say in the commitments made by 70 countries to be more open. It will use open government commitments to help people secure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate poverty, tackle inequality and sustain natural resources at home and abroad.

Lucy McTernan, Deputy Chief Executive at SCVO, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with partners right across the UK to encourage more people and organisations to play an active role in their governments and to hold the UK and devolved governments to account on their commitment to be more open and transparent.

“We’ll bring people together and give them the knowledge and skills they need to have a real influence on government policy and the important decisions that affect their lives.”

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair and a member of its UK Board, said: “The Big Lottery Fund believes people should be in the lead in improving their lives and communities. This UK-wide partnership project will help citizens, including those whose voices are less often heard, have a say in decisions which affect their lives. The Sustainable Development Goals present a significant opportunity to advance equality. Through working in partnership, within the UK and beyond, civil society will learn from, and inform, international practice on how people can shape progress towards these goals in an ambitious and inclusive way.”

Dr Jonathan Bell, Policy Officer at Northern Ireland Environment Link, said:

“We are delighted to be part of the UK Pioneer Project. This is an important Initiative that will help to raise awareness around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It will enable citizens to connect with government and take an active role in the implementation of the goals in Northern Ireland. The project will build on, and complement, the considerable work undertaken by the Northern Ireland Open Government Network and it will create opportunities for further collaboration with colleagues from the open government networks in England, Scotland and Wales.”

Read more via SCVO…