Changing Landscape of Local and Community Development
In 2014-15, members of the Civil Society cluster – the Local and Community Development Working Group – developed a research initiative focused on the Changing Landscape of Local and Community Development in Ireland, funded by the UCC Strategic Research Fund. It set out to investigate the impact of two main strands of policy development affecting the community and voluntary sector: firstly, the range of austerity measures introduced by Government since the economic crisis of 2008, which led to severe cuts in funding to the sector; and secondly, an on-going process of policy change since the late 1990s, linked to Government attempts to align the sector with central and local government priorities and agenda. The latter culminated in the passing of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, which attempted to bring the community and voluntary sector under greater local and central government control, and the introduction of competitive tendering for service contracts established by the State, in place of grants for community sector organisations.
Arising from that project, a conference was held in UCC in October 2015. The conference proceedings can be downloaded here: The Changing Landscape of Local and Community Development in Ireland