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Civic Initiative – seeking views on Housing, Healthcare, and Education

The Civic Initiative would like to hear from you to help inform its community-led examination of socio-economic and cultural rights.


This call for further evidence follows 39 grassroots workshops with people across Northern Ireland and border counties. Participants identified the key areas of healthcare, education, and housing, as priority areas for improvement. The call for evidence will contribute to the creation of a 2024 Northern Ireland Citizens’ Assembly. Responses from individuals, the Community and Voluntary sector, Trade Unions, Business Community, academia, and other stakeholders and service providers are welcomed. This is a cross border project, submissions from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will be accepted.

What is the Civic Initiative?

The Civic Initiative is a community-driven 18 month participatory democracy project that aims to create a vehicle for civic voice. The project is funded the International Fund for Ireland, and has four key stages:

1. Grassroots workshops and forums

2. An open call for submissions

3. A Northern Ireland People’s Forum of 100 randomly selected NI citizens

4. Reporting to the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the UK and Irish governments


The project is governed by an oversight committee of the following members:

Disability Action NI, Northern Ireland Youth Forum, Migrant Centre NI, Community Foundation NI, CRAICNI, Corrymeela, Women’s Resource and Development Agency (WRDA), North West Cultural Partnership, Youth Action NI, TASC, along with individual members Tara Grace Connolly, and Eileen Weir. Former Chief Commissioner Les Allamby sits as the independent chair.

The work of the Initiative is further informed and designed by two expert panels.

How do I make a submission?

Your submission should comprise the submission document and a separate cover letter.

The Cover letter is to ensure that your personal information such as email address or telephone number is in a separate document so that your submission can be published without revealing personal details.

The Civic Initiative may publish your submission, if you would prefer that your name is not published please include this request in your cover letter.


The covering letter should include:

– your name, email address and contact telephone number

– if the submission is on behalf of an organisation, the organisation and your position in the organisation

– If you prefer your name and any other personal details not to be published, please state this clearly in your cover letter.


The submission document should include:

– any facts or information that you have to offer in response to the questions in the call for evidence.

– links to any publications you refer to in your submission

– there is no need to send such publications as attachments

– any recommendations to the Civic Initiative as they relate to the questions in the call for evidence.


You can submit evidence until 23:59 on Monday 1 July.

If you have any questions about submitting evidence, please email GretaGurklyte@DisabilityAction.org or call 02890297880

When sending your submission to the Civic Initiative:

Ensure your submission is in Word format or a PDF format, send to the email address included in the call for submissions.

Keep your submission concise and to the point, answering the questions directly.

Avoid including any details in your submission that you would have reservations about, if published

In addition to a written submission there is an option to answer a short survey, available here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Y4V31D/


1. How can we provide an educational experience for everyone which is inclusive, equitable and provides beneficial outcomes?

2. How should all stakeholders in the area of education including all bodies with responsibility for education policy, management, or who represent a different section of the education system, contribute toward an inclusive, equitable education system?

3. Do you believe there are any benefits to greater cross border cooperation and shared learning in the area of education, if so, how can these be better promoted?


4. The latest housing bulletin from the Department for Communities, as of March 31, reported 47,312 households on the social housing waitlist. What factors have contributed to the low levels of adequate and affordable housing, in both the public, and private sector? Would you support for example, the creation of an independent Housing Commission?

5. What could the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive, as well as the Northern Ireland Housing Executive do to address ongoing housing issues including ● Social housing provision ● Housing inequalities ● Segregated housing ● The private sector

6. Are there any lessons to be learned on a cross border/ East-West basis to address housing inequalities?


7. Do you think it would be possible to provide local access to healthcare services in the context of a smaller number of specialist hospitals, if so how?

8. How can cross border/all-island healthcare cooperation and services be improved, and maximised?

9. How can we better use technology to increase access to public healthcare services?

General Question

10. How can government departments work together more effectively to address all of these areas through a whole of government approach?

11. Would you be willing to pay income-related higher taxes or additional charges so that everyone can benefit from better quality public services? If so, is your preference to do this through a taxation or a charging system


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