T3. Ms Bunting asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister, in light of their response to a question for written answer about the Communities in Transition (CIT) programme, which said that “positive feedback from participants stated that projects being developed in association with CIT are beginning to have a significant positive influence on their surrounding community. The review also includes a number of recommendations which will be considered in the context of Phase 2 planning”, how will the Executive Office measure a tangible difference in relation to transition and how will it ensure a balanced approach across both communities in accordance with their needs. (AQT 1473/17-22)
With any programme that we take forward, we need to make sure that there is a balanced approach and that we are supporting everybody regardless of their background. It is really important that, as we roll out any projects, we take on board the learning as we go. There has been a review, so that needs to be taken on board, and I very much welcome that being put into place. You have asked before about different projects under Communities in Transition and the progress that has been made. We are moving to an open procurement process in line with procurement policy around new projects. We have to learn lessons from all these reviews. I am very happy to write to the Member to provide her with more detail on how that will be implemented.
What conversations has the Executive Office had with DOJ and DFC on the continuation of the Women Involved in Community Transformation programme beyond the extension period to ensure that there is continuity and that women who are making progress are not just abandoned and left unable to complete courses or to maximise their potential fully?
I agree with the Member. When people have taken the time to engage and take part in programmes, they need to have continuity and want assurances that they will have that. Engagement across Departments happens at official level; there has not been ministerial engagement on it. I am happy to provide that detail to the Member in writing.