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Delivering Social Change - Introduction

The Delivering Social Change framework was set up by the Northern Ireland Executive to tackle poverty and social exclusion. It represents a new level of joined-up working by Ministers and senior officials across Executive departments to drive through initiatives which have a genuine impact on the ground.


The framework aims to deliver a sustained reduction in poverty and associated issues across all ages and to improve children and young people’s health, well-being and life opportunities thereby breaking the long term cycle of multi-generational problems.
Delivering Social Change is a new way of doing business, moving away from plans with long lists of existing activities towards a smaller number of actions which can really make a difference. It is about creating a new culture and focus on cross-cutting work to achieve social benefits. It is not about replacing ongoing work happening in Government departments, but is instead about adding to this work.

How will the framework tackle poverty and social exclusion

The framework will work in three ways, by:
  • providing a way for OFMDFM to take forward significant cross-cutting policy development and programme delivery work;
  • providing a mechanism for other Departments to use the framework to take forward their cross-cutting policy and delivery work;
  • Developing an outline framework for future social policy interventions to complement the Economic Strategy (NI Executive websiteexternal website) in time for the next Programme for Government.

Operational Structures

Delivering Social Change Ministerial Sub-Committees

The Executive’s Ministerial Sub-Committees on Poverty and Social Inclusion and Children and Young People are leading the Delivering Social Change programme.
Both Sub-Committees are co-chaired by Junior Minister Jonathan Bell and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann along with all Executive Ministers as members. The Sub-Committees meet on alternate quarters resulting in four scheduled meetings per year - two for each Sub-Committee.
Once a year the First Minister and deputy First Minister chair a joint meeting of the Sub-Committees.

Delivering Social Change Programme Board

The Sub-Committees are supported by the Delivering Social Change Programme Board. This is co-chaired by Junior Minister Jonathan Bell and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann and includes senior officials from all government departments. It meets every eight weeks to ensure that key milestones and targets are achieved.

Delivering Social Change Policy Project Board

Reducing inter-generational poverty can only be achieved by all Ministers working together with a longer term view to the next Programme for Government period and the years beyond. This will need a more fundamental approach which can address the structural problems which our society faces.
A Policy Project Board has been established to look at how the Executive can improve the quality of life for our communities in the areas of health, education, employment, family and community life and cohesion.
This Board will provide an outline framework for future social policy interventions to complement the Economic Strategy in the next Programme for Government.
You can access the Economic Strategy at the link below.

Delivering Social Change Fund

In the Executive’s commitment to deliver change where it is most needed, a number of key causes that are contributing to the continuation of poverty and deprivation were identified. These included problems with literacy and numeracy; the need for parenting support and early intervention for children; and the lack of employment opportunities, coupled with local community dereliction.
A Delivering Social Change Fund has been established to enable the Executive to respond quickly and in a more flexible way to urgent social needs.
The Fund will support the below initiatives:

Contact the Delivering Social Change Team

If you would like more information about Delivering Social Change you can contact the team:
Delivering Social Change Team
Room E4.15
Block ECastle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4 3SR
telephone: 028 9052 0584

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