Ukraine Civil Society Forum
Ukraine Civil Society Response Coordination
This is a short-term, responsive initiative convened by Civil Society acting collectively to support the emergency settlement of Ukrainian refugees to Ireland. While the Government has primary responsibility for providing humanitarian relief, civil society in Ireland plays a huge role in delivery on the ground. The initiatives’ purpose is to provide national coordination of civil society and community responses, connecting into the State’s emergency response structures.
This coordination is about information sharing amongst stakeholders, avoiding duplication, identifying gaps in provision, sharing solutions, identifying trends and patterns and escalating where necessary to the Government to address.
1. Support civil society response by providing a platform for agreement on approaches, aiming to eliminate duplication and enable information sharing while linking with state agencies and Government’s national taskforce.
2. Engage with government and advocate on behalf of stakeholders including the Refugee population and local communities to address issues, concerns and offer solutions.
3. Use the on-the-ground insights of civil society organisations to inform strategic decisionmaking by the Government, State agencies and implementing partners through coordination of needs, gap analysis and prioritisation.
4. Ensure that information deficits are addressed. That communities, NGO’s and the general public are getting up to date information, resources and sign-posting.
5. Ensure the specialist expertise of those with experience in supporting refugees is leveraged across sectors and communities, sharing good practice in relation to reception, integration, psycho-social supports etc.
The Forum is supported in pursuing these objectives, through a secretariat, facilitated by the Immigrant Council of Ireland, funded by the Community Foundation of Ireland.
The Forum is organised around a number of clusters to aid information exchange, issue escalation and knowledge transfer. Strategic oversight is provided by a ‘Core Group’ comprising the Chairs of each cluster and two representatives from the Ukrainian community in Ireland. A number of thematic clusters have been identified so far as important. These can be added to and sub-clusters created also.
Responsibilities of thematic clusters
• To share information regarding the thematic area identified within cluster and with wider forum as required.
• To engage with state, civil society and community stakeholders as appropriate, including those not directly engaged with the forum
• To encourage cooperation, collaboration and avoid duplication of activities within member groups
Cluster’s are chaired by expert organisations in the cluster area. These are:
1. Accommodation: Irish Refugee Council, Nick Henderson. Membership of this cluster includes the Irish Red Cross, Helping Irish Hosts, Open Community (Community Sponsorship), LGBT Ireland, IOM, Focus
2. Community Response: Community Work Ireland, Rachel Doyle. Membership of this cluster includes the National Forum for Family Resource Centres, ILDN, Nasc, Doras, Together Razem
3. Health & Mental Health: Cairde, Tonya Myles. Membership of this cluster includes MyMind, Mental Health Reform, LGBT Ireland
4. Trafficking and GBV: Immigrant Council of Ireland, Brian Killoran. Membership of this cluster includes Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Women’s Aid, Ruhama
5. Employment, Training and Further Education: Business in the Community/Open Door Initiative, Jeanne McDonagh. Membership of this cluster includes Universities of Sanctuary, Scholars@Risk TCD, National Student and Researcher Help Desk (Maynooth)
6. Refugee information and legal issues: Immigrant Council of Ireland, Brian Killoran. Membership of this cluster includes the Irish Refugee Council, Ukrainian Crisis Centre Ireland, PILA, Doras, Nasc, UNHCR, IOM, Crosscare
7. Children and Young People and Education: Children’s Rights Alliance, Tanya Ward. Membership of this cluster includes Educate Together, Schools of Sanctuary, English Language Teachers Association, Irish Primary Parents Council and the 180 members of the CRA.
Read our policy paper here