We have developed the following equality principles which we expect everyone we work with to follow:
Accessibility is about providing services that:
- people can use relatively easily, without spending too much time and money
- are sensitive to the different cultures of the people using them.
Valuing cultural diversity
People have different needs, beliefs, values and abilities and those differences need to be both respected and promoted. Having a diverse public face can help us build trust and confidence among the varied communities we seek to fund, and a diverse workforce generates a richer mix of ideas and talents. We also believe we are more efficient and effective when our decision-making structures are reflective of the diverse views of society.
Our new policies, processes and programmes must be developed on the basis of real need. This means that the people who will be affected by them should be involved in their development. We know that there are groups that are traditionally under-represented, so we need to work with those groups to establish structures and provide them with a more active role in shaping the work that we do. In this way we are able to encourage participation, openness and honesty.
Promoting equality of opportunity
We recognise that some groups commonly experience poorer access to employment, have fewer training opportunities and are under-represented in the workforce, particularly at senior level. In addition, we know that not all groups have the same access to services and their experiences of receiving services may be poorer. We believe that in order to level the playing field we may need to treat people differently to help them have the same chance to take part in employment and service opportunities.
Promoting inclusive communities
A cohesive community is one where people feel they belong, where their lives are appreciated and valued, and where people with similar life opportunities develop strong, positive relationships with people who are from different backgrounds.
Reducing disadvantage and exclusion
We fund initiatives that deal with the causes of disadvantage and exclusion, and target our money to fund projects that help include groups at greatest risk. Our understanding of “disadvantaged” and “excluded” takes into account factors like people’s experience of discrimination.
Learn about equality
We have developed a guidance designed to help applicants and grant holders think about equality issues in the design and delivery of their projects.
Northern Ireland Equality
We publish a number of equality reports for Northern Ireland in line with our legal duties under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and to communicate important developments in our equality work.