The Seanad and Social Justice Advocacy: friend or foe?

In this blog Robin Hanan responds to the current debate on the abolition of the Seanad. He suggests that the Seanad is an easy target in its current elitist form, but that does not necessarily mean its abolition is the best thing for democracy.

The Taoiseach’s main argument for abolishing Seanad Éireann is that ‘we have too many politicians’. This is a crude appeal to public cynicism about politics and politicians, or at least to try to deflect this hostility away from the Government parties.


Trust & Advocacy - Where there is trust, truth can be spoken to power

In this blog, Chair of The Advocacy Initiative, Kieran Murphy reflects on the need and importance of trust in his work as a social justice advocate.

He examines the issues raised in a new study ‘In Other Words’ on the perceptions of policy makers to social justice advocacy due to be launched by The Advocacy Initiative on Friday, June 14 th for the C&V sector and his work.


Ending the gag clause in Australia – what does it mean?

On March 13th this year, the Australian Finance Minister, Penny Wong introduced a Bill into the Senate banning gag clauses in all Federal government contracts with the not-for-profit sector.

In this blog David Crosbie unveils the rationale for the introduction of a new Bill into the Australian Senate looking to ban gag clauses in government contracts with the non-for-profit sector. He examines what this means for the sector and the communities its represents.


Fundraising & Advocacy: Turning campaigners into cash and cash into campaigners

In this blog Anna Visser and Eugene Flynn interrogate the fundraising/advocacy link and pose that donor relationships are the key. Drawing on international and Irish practice they address the limits and possibility of individual supporters and donors financing advocacy activity.

In preparing a recent presentation for the Fundraising Ireland national conference , we conducted a mini survey on the links between fundraising and advocacy in Ireland today.


What Now for Local Advocacy?

Following the Government's recently announced local government reforms Senan Turnbull assesses the broad potential of the proposals and more specifically their potential impact on social justice advocacy at local level. According to our forthcoming mapping study of social justice advocacy, the majority of that advocacy happens at local level; hence these developments are very significant for the future of this work.

If the Government's recently announced reform of Local Government under 'Putting People First' is the most radical shake up of the system in 120 years, then it is a missed opportunity in a whole range of respects.


Why are we being criticised for doing advocacy?

Advocacy is an integral and important part of the work of community and voluntary sector organisations, so why are they being criticised for doing it?

On October 14th The Sunday Times published an editorial questioning the need for state funding of advocacy in the community and voluntary sector. The newspaper argued that "public money is scarce, and criticism of the government is plentiful, so why should taxpayers fund more of it?"


The Community Sector - Lost in Austerity?

The current social and economic crisis, and the crisis facing the community sector raises momentous challenges for social justice advocacy. In this joint blog Niall Crowley asks if the community sector is 'lost in austerity'? Siobhán O'Dowd explores these challenges in her response to Niall. Together the authors explore how the sector should: bring new attention to the challenges of equality and justice; support excellent public services; respond directly to the communities in which they work; while, at the same time, remaining true to their democratic purpose by contributing critical analysis and alternative visions for society and the economy?
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