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Blears launches empowerment partnership

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Communities and local government secretary Hazel Blears today announced the setting up of the National Empowerment Partnership (NEP).

With an aim to increase levels of participation at local, regional and national levels, the NEP will also seek to improve the quality, co-ordination and evidence of empowerment.

The partnership involves the Community Development Foundation (CDF) and the Improvement & Development Agency (IDeA).

The CDF says community empowerment projects are often because:

  • They are of variable quality
  • Often have variable funding
  • There is little central information about what works in practice
  • There is little co-ordinated action

Aims of NEP

The NEP seeks to address these problems and support existing projects by improving the quality of practice through exchange of information and good practice, quality assure processes which aim to achieve empowered communities and citizens and centrally gather information about community empowerment.

The partnership intends to increase the numbers and capacity of people able to influence the decisions that affect their lives and improve the quality and function of relationships between citizens and government.

CDF chief executive Alison Seabrooke said: “Empowering communities is an essential starting point for encouraging engagement and participation. The partnership is pleased that the government has recognised its important role in achieving their vision of a strengthened participatory democracy for all."

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