If civil society is being encouraged to more fully embrace inclusiveness and respect for diversity, then so must the multiplicity of service support organizations with which it interacts. This is the key proposition behind this seminal contribution to public policy. While legislation can ensure minimum standards of behaviour and outcomes, meaningful organizational progression beyond legal imperatives requires authentic dialogue, based on principles of equity, diversity and interdependence. These are essential components for deeper societal transformation. Using the divided society of Northern Ireland as a case study, and its rural governance arena in particular, this book provides an authoritative empirical analysis of, and prescriptive agenda for, collaborative conversations. The insights provided by this book go far beyond this region and have a profound relevance for other societies struggling to emerge from conflict, racism and social separation.
Contents: Setting the Context: Discourse, planning and place; Introducing equity, diversity and interdependence. Baselining Equity, Diversity and Interdependence in Rural Northern Ireland: The governance arena of rural Northern Ireland; Perceptions of diversity and inclusion among Northern Ireland-wide service organizations; Perceptions of diversity and inclusion among Northern Ireland area-based service organizations; Responding to the challenges of diversity and inclusion - Northern Ireland rural community network; A situation analysis of equity, diversity and interdependence. The Way Forward: Reconnecting governance and people through authentic dialogue; Collaborative planning in action; Glossary; References; Index.