Embedding relationships on a cross border basis

The Communities in Partnership Programme (CiPP) is focused on embedding lasting relationships on a cross-border basis by supporting cooperation and innovation between groups and organisations North and South on projects that have a meaningful benefit for local communities.

The Programme is part of the International Fund for Ireland Connecting Communities Strategy. Rural Action is the Managing Agent for CiPP in Northern Ireland.


The aim of the Communities in Partnership Programme is to build progressive partnerships that will deliver meaningful benefit for communities on both sides of the border and raise awareness of issues and challenges impacting communities while also contributing to the wider peacebuilding work of the IFI.

The IFI wants to encourage sustainable engagement and dialogue between communities across the island of Ireland to ensure that bonds of friendship, neighbourliness and partnership can flourish. It recognises that there is a continued need for support, especially in marginalised communities that can be hard to reach, and CiPP recognises the need to adapt support for communities based on their evolving needs.

The IFI will support projects that can meet two criteria: that it builds genuine connections on a cross-border basis and that it provides meaningful benefit to the communities involved. Ideally these would be ideas that bring people together to serve their communities in imaginative ways such as:

  • Using culture and the arts to create a space for people to deepen their understanding of the past and set a path for their future
  • Creating projects that engage and empower young people from both sides of the border
  • Launching initiatives that strengthen civic engagement thereby empowering communities to face difficult conversations
  • Taking practical steps to improve people‚Äôs social and material wellbeing
  • Facilitating contact and discussion between diverse groups working on peace and reconciliation across the island
  • Creating the conditions necessary for the development of social enterprise and innovation

The intended outcome of the programme is to develop confident and enduring cross-border partnerships between communities that actively respect diversity and embrace mutual understanding.