Latest Updates

Welfare sanctions in NI: the facts

1 Apr 2016 Nick GarbuttWelfare Reform

Adam Tinson, senior research analyst at the New Policy Institute analyses the growing gap between benefits sanctions in Northern Ireland and GB. 

The Future of Doing Good

1 Apr 2016 Nick GarbuttSector Issues, Funding

The Big Lottery Fund has just published a report on the future of charities 

English now comes easier to those in need

25 Mar 2016 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Equality, Community Relations

Illustration by Patrick Sanders

Bizarre variations in English lessons for asylum seekers, refugees and other vulnerable immigrants have recently been ironed out by DEL. Scope hears why this is good for all of us.

Democracy and NI: the state we live in

22 Mar 2016 Ryan MillerPolitics, Social Policy, Equality, Social Media, Media, Education, Community Relations, Peace Process

A graphical representation of the deliberative system

What is the state of democracy in Northern Ireland? Many would give a one-word answer. But to improve the world around us we need engagement, and to embrace of nuance, complexity and the views of others. No-one said it was easy.

Is the third sector losing its way?

18 Mar 2016 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Funding, Community Relations

Illustration by Patrick Sanders

Difficult questions were put to those in community and voluntary organisations at an Imagine! Belfast event this week. When does valid criticism end and self-flaggelation begin? Scope has a look.

The changing face of local poverty

16 Mar 2016 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Welfare Reform, Equality, Politics

Illustration by Patrick Sanders

The whys and wherefores of being poor in Northern Ireland are changing and could become more difficult to address, according to a new Joseph Rowntree Foundation report.

If New Zealand can ban zero hour contracts why can't we?

11 Mar 2016 Nick GarbuttPolitics, Economy

This week New Zealand became the first country in the western world to ban zero hour contracts. Scope examines the issues. 

Political policing - a new map for murky terrain

11 Mar 2016 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Equality, Community Relations, Peace Process, Politics

Illustration by Patrick Sanders

This week the Committee for the Administration of Justice launched a paper designed to inform people about the whys and wherefores of public order policing - useful for a factual approach to oversight of the PSNI. Scope takes a look.

The truth about homelessness and street deaths

4 Mar 2016 Nick GarbuttSocial Policy

The recent death of a homeless man on the streets of Belfast has caused a furore and a flurry of emergency meetings as the authorities work out a response. 

NI transport is at a crucial time – and has an opportunity

4 Mar 2016 Ryan MillerHealth, Education, Social Policy, Equality, Sector Issues, Funding, Mental Health

Illustration by Patrick Sanders

The recent consultation document on Accessible Transport appears to have forgotten about community providers – but are things that simple? Scope takes a look.

Savile, child abuse and the BBC

26 Feb 2016 Nick GarbuttMedia

It has been a truly awful week for the BBC with the publication of two separate reports into its treatment of the Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall affairs.  

A more inclusive and mature public discourse – Imagine!

25 Feb 2016 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Community Relations, Peace Process, Equality, Sector Issues

Actress Nuala McKeever supports the festival

The Imagine! Festival of Ideas and Politics returns to Belfast next month for its second year. Scope speaks to organiser Peter O’Neill about the gap it fills in public debate.

Time to waken the sleeping giant

19 Feb 2016 Nick GarbuttSector Issues, Politics

Scope editor Nick Garbutt argues that the forthcoming elections provide the sector with the opportunity to fulfil its potential to influence political change. 

NICVA publishes manifesto ahead of elections

19 Feb 2016 Ryan MillerEducation, Environment, Health, Mental Health, Welfare Reform, Politics, Social Policy

Illustration by Patrick Sanders

Election seasons is upon us and Scope will have a heavy focus on policy. This week NICVA published its own paper. We highlight their ideas.

February health summit must bring results

12 Feb 2016 Ryan MillerHealth, Mental Health, Social Policy, Equality, Politics

Illustration by Patrick Sanders

Next week Prof. Rafael Bengoa and his panel will meet with our major parties. Agreeing principles for health reform is vital - time is short.

Does privatisation of the prison system work?

12 Feb 2016 Nick GarbuttPolitics, Social Policy

With Northern Ireland getting its first taste of private sector involvement in the prison service, Scope looks at the impacts of wholescale privatisation of the justice system in England and Wales. 

Winners and losers at Maghaberry prison

5 Feb 2016 Nick GarbuttSector Issues

The family visitor centre at Maghaberry prison, which, for so long was operated by the Quakers, is now being run by a private company.Here we provide a brief history of the work of both organisations without comment.  

New enforced labour measures could make things worse

5 Feb 2016 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Equality, Health

Illustration by Patrick Sanders

Our structures for tackling labour exploitation are a mess, but moves by the Home Office and DBIS might not help. Scope takes a look.

What now for welfare?

29 Jan 2016 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Welfare Reform, Equality

Social security does not occur in a vacuum and, while Tory changes might look absurd by their own criteria, there are huge global socioeconomic trends that effect what is possible and these have no easy solutions.

Just how independent are charities in Northern Ireland?

29 Jan 2016 Nick GarbuttSector Issues

Scope unpicks the issues at the heart of a divisive debate as serious questions are raised about the sector’s independence


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