Latest Updates

Crime: the real reason why offenders stop

1 Nov 2019 Nick GarbuttJustice

Sir Martin Narey stirred up a hornet’s nest this week when he told a conference of prison officers to “stop fretting about rehabilitation”.

Stroke experiences reinforce the need for change

29 Oct 2019 Ryan MillerHealth

Stroke survivor Helen Graham

Figures released this week on World Stroke Day lay bare the need for health transformation – a process that, due in large part to Stormont’s collapse, has stalled.

Our health service: running out of time and money

25 Oct 2019 Nick GarbuttHealth

The man who runs the Health and Social Care system in Northern Ireland is running out of time, and running out of money.

Let’s talk about Shared Prosperity

23 Oct 2019 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Equality, Social Policy, Funding

Where is the consultation on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund? And, when it does come, what should a new infrastructure fund look like?

Dormant accounts: spending other peoples' money

17 Oct 2019 Nick GarbuttFunding

The Third Sector has been waiting for 11 years, with mounting impatience, for monies accumulating in Northern Ireland’s Dormant Accounts Fund to be put to good use.

How is NI performing? (part three)

16 Oct 2019 Ryan MillerEconomy, Equality, Education, Transport, Infrastructure, Tourism, Social Policy

Our third and final article looking at how our public sector is doing, by its own measure.

In education, religion’s reach goes far beyond segregation

8 Oct 2019 Ryan MillerEquality, Education, Social Policy, Religion, Divided Society

Part of the new UU report's infographic

A new report from Ulster University has found that religion – and specific religious groups – hold sway at every level of the NI schools system.

How is NI performing? (Part two)

8 Oct 2019 Ryan MillerEquality, Social Policy, Health, Justice, Education, Economy

NI - it's a beautiful place (photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash)

The second in our trio of articles taking an accessible look at how our public sector is doing, by its own measure.

How is Northern Ireland performing? (part one)

3 Oct 2019 Ryan MillerEquality, Social Policy, Health, Education, Economy

The Executive Office recently published its year-end report looking at progress against outcomes in the draft Programme for Government. Scope takes a look at the bottom line.

Food for thought: Northern Ireland's farming crisis

3 Oct 2019 Nick GarbuttHealth, Environment

Our health and the health of the land are inextricably linked. That link is now fractured.

Local news is vital for communities

27 Sep 2019 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Equality, Sector Issues

Some original Fake News, in which a beloved dog named Boy is killed by a Necromancer

Newspapers are dying, but we still need news. How should we replace what is lost? Should journalism go full circle and return to its roots as a charitable cause?

Pivotal: Northern Ireland's new think tank

27 Sep 2019 Nick GarbuttPolicy

Northern Ireland had the dubious distinction of being the only part of the UK without a think tank, until this week.

‘Traditional’ men’s work is not just for boys

19 Sep 2019 Ryan MillerEquality, Economy, Social Policy

Women’stec CEO Lynn Carvill (left) with Mark Nutt and Maria Bradley from Gilbert-Ash

North Belfast charity Women’stec is tearing down barriers that have kept women from careers like joinery, plumbing and surveying. Scope speaks with CEO Lynn Carvill.

NI's environment strategy: have your say

18 Sep 2019 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

Work has started on developing an environmental strategy for Northern Ireland, at long last.

Politicians and policy: lessons from Dublin

13 Sep 2019 Nick GarbuttHousing, Policy

There is little or no serious discussion about public policy in Northern Ireland, with or without a functioning government. This needs to change.

Welfare Reform mitigations must continue

13 Sep 2019 Ryan MillerWelfare Reform, Equality, Social Policy

A Westminster committees inquiry has concluded that NI’s mitigations package should continue beyond next March’s benefits cliff edge – action is required now.

Why we need to reforest Northern Ireland

6 Sep 2019 Nick GarbuttEnvironment, Climate Change

New research tells us that restoring our ancient forests is both the cheapest and most effective way of tackling climate change. Northern Ireland is the second most deforested part of Europe. We should therefore be at the forefront of change.

East Belfast community work is ready to blossom

6 Sep 2019 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Social Policy, Economy, Equality

A multi-partner project aiming to build capacity and leadership among community groups appears to be that rare thing – an unqualified success.

Mary Ann McCracken, a tireless campaigner for social justice

30 Aug 2019 Nick GarbuttSector Issues

The Belfast Charitable Society, the city’s oldest charity, has set up a foundation to celebrate the life and work of one of Belfast’s most remarkable women – Mary Ann McCracken.

Autism petition approaches 10,000 signatures

29 Aug 2019 Ryan MillerMental Health, Health, Education, Equality, Social Policy

Autism NI is calling for mandatory autism training for all teachers in Northern Ireland –organising a petition they will present at Stormont next month. Scope speaks with CEO Kerry Boyd.


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