Latest Updates

Child poverty and Northern Ireland's house of cards

1 Jun 2021 Ryan MillerPoverty, Equality, Child Poverty, Social Policy, Covid-19

Housing costs and poverty are inextricably linked (Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash)

Progress on child poverty has been slow. Between the pandemic and rising house prices, things could be about to get much worse.

Poverty, mental health and an unkind welfare state

27 May 2021 Nick GarbuttHealth, Mental Health, Welfare

A proper debate about the links between mental ill health and poverty and what needs to be done about it is overdue.

Covid-19 and women: a shrinking job market and a growing risk of violence at home

26 May 2021 Ryan MillerEquality, Economy, Domestic Abuse, Mental Health

Home is not a safe place for everyone (photo by Gus Ruballo on Unsplash)

For women, economic prospects and domestic abuse are interlinked. The pandemic is putting pressure on both.

Friends to all: the remarkable story of the Quakers in Ireland

21 May 2021 Nick GarbuttSector Issues, Faith Based Engagement

Last summer, just before the second wave of the pandemic struck, Shane Whelehan became chief executive of Quaker Service Northern Ireland.

Should Northern Ireland set its own income tax?

19 May 2021 Ryan MillerEconomy, Social Policy, Tax

Photo by the New York Public Library on Unsplash

Discussions about devolving more tax powers to NI are beginning in earnest. This could transform government – but risk and opportunity go hand in hand.

Autism services are not fit for purpose

13 May 2021 Ryan MillerAutism, Social Policy, Health, Education

It would be simple to call anything and everything a priority as we look beyond Covid-19 – but the need for better support for autism truly does stand apart.

New report spells out cost of transforming health and care system

13 May 2021 Nick GarbuttHealth, Social Care

Health and social care across the UK needs a massive funding boost if it is to be able to meet future demand according to a four-year inquiry led by 33 experts.

The truth about health inequality

6 May 2021 Nick GarbuttHealth, Social Justice

If everyone were able to live healthier lives for longer, everyone would benefit.

Poverty is a trap

6 May 2021 Ryan MillerWelfare Reform, Social Policy, Poverty

Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash

Arguments against higher social security payments centre on incentivising work. This is flawed thinking. Right now, benefits are too low.

What we don't know about going digital

30 Apr 2021 Nick GarbuttSector Issues, Governance, Health

Third and public sector bodies are rightly proud of how they responded to the pandemic, switching so many services from face-to-face to digital.

Major action on climate change is possible

29 Apr 2021 Ryan MillerEnvironment, Climate Change, Social Policy

Edwin Poots

Could NI be on the edge of massive reform? The end of the pandemic is hopefully in sight, while other political ructions will herald change, in some form. A modern, green economy would be the best possible result.

Let's not get back to normal - it wasn't so nice

23 Apr 2021 Nick GarbuttPolicy, Economy

 Katherine Trebeck, Senior Strategic Advisor for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance argues the case for radical, lasting change.*

Time to address the brain drain

23 Apr 2021 Nick GarbuttEducation, Economy

During its short existence Northern Ireland’s only think tank Pivotal has made significant contributions to improving debate about some of the challenges we face.

Communicating is harder in the pandemic

22 Apr 2021 Ryan MillerSector Issues, communications

Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

Covid-19 has left charities will a range of challenges that is broad and deep. One of these is communications, a crucial – but oft overlooked – aspect of any organisation.

How pandemic exposed weakness of the union

16 Apr 2021 Nick GarbuttPolitics

An important new report explores how the UK government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has left an already fragile union even closer to breaking up.

Charity funding in a changing world

15 Apr 2021 Ryan MillerFunding, Fundraising, Sector Issues

National Lottery Community Fund NI Director Kate Beggs

Covid-19 has exacerbated a financial squeeze for the third sector. Scope speaks with Kate Beggs, from the National Lottery Community Fund, about the changing face of funding.

The road to grown-up government, tax and spend

9 Apr 2021 Nick GarbuttPublic policy, Finance

Away from the headlines, the talk shows and the increasingly hysterical public discourse, work is underway that may ultimately lead to more grown-up government in Northern Ireland.

Tax the rich – even just a bit more

7 Apr 2021 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Fundraising, Civil Society, Health, Social Policy, Welfare

Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

Modern economics is hampered by politics. This has huge ramifications for Covid-19 recovery and, longer-term, for society, poverty and the third sector.

Lost lives: grief in a time of Covid

26 Mar 2021 Nick GarbuttHealth and Wellbeing

This week marked a commemoration for all those who have lost their lives in the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time it took place the total was 126,284 across the UK of which 2,107 were from Northern Ireland.

Tackling loneliness will be a bellwether for Covid-19 recovery

25 Mar 2021 Ryan MillerLoneliness, Covid-19, Sector Issues, Social Policy, Mental Health

Red Cross NI Director Sharon Sinclair

New research from the Red Cross lays bare how, for many people, coronavirus has led to loneliness. The root causes cut across every aspect of the pandemic.


Health (200)
Politics (153)
Equality (143)
Education (117)
Policy (72)
Funding (63)
Economy (58)

Scope Issues

Join Our Newsletter

Get the latest edition of ScopeNI delivered to your inbox.