Latest Updates

Getting back to nature: unlocking the great outdoors

19 Mar 2021 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

One of the most frustrating paradoxes of life in Northern Ireland is that we are surrounded by great beauty but have precious little access to it.

News is a utility but, to survive, it needs charity

17 Mar 2021 Ryan MillerJournalism, Sector Issues, Social Policy

Journalism is in crisis. Its weakness is part of something wider that is undermining society. Financing independent reporting is necessary – but not sufficient – to steer away from disaster. Journalism also needs public confidence.

Forest Schools: an idea whose time has come

12 Mar 2021 Nick GarbuttEducation, Environment

There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

Bringing wellbeing to Northern Ireland

9 Mar 2021 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Governance, Equality, Wellbeing, Economy

NI needs to budget towards outcomes

New research from the Carnegie Trust has laid out a path for Northern Ireland to become a place that puts the genuine needs and wants of its people first.

How to pay for social care

5 Mar 2021 Nick GarbuttHealth, Social Care

Northern Ireland's powers to raise it own revenues are so limited that it is almost entirely dependent on the British Treasury via the Block Grant for the monies it can spend. 

Where next for health reform?

3 Mar 2021 Ryan MillerHealth, Health and Social Care, Health Reform, Brexit, Bengoa

Oliver Twist asking for more

Before Covid-19, reform of Health and Social Care was the biggest challenge facing Stormont. That challenge remains, but the ability to meet it may be diminished.

Time to count the cost of segregated education

25 Feb 2021 Nick GarbuttEducation

A review of Northern Ireland’s education system is due to get under way later this year.

Data can be both substance and style

23 Feb 2021 Ryan MillerSector Issues, outcomes, Statistics, Funding, Fundraising. Best Practice

Dr Donna Kernaghan

Numbers can enhance narratives and even tell tales of their own. Scope speaks with Dr Donna Kernaghan, founder of Stats & Stories, about how data can help organisations improve services and secure funding.

Putting people in the lead

19 Feb 2021 Nick GarbuttPolicy, Sector Issues

The pandemic has led to severe curtailment of our freedoms. Recovering from it should not just involve restoring but enhancing them. It is time to put people in the lead.

Third sector has a chance to change its relationship with government

16 Feb 2021 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Equality, Funding, Civil Society

NICVA CEO Seamus McAleavey

Charities, departments and the civil service could work together better. NICVA’s new manifesto is a great starting point for developing a new relationship – and is out for consultation.

Poverty: Society’s open wound

16 Feb 2021 Nick GarbuttPoverty, Social Policy

Department for Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey outlines her plans to tackle poverty. 

Recovering from the pandemic: lessons from other disasters

10 Feb 2021 Nick GarbuttHealth, Covid-19

It might be a matter of months before vaccines bring Covid-19 under control. It will take 10-15 years for individuals and communities to recover from the disaster, according to the health think tank The King’s Fund.

Dormant accounts to support active needs

9 Feb 2021 Ryan MillerFundraising, Sector Issues, leadership, Digital Innovation, Data

Kate Beggs, NI Director for the NLCF

The new Dormant Accounts Fund aims to boost third sector sustainability. Scope speaks with Kate Beggs, Director of the National Lottery Community Fund NI, about charities becoming more robust.

Lockdown and litter: lessons to learn

4 Feb 2021 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

Before lockdown the cost of clearing up litter in Northern Ireland was estimated at £29 million.

Kids in the waiting room

2 Feb 2021 Ryan MillerRights, Children and Young People, Equality

Koulla Yiasouma, the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People

In Northern Ireland, young people’s rights are underdeveloped. Scope talks with Children’s Commissioner Koulla Yiasouma about why this is – and what should be done.

A lost generation? The plight of the young

29 Jan 2021 Nick GarbuttEmployment, Covid-19

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on young people, with more than a quarter saying it has left them unable to cope with life.

Poverty in the UK

27 Jan 2021 Ryan MillerPoverty, Economy, Covid-19, Welfare Reform, Housing, Universal Credit

Poverty will be a major concern for the Assembly

The UK was struggling to get to grips with poverty before the pandemic. Immediate needs and underlying issues both need to be addressed in any recovery.

Universal Credit: why we must keep the increase

22 Jan 2021 Nick GarbuttSector Issues; Equality; Social Policy; Welfare Reform

It is imperative that politicians and civil society in Northern Ireland exert all the influence they can to preserve the £20 a week increase in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits, due to expire in April.

Transfer tests are more in the spotlight than ever

19 Jan 2021 Ryan MillerEducation, Equality, Covid-19, Academic Selection

Education Minister Peter Weir

The post-primary transfer debacle appears finally to be over. What could have been a Covid-19 issue has become something more, thanks in large part to the Education Minister.

Mother and Baby Homes - an indictment of an entire society

15 Jan 2021 Nick GarbuttSocial Issues

The Final Report of the Mother and Baby Commission was published this week. It is profoundly disturbing. Both church and state have apologised for their role. But the report is also an indictment of an entire society. 


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