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Northern Ireland needs a Programme for Government that’s fit for the future

4 Mar 2020 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Environment, Health, Funding, Education, Social Policy

If we want to cut our cloth as best as possible for the short- and long-term, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals might be a good place to start.

Why we need a guardian of the future

28 Feb 2020 Nick GarbuttEnvironment, Policy

One of the most difficult challenges for the restored administration at Stormont will be to address long-term challenges.

A changing world is daunting for parents

26 Feb 2020 Ryan MillerEducation, Health, Mental Health, Social Policy

Photo by McKaela Lee on Unsplash

We look at Parenting NI’s second annual Big Parenting Survey, which explored concerns about tech – and asked parents about their hopes for their children.

Time to crack down on the gambling industry

21 Feb 2020 Nick GarbuttHealth, Mental Health, Social Policy

A consultation on reforming Northern Ireland’s hopelessly outdated gambling laws has just closed.

Tackling modern slavery is a job for everyone

20 Feb 2020 Ryan MillerJustice, Social Policy

It’s not very often that the public is at the forefront of dealing with serious crime. But, when it comes to slavery, we should all be vigilant.

Northern Ireland has the lowest poverty rates in the UK

13 Feb 2020 Ryan MillerWelfare Reform, Equality, Poverty, Housing

Photo by Tom Rumble on Unsplash

The latest annual poverty report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows the importance of affordable housing.

Only the lonely

13 Feb 2020 Nick GarbuttHealth, Mental Health

In most respects our health is better than our ancestors and we can thank technology for that. But in one important health indicator, loneliness, it is not.  

Climate Change: How charities can help

7 Feb 2020 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

Climate change is not just the greatest threat we collectively face. It is an existential threat. Combating it is a task for all of us: every government, every organisation, and every individual.  

Reducing net emissions requires many changes

6 Feb 2020 Ryan MillerEnvironment, Health

Northern Ireland emissions (graph from Pivotal PPF)

The Assembly has declared a climate emergency. There is no one way to fix this global issue – but it is great to see us take a seat at the table to take on this existential problem.

Restoring Ireland's forests, one tree at a time

31 Jan 2020 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

County Down man James McConville is an architect based in Sweden. He saw the rise of Greta Thunberg first hand and was inspired to make a difference himself back home.

We don’t know enough about academic selection

30 Jan 2020 Ryan MillerEducation, Inequality

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

A comprehensive study on the effects of academic selection in Northern Ireland is needed. A new report from Stranmillis University College's Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement shows why.

Better together: the case for government reform

24 Jan 2020 Nick GarbuttPolicy

The Northern Ireland government is divided into nine departments, each with clear responsibilities, separate budgets and ministerial leadership.

NI Health Survey points to difficult conversations

22 Jan 2020 Ryan MillerHealth, Mental Health, Health Reform

Dr Michael McBride - crafting his message with care

If we save our health service, one key strut will be more personal responsibility for individuals. The latest annual Health Survey shows why encouraging healthier lifestyles can be tricky.

Stormont: Better outcomes demand better government

17 Jan 2020 Nick GarbuttPolicy

If the revived Executive and Assembly is to be a success how it works will be just as important as what it does.

Stormont’s back – and everyone’s inbox is full

16 Jan 2020 Ryan MillerHuman Rights, Equality, Health, Education, Poverty, Welfare Reform

Stormont’s return has left the NIHRC annual statement out of date, sort of - but it’s also more relevant than when it was published.

The Assembly’s return is a big deal and surely better than the past three years. However, the list of issues MLAs face is enormous. Scope looks at human rights in NI.

More than a good start

9 Jan 2020 Ryan MillerEducation, Equality, Social Policy, Health

Sure Start is two decades old but still going strong. Scope takes a look at a long-running programme that has managed to stay fresh.

Suicides in NI: causes and prevention

9 Jan 2020 Nick GarbuttHealth, Mental Health

Scope examines the suicide crisis in Northern Ireland and looks at causes and solutions.

Northern Ireland: more Tallinn than Finchley

19 Dec 2019 Nick GarbuttEconomy, Policy

We are often told that the UK is a powerful western economy. But that is profoundly misleading. 

Reductive politics is on collision course with reality

18 Dec 2019 Ryan MillerEquality, Health, Economy, Education, Social Policy

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

It wasn’t just election week, it was Brexit election week. Or was it? And what about the Stormont talks? Voters are more subtle than politicians and we stand at a policy crossroads. Without fixes there could be enormous public anger.

Boris and the Northern Ireland problem

13 Dec 2019 Nick GarbuttPolitics

Now that the General Election is over we can only hope that Boris Johnson’s new government is better than the last one. But at least there will be one, which is more than can be said for Northern Ireland.


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