Latest Updates

Belfast's city deal explained

23 Nov 2017 Nick GarbuttPolicy, Economy

It was widely predicted by commentators that there would be no extra money for Northern Ireland in the budget. For once, and thankfully, they were wrong. 

The machines are coming – but what does that mean?

17 Nov 2017 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Social Policy, Equality, Human Rights

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

What do we want from technology? Specifically, what do we as individuals and a society want – and not want – from artificial intelligence? These questions need to be answered now.

The future of punishment: prisons without bars and hell on earth

16 Nov 2017 Nick GarbuttJustice, 4th Industrial Revolution

Technological change poses enormous challenges for the future punishment and rehabilitation of offenders. 

“Justice is possible”

10 Nov 2017 Ryan MillerJustice; Social Policy; Sector Issues

Saroeun Sek

Saroeun Sek is an incredible man. His efforts in tackling modern slavery in Cambodia provide policy lessons for Northern Ireland – and personal inspiration for everyone.

The Revolution has started without us ...

10 Nov 2017 Nick GarbuttSector Issues, 4th Industrial Revolution

The next industrial revolution is already underway. What used to be in the realm of science fiction is becoming scientific fact. 

A health check for our health service

3 Nov 2017 Nick GarbuttHealth, Politics

When Sir Liam Donaldson reviewed Northern Ireland’s health care system in 2014 he said politicians were incapable of implementing the necessary reforms. 

Cold Christmas coming for those on Universal Credit

3 Nov 2017 Ryan MillerWelfare Reform; Social Policy

For people in NI the Independent Welfare Changes Helpline is available on 0808 802 0020

Without some consideration there could be a difficult Christmas for people relying on Universal Credit. Calls are being made for a truce.

Life in the shadow of the peace walls

27 Oct 2017 Nick GarbuttPolicy, Sector Issues

To many Belfast’s peace walls are either an embarrassment or else a macabre visitor attraction. Those who live in their shadows are routinely patronised and often demonised.  

Modern slavery needs modern solutions

27 Oct 2017 Ryan MillerSocial Policy; Justice

Photo by Eva Blue on Unsplash

The justice system is adapting relatively quickly to the horror that is modern slavery - but while efforts are stepping up to eradicate the problem, there still needs to be more support for victims.

Charities: the terrible price of addressing symptoms not causes of social problems

20 Oct 2017 Nick GarbuttFunding, Sector Issues

The debate about how to enhance the independence of charities took a new turn this week with a startling intervention from Fiona Weir, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. 

Changing faces of the youths of today

20 Oct 2017 Ryan MillerSector Issues; Health; Education; Social Policy; Community Relations


Ardoyne Youth Enterprise helps young people in one of Northern Ireland’s most deprived areas. But times are changing, and the group is changing with them.

Social innovation never stops

13 Oct 2017 Ryan MillerSector Issues; Social Policy

Deirdre Mortell

Northern Ireland needs greater focus on innovative solutions. Substantial and dedicated funding would help – but good ideas are just as necessary.

Lifeline: the fall out

13 Oct 2017 Nick GarbuttMental Health, Sector Issues

It has often been claimed that charities fail to speak out on important policy issues for fear of losing funding

The Funding Revolution that gives power to the people

6 Oct 2017 Nick GarbuttSector Issues

Participatory Budgeting gives communities more power over spending.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is an idea whose time has come. Scope examines the model giving communities more power over spending.

The robots are coming and taking our jobs

6 Oct 2017 Nick GarbuttSector Issues; 4th Industrial Revolution

The Bank of England estimates that two thirds of all jobs are capable of being automated within 20 years. Scope examines the implications for the Third Sector. 

Ending paramilitarism: the blueprint

29 Sep 2017 Nick GarbuttPolicy

Bringing paramilitarism to an end is the biggest single task facing Northern Ireland society. Scope explores what is being done about it. 

The writing class that transforms lives

29 Sep 2017 Nick GarbuttSector Issues, Education

Young people who leave school with no qualifications are often written off by the rest of society. Scope explores a project that reveals amazing untapped potential. 

Omens are grim as Universal Credit arrives

22 Sep 2017 Nick GarbuttWelfare Reform

Next week sees the beginning of the roll out of Universal Credit in Northern Ireland. 

Punchy copy

21 Sep 2017 Ryan MillerSocial Policy

X Chromosomes (per Wikipedia)

The media struggles to report on battling ideas unless there is a real battle involved. Covering concepts is inherently difficult but it could still be done better – whether you are talking health reform, or identity politics.

Strategy need to support attainment

15 Sep 2017 Ryan MillerSocial Policy; Education

Never mind academic selection, the ILiAD report identifies several wider issues that affect academic attainment. These need to be dealt with together.

Scope Issues

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