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In the latest issue of VIEW we carried an interview with Celine McStravick, director of the National Children’s Bureau in Northern Ireland, in which she praised the inclusion of an outcomes-based approach in the draft Programme for Government. Academic Dr Toby Lowe offered an opposing view of an outcomes-based approach to public policy in an interview with VIEW editor Brian Pelan On page eight of the draft Programme for Government in Northern Ireland it says: “The approach taken in this Framework draws on the techniques set out by Mark Friedman in his book ‘Trying Hard is Not Good Enough’, which describes…

Image: Paddy Gray speaking at the housing conference Photo: Kevin Cooper By Una Murphy Housing divisions on religious grounds, especially in loyalist areas is changing in Northern Ireland, according to a new report A major housing conference in Belfast heard yesterday (Wednesday) of “a trend towards desegregation across Northern Ireland especially in previously single-identity Protestant areas.” Ten new shared social housing initiatives have now been developed under Stormont’s Together Building A United Community (TBUC). Two academics, Dr Clifford Stevenson from Anglia Ruskin University and Dr Ian Shuttleworth, Queen’s University Belfast, who carried out the research warned that: “In the absence…

Images: Kevin Cooper The biggest housing conference to come to Northern Ireland began in Belfast today. (Wednesday). Hundreds of housing researchers from all over Europe gathered for ENHR2016. The international housing experts are from the European Network for Housing Research and they were welcomed by conference chair Professor Paddy Gray from Ulster University. The Housing Executive is the main sponsor of the event. Among the subjects the researchers are discussing at the conference – which is taking place in Northern Ireland for the first time – is housing in a divided society. Professor Gray said: ‘I am delighted that ENHR…

VIEW was delighted to get the support of Community Evaluation NI (CENI) for our latest issue which looks at social impact and making a difference. Below is the editorial written by guest editor Brendan McDonnell, director of CENI From an early age I have been interested in building and fixing things – anyone remember air-fix kits, or mecanno sets? Or simply taking things apart to see how they work and trying to put them back together again. I suppose that’s what evaluators do; they have this need to find out what organisations do, understand how they work, and how they…

Image: Celine McStravick of the National Children’s Bureau, left, with Mark Friedman; Kieran Drayne, former Colin Early Intervention Project Manager and Annie Armstrong, Manager of Colin Neighbourhood Partnership Celine McStravick, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB NI) tells VIEW editor Brian Pelan that she is delighted that Stormont’s draft Programme for Government will be using Mark Friedman’s model of Outcomes-Based Accountability (OBA™). “For the first time ever,” she said, “we are very clear about what outcomes we want for the population and how we are going to measure them”. On page eight of the draft Programme for Government in…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan We hope you enjoy our in-depth look at the issue of social impact in the latest edition of VIEW. Most organisations in the voluntary/community sector will argue that they are making a difference. But proving it is another thing all together. The involvement of Brendan McDonnell, director of Community Evaluation NI (CENI) made my task a bit easier. His role as guest editor of this issue was to gently point me in the direction of areas of interest around social impact. I was also grateful to secure the support of the Building Change Trust. Both…

In this issue we look at social impact and making a difference. We also report on the outcomes approach adopted in the draft Programme for Government in Northern Ireland. A big thanks to our guest editor; Brendan McDonnell from Community Evaluation NI (CENI) and the fantastic support we received from the Building Change Trust. To view the magazine go to http://issuu.com/brianpelanone/docs/view_issue_38 To download a version go to http://cl.ly/gYZi http://issuu.com/brianpelanone/docs/view_issue_38?e=3341601/36811118

Image: Bronagh Lawson beside some of the work painted by her father Pat Lawson who has Alzheimer’s By Una Murphy “My dad was an architect,” Bronagh Lawson explained when I called into gallery at the Arts & Disability Forum (ADF) in Belfast’s Royal Avenue. “I remember him saying he should have been a painter but his mother wouldn’t let him.” Bronagh’s father’s Pat Lawson was the architect who designed the 1960s extension to the Ulster Museum and worked on international commissions in Africa and the USA. He now has Alzheimer’s and is looked after in a care home in Downpatrick,…

VIEW editor Brian Pelan with Janette McKnight and Linda Moore Images: Kevin Cooper VIEW’s latest print issue on prisons and justice was launched today at the Quakers’ Friends’ Meeting House in Belfast. Among those who attended were guest editor Janette McKnight, Director of the Quaker Service; Linda Moore, Ulster University lecturer; former Justice Minister David Ford; VIEW editor Brian Pelan, Prison Ombudsman Tom McGonigle; Contact NI Director Fergus Cumiskey; Action Mental Health Chief Executive David Babington and Bill Osborne, Director of Voluntary Services Belfast (VSB Foundation). VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy praised all those who assisted the publication of the magazine, including guest…

Image: Paul Mason in conversation with author Martina Devlin at Elmwood Hall in Belfast By VIEW editor Brian Pelan Journalist Paul Mason told a packed audience at Elmwood Hall yesterday in Belfast that he would vote to remain in the European Union as he could not “let the future of the UK be written by Conservative politicians Michael Gove and Boris Johnson”. But he was also scathing in his criticism of the European Union. “My main problem with the European Union is that it mandates austerity. This was written into the European Treaty. We are tied to an economy which…

By Brian Pelan Sunny Jacobs and Peter Pringle (above) are a very loving couple with a rare common bond. Each spent years on death row – she in the US, he in Ireland – before winning their freedom back. They now campaign for abolition of the death penalty and prison reform The story of Sunny Jacobs and Peter Pringle is compelling and life-affirming. A true tale of surviving against all the odds. In 1976, Sunny was placed on death row in Florida for the murder of two police officers. Four years later, in Dublin, Peter was sentenced to death for…

By Una Murphy HUNDREDS of international housing experts will witness a city “transformed” when they meet in Belfast later this month, according to Ulster University’s Professor Paddy Gray (pictured above). He is the organiser of the European Network of Housing Research conference which will take place for the first time in Northern Ireland. The main sponsor of the event is the Housing Executive. Professor Gray of Ulster University’s School of the Built Environment said: “The hundreds of housing researchers who are coming to Belfast from all over Europe will see the so called ‘peace walls’ but will also find a…

VIEW editor Brian Pelan talks to Linda Moore, above, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Ulster University, about a range of issues concerning prisons in Northern Ireland, including the situation for women inmates at Hydebank Wood and what should be at the top of the in-box for the Minister for Justice Claire Sugden Amidst the noise and the hustle and bustle in the cafe at the Mac theatre in Belfast, I listened as Senior Lecturer Linda Moore spoke passionately and knowledgeably about the situation facing women prisoners in Northern Ireland and why we need reform and accountability in the penal system.…

The Law Centre (NI) has called for urgent action to protect children at risk of trafficking and exploitation Following on from  the finding by BBC NI’s Spotlight programme that eight separated children went missing in Northern Ireland since 2005, Law Centre (NI) has called for independent guardians to be put in place urgently. A separated child is a child who has come to Northern Ireland without a parent or legal guardian. Law Centre (NI) understands that the Health Board has taken measures to ensure that unaccompanied children subject to immigration control are now better protected. However, the Law Centre believes…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan I can vividly recall the first time I read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was in the late 1970s during a bad time in my life. I was living in a squat in London and I was unemployed. It was not the best time to be reading this classic novel. Devouring copious amounts of beans and toast, I hurtled through this dark and compelling tale, unable to put it down. Erwin James in his biography, Redeemable: A Memoir of Darkness and Hope, recounts reading the same book in his prison cell. “A dark,…

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