Policy News E-Bulletin January 2018

10 trends, tech breakthroughs and social movements for the year ahead – Nesta, December 2017

From altruistic drones to prize-winning AI artists, here are our 10 trends, tech breakthroughs and social movements for the year ahead. 

We explore how existing technology could work for us. Could drones deliver more than parcels? Could our data be the key to better deals for us as consumers?

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Anthony Hilton: Time for the charity sector to win back some trust – Evening Standard, December 2017

Surveys show public distrust focuses on executives who appear to be more interested in their own career than the aims of the charity; charities not knowing or not being open about where the money goes; media publicity about the collapse of high-profile organisations such as Kids Company a couple of years back; high-pressure fundraising which seems to exploit the elderly and other vulnerable groups with deals — for example for energy — which are not as good as they seem, and the perception that too much is spent on advertising and wages and not enough on the people or things the charity is meant to help.

But as with other sectors, it is dangerous to generalise. Trust in business is at an all-time low but in fact people are happy enough with their local shops, garages and employers and it is only the big remote utilities, banks and supermarkets which they think exploit their customers. There is a similar pattern in attitudes to charities: the small are favoured over the big; those that operate locally have a better reputation than those which work overseas.

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City Bridge Trust: “Diversity of talent leads to diversity of ideas“ – Pos’ability, December 2017

If you are an inclusive employer with inclusive recruitment practices then you will be able to draw from the widest possible talent pool.

If you are an inclusive employer who actively fosters an inclusive workplace then you are more likely to retain that talent.

Diversity of talent leads to diversity of ideas.  If you have a diverse workforce you are more resilient, more adaptive and more creative.

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From Homes to Hostels: How the UK is failing children at Christmas - Buttle UK, December 2017

As Christmas approaches and temperatures drop, many of us will huddle up indoors with family, batten down the hatches and try and, as the Scandinavians might say, to get our homes as ‘hyggelig’ as possible. But what about those struggling without a home?

Government responds to Lords committee on charities - Civil Society, December 2017

After a lengthy delay the government has published its response to the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities.  The government welcomed the committee’s report, which was published in March with 43 recommendations. It broadly agrees with many of the points around improving governance and support for charities and said they would feed in to its new Civil Society Strategy – a consultation on which will be launched in January

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MPs Say Muslim Charities Aren't Recognised For All The Work They Do At Christmas – Buzzfeed, December 2017

“These preliminary findings will, we hope, move us to look again at a community of less than three million people who, through their charitable activities, punch far above their weight.”

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New report: Governing by rankings – How the Global Open Data Index helps advance the open data agenda – Open Knowledge International, December 2017

The Global Open Data Index (GODI) is one of the largest worldwide assessments of how well governments publish open data, coordinated by Open Knowledge International since 2013. Over the years we observed how GODI is used to monitor open data publication. But to date, less was known how​ ​GODI​ ​may​ ​translate​ ​into​ ​open​ ​data​ ​policies​ ​and publication​. How does GODI mobilise support for open data? Which actors are mobilised? Which aspects of GODI are useful, and which are not? Our latest report provides insights to these questions.

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Peter Lewis: Let’s speak up for the sector we serve – Charity Times, December 2017

Many charity leaders speak powerfully about the impact of their individual organisation’s work, whether it is fighting homelessness or research into devastating diseases; providing mental health support or reducing the impacts of climate change. But too few then go on to successfully thank the British people for their generosity, are open about how modern charities work, or build the links from their specific cause to the sector more generally. 

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Reframing ageing – NHS England, December 2017

Baby boomers are getting older and reaching an age where the impact of policy and individual decisions 30 years ago is beginning to be felt. Many argue that recent austerity policies and cutbacks in the social safety net are making the problem worse. There ARE more people in absolute terms in the population and many of these are reaching the stage in their lives where loss of functionality and illness is more common.

However, the problem is not that we are living longer but that we are not getting healthier. Historic improvements in life (and healthy life) expectancy are stalling and there is continued inequality between groups. For example, the age of onset of multiple illness in those in the poorest groups is 15 years earlier than those in the most affluent.

We need a social approach because ageing is a social issue, not a clinical one.

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Schools failing a generation of young carers sacrificing their futures for their loved-ones – Barnardo’s, December 2017

Schools are failing a generation of children who are sacrificing their futures to care for sick or disabled family members, Barnardo’s has found.

New research by the UK’s leading children’s charity shows how teachers are failing to identify and support children who are shouldering an extra burden as young carers by looking after their loved-ones.

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Solving the problem of not enough foster carers: Part one – FutureGov, December 2017

Up and down the country, local authorities are working hard to find foster carers for children who have been taken into care. The Fostering Network estimates that a further 7,180 foster families are needed in the next 12 months, in order to ensure all fostered children can live with the right family for them.

This might suggest there aren’t enough people who are willing or able to become foster carers. But we don’t think this is true and have been working with some local authorities to design solutions that offer an alternative future for fostering.

By focusing on improving the application process and how councils could share information, we can start to make a big difference to the number of people who can care for looked after children.

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UK must tackle loneliness, says Jo Cox Commission report – BBC News, December 2017

The government should create a national strategy to combat loneliness, says a report by a commission set up by the murdered MP Jo Cox.

The commission, formed by the MP before she was killed in her constituency in 2016, calls for the appointment of a minister to lead action on the issue.

It says loneliness is as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and affects nine million UK people.

The government says new initiatives will be announced next year.

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West Midlands council chief: women in local government need to grab power – The Guardian, December 2017

Deborah Cadman, chief executive of the West Midlands ‘super council’, wants to see more women in power, starting close to home

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