ScotGovAt least some aid to Africa is properly applied - An independent review of projects run by Scottish organisations in Malawi shows that the Scottish Government's International Development Fund (IDF) is making real contributions to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

It confirms that, although the scale of Scotland's contribution is relatively small, its grant-funded projects are having direct, positive impacts on the lives of people in Malawi.  Examples in the review of projects contributing to achievement of the MDGs include Scottish International Relief's very successful Mary's Meals programme.

The programme delivers free school meals to a quarter of a million Malawian primary school children, in communities where poverty & hunger prevent access to education.  The review shows Mary's Meals helping to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger (MDG1) and at the same time enabling children to attend school, contributing to achievement of universal primary education (MDG2).
Press release ~ Review of Projects Funded in Malawi ~ ScotGov - Malawi ~ International Development ~ Mary's Meals ~ Imani Enterprise ~ Scotland Malawi partnership

DHAction this time or just yet more consultative spin? - A new commission of experts to advise the Government on the future role of nurses and midwives has been announced.  The Prime Minister's Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery will ‘build on the existing work identified in Lord Darzi's report High Quality Care for All and consider how nurses can further improve safety, champion high quality patient care and give nurses and midwives more freedom to manage, commission and run their own services’.

All branches of nursing and midwifery will be considered including health visitors, mental health & learning disability nurses and paediatric nurses.  These leading experts in the field of nursing will:
* identify the skills & support that frontline nurses and midwives need to take a central role in delivering 21st century health services for patients
* consider how to build on these expanding roles, including giving nurses and midwives more freedom to manage & run their own services
* work together with the profession, patients and the public to advise on how nurses can contribute to the implementation of Lord Darzi's vision to improve the safety and quality of patient care

The Commission will consult with the profession, patients and the public over the coming months in a series of events to take place around the country (likely to take place from June onwards).  They will report to the Prime Minister by March 2010.
Press release ~ Nurses in Society: starting the debate ~ State of the art metrics for nursing: a rapid appraisal ~ Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

MoDEncouraging the Qs of the future - A range of unmanned vehicles were recently on display at a major event to mark National Science and Engineering Week, an annual series of events celebrating science, engineering & technology and their importance in our lives.

Organised by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) and Defence Manufacturers Association (DMA), the event revealed how unmanned vehicles - in the air, on the ground, and under water - are increasingly being used for civil & military purposes. 

From the disposal of unexploded bombs on UK soil, to performing surveillance and reconnaissance on military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, unmanned vehicles of all shapes & sizes are increasingly helping people to perform a multitude of tasks.
Press release ~ National Science and Engineering Week ~ Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) ~ Defence Manufacturers Association (DMA) ~ Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicles (Experiment) IPT ~ Engineering Development Trust (EDT) ~ 'Go 4 SET' Scheme ~ Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) ~ Defence Dynamics teaching resource

LLUKHelp pilot better community engagement - The Scottish Government is seeking expressions of interest from organisations who would like to participate as a pilot project for the ‘Better Community Engagement: Development of a learning programme to support and improve practice in engaging with communities’. 

ScotGov is seeking between 6 and 10 projects from different contexts in community engagement, to participate in this work.  If you would like to be considered to participate as a pilot project, please complete & return the Expression of Interest Form, to Wendy-Louise Smith, by Friday 27 March 2009.

It is estimated that the appointed contractors will start this work in mid-April.  All projects submitting an expression of interest will be notified by Friday 8 May as to whether they have been selected to participate in this work or not.  It is expected that work with the local demonstration projects and the contractor will have started before mid-June.
Press release ~ Information pack ~ Expression of interest form

ScotGovAnother ICT promise, but will it deliver? - A system allowing child protection agencies across Scotland to share information quicker and better ensure safeguards are in place for those at risk is to be developed over the coming year.  The £1.5m Vulnerable Person's System (VPS) is intended to help agencies react faster to changes in a child's circumstances in the future, to keep them safe from neglect & abuse.

The VPS - which will also cover vulnerable adults - will initially allow police forces to share secure, accurate and up-to-date information electronically, but will be open to other agencies in due course.  The VPS - designed on the existing ViSOR (Violent and Sex Offender Register) system - will go live for police forces throughout 2010-11.

From 2011 the VPS will be incorporated into eCare - the Scottish Government's multi-agency, electronic information sharing framework.  At that point, the VPS will enable the police and other bodies, like social work & health, to bring together key information from various agencies' systems.
Press release ~ eCare ~ ScotGov - Getting it right for every child ~ ScotGov – Young People ~ Association of Directors of Social Work in Scotland (ADSW) ~ HMIe ~ Review of child protection practices ~ Targeted child protection inspections ~ Hub of expertise

Newswire – DCSFComputer systems just record data, actions require adequate numbers of trained & co-ordinated professionals - Lord Laming called for a step change in leadership & practice to help protect children from harm as he published his report into how children’s services have progressed since 2004.  His far-reaching report, The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report, was commissioned by the Children’s Secretary Ed Balls in November 2008 and looks at Children’s Services across England.

The report recognises that Every Child Matters is the right framework for safeguarding children, but that more must now be done to ensure that it is implemented in practice to provide the best quality care & protection for every child at the front door of each of the key services.

Lord Laming called on Government to set explicit priorities for the protection of children & young people and reflect these in the targets for each of the key frontline services, while ensuring sufficient resources are in place to deliver these priorities.  He also recommends Government establish a National Safeguarding Delivery Unit to inject greater energy & drive into the implementation of change and to support local improvement.
Press release ~ The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report ~ Government's response to Lord Laming’s recommendations ~ Every Child Matters ~ Related CPHVA press release

Industry NewsValidate your security functionality - Lumension™ Inc., has announced that it has received CESG Claims Tested Mark (CCTM) accreditation for its Lumension Device Control 4.3.2, which assures UK public bodies of its security functionality.  The device enforces organisation-wide usage policies for removable devices, removable media and data.  As a CCTM accredited product, it can now be used within the public sector, Central Government and the MoD.

In response to the recent publication by the Cabinet Office of the Data Handling Procedures in Government report, Lumension have published a White Paper, which aims to guide government employees and their partner agencies on how Lumension’s products can assist in meeting these data handling requirements, specifically with regards to the control & visibility of removable media used by government personnel; the auditing of data transferred to and from such media and the encryption of data stored on portable devices.
Further information & White Paper ~ CESG Claims Tested Mark (CCTM) ~ FIPS 140-2 (security level 2) validation ~ Data Handling Procedures in Government

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Compliance with the Data Handling Procedures in UK Government  - Free White Paper.....Click here to receive image.
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