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CO:  The impact of Scottish independence will be far wider than just having 2 PMs for these islands - The Cabinet Office has announced the establishment of the new Commission on the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons.  This independent, non-partisan Commission has been asked to examine how the House of Commons deals with legislation that affects only part of the UK.
VSO:  It could make our 2011 summer riots look like a ‘peaceful shopping trip’10 years on from the end of civil war in Sierra Leone (18 January), mass youth unemployment poses a threat to the existing peace & stability in the country, international development charity VSO is warning.  Despite policies having been put in place to address youth issues, the current situation remains dire for young people in the country.

70% of the country’s youth population is unemployed or underemployed and 50% illiterate or unskilled, according to UN figures. Tensions erupted in September last year in Bo, Sierra Leone’s second largest city in the south of the country, where a political rally turned into a riot and young people reportedly ransacked some parts of the town.

The situation is not unique to Sierra Leone.  Over 75m young people were unemployed worldwide at the end of 2010, according to figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO).  Many more in developing countries are underemployed ‘working poor’, forced to take whatever poorly-paid work they can get and subsisting below the poverty line of $2 per day.  

Later this year VSO will launch a new public campaign focusing on jobs in the developing world, with specific attention paid to the situation for young people & women.

Press release ~ VSO ~ UN Peacebuilding, Joint Response to youth employment in Sierra Leone ~ Global Employment Trends 2011: The challenge of a jobs recovery ~ Promoting Livelihood Opportunities For Rural Youth ~ Youth Microenterprise and Livelihoods:  State of the Field ~ Fostering a Global Spirit of Youth Enterprise ~ Global Youth Employment:   An Overview of Need and Interventions ~ OECD:  Youth Employment ~ TWN:  Youth unemployment at all-time high

EU News:  What would those living on $2 a day make of this issue? - Up to 50% of edible & healthy food gets wasted in EU households, supermarkets, restaurants and along the food supply chain each year, while 79m EU citizens live beneath the poverty line and 16m depend on food aid from charitable institutions.  Parliament called in a resolution adopted last Thursday for urgent measures to halve food waste by 2025 and to improve access to food for needy EU citizens.

Since food is wasted at all stages - by producers, processors, retailers, caterers and consumers, MEPs call for a co-ordinated strategy, combining EU-wide and national measures, to improve the efficiency of food supply and consumption chains sector by sector and to tackle food wastage as a matter of urgency.  If nothing is done, food wastage will grow 40% by 2020, says a study published by the Commission.
MonitorGood Practice must be spread to all NHS Hospital Trusts - A new briefing looks at the evidence from Cost Improvement Plans (CIPs) across the NHS to identify important lessons and provide examples of how NHS trusts & foundation trusts can use CIPs to deliver lasting benefits for their patients & service users.  CIP is the term widely used in NHS to describe schemes to make efficiency savings & improvements in productivity.

The joint report by Monitor and the Audit Commission found a significant variation in the approach & success of CIPs across different organisations.  The evidence suggests that a successful CIP is not simply a scheme that saves money; it includes a long-term plan to improve patient care, satisfaction & safety.  

Some of the more straightforward CIP schemes, such as vacancy freezes and a cut in use of agency staff for example, have already been carried out in most organisations.   Now a more strategic approach is needed.
DSTLWe need some clever & cheaper solutions - The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is calling for universities & laboratories to submit research ideas to its latest PhD funding programme as part of the UKFrance defence partnership.
OC:  Providing hope & a future for those who didn’t succeed at school - As the UK's largest festival of learning, Adult Learners' Week (12-18 May) is the perfect opportunity to celebrate people who have transformed their lives for the better, and who can inspire others to give learning a go.  

The Adult Learners' Week Awards ceremony will take place in May 2012 and you can nominate someone you know to receive an Outstanding Individual Learner award simply by filling out the nomination form online.  Nominations are only open until 5pm on Friday 27January 2012 so don't delay - let your learners know how amazing you think they are!

Forthcoming Spotlight on…Special Reports – We Want Your Thoughts and Ideas! - In our constant effort to bring you the latest news, views and opinion on all the important and "hot" issues that affect government business today, we are now working up a schedule for our Special Report series, Spotlight on… and we want you to assist us in this regard.

The aim of the Spotlight on… series is to offer a comprehensive overview of a particular subject, drawing on the expertise of the most authoritative people – from government, academia and the private sector – and to provide a balanced yet thought-provoking analysis of the subject. This not only includes in-depth articles and thought pieces, but also best practice case studies.

Following the success of our last special report: Spotlight on Lean in the Public Sector we’ve had very healthy feedback from some of you as to what should be the focus of our next Spotlight on….

Suggested topics received at this stage include:

* Outplacement and headcount reduction

* Risk management and the fight against fraud

* Outsourcing and shared services

* Social media and community engagement.

We at Wired-GOV are keen to hear from you, our subscribers and readers, as to which of the above (or other public sector management topics?) on which we should focus.

Please email with your thoughts and ideas and if you missed our Spotlight on Lean in the Public Sector, simply click here

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