DFID:  In a week of ‘howls’ from many organisations about cuts to UK welfare, we should perhaps remember ‘poverty’ is relative - The Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Programme (EEP) is working in Bangladesh to help understand extreme poverty and to develop effective strategies for social empowerment & economic growth. 

In February 2013 the High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda (HLP) met in Monrovia, Liberia to discuss how to tackle global poverty.  Extreme poverty was highlighted as a core issue in the statements arising from the conference.

The Shiree/Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Programme (EEP) is a challenge fund set up by DFID and the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) specifically to enable work with extreme poverty in Bangladesh.  It currently funds 36 different projects targeting vulnerable populations.

A recent working paper released by Shiree presented findings from qualitative & quantitative research conducted in the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh.  The research focused on the challenges faced, and achievements made by disabled individuals living in extreme poverty who are undertaking income-generating activities.

The paper unpacks some of the issues discussed in their current development of the manifesto for the extreme poor.  Launched in 2012, this manifesto focuses on 6 core themes which have emerged from Shiree’s own experience of working in approximately 200,000 extremely poor households. The manifesto is still open for recommendations and aims to promote further dialogue around how these challenges can be faced & eradicated in the future.
Press release & links ~ Shiree/Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Programme ~ Recent working paper ~ Manifesto for the extreme poor ~ 25m Voices- Stories from the Extreme Poor of Bangladesh ~ Women in Power VSO briefing note ~ DFID Research: Manifesto for the extreme poor ~ Challenges faced by the extreme poor ~ Autumn Statement: “UK has shown leadership in budget commitment to tackling poverty” says VSO ~ DFID Annual report: New results show UK aid is changing lives ~ Green growth: Business to help beat resource scarcity ~ Water: Smart hand pumps send texts if they break ~ Climate change: DFID wins award for maize project ~ Public Accounts Committee reports on transferring cash and assets to the poor ~ Educating one million girls to tackle poverty ~ UK Government and Gates Foundation partner to support agricultural research and boost productivity of poor farmers ~ Pakistan floods six months on: update on UK aid ~ DFID: ‘Sticky Fingers’, the perennial problem with foreign aid (3rd item) ~ ESRC: Governments should use cash transfers to target families hit by food poverty ~ UNICEF: No hope of improvement unless this most basic of needs is met (5th item) 
BIGA more cost effective ‘return’ from some of our welfare spending - There are an estimated 60,000 adults in England with multiple needs – costing society around £1.38bn a year. The BIG Lottery Fund (BIG) has announced 10 successful areas in England now on their way to receiving a share of £100m to support people with multiple problems like homelessness, mental ill health, addiction & re-offending.

With problem drug users alone costing government & society around £46,000 a year, BIG’s £100m investment which aims to help thousands of people, could save the public purse hundreds of millions of pounds.

BIG’s investment has brought together organisations & bodies that tackle these issues to improve the stability, confidence & capability of people with multiple & complex needs to lead better lives so they spend less time in prison, reduce their drug abuse, are in stable accommodation and have better mental health.

Over the 8-year investment, BIG will track the success of the partnerships and gather evidence that will shed light on more effective & efficient ways of organising and delivering services including tracking the savings & benefits to the wider community as well as to the individuals who are supported.  BIG will use this learning to improve practice amongst the projects it funds, to influence future policy & practice and encourage the continuation of successful interventions.
Press release & links ~ BIG: Up to £20m set to help Londoners with multiple & complex issues ~ Charities call on political leaders to turn the tide for the most excluded ~ VCS orgs to lead pioneering partnerships targeting multiple needs ~ Response to Big Lottery funding for adults with multiple needs ~ New book takes cross-party look at help for those facing multiple problems ~ Communities and Local Government Committee sets a forward agenda for community budgets ~ CLG:  Applying the Pareto Principle to social care of families who are in / cause trouble (4th item)
COThe only way to protect ourselves is to co-operate - Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, has launched a new government & industry partnership to share information & intelligence on cyber security threats.  The Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) delivers a key component of the UK’s cyber security strategy in facilitating the sharing of information on cyber threats in order to make UK businesses more secure in cyberspace.

The partnership includes the introduction of a secure virtual ‘collaboration environment’ where government & industry partners can exchange information on threats and vulnerabilities in real time.  The CISP will be complemented by a ‘Fusion Cell’ which will be supported on the government side by the Security Service, GCHQ and the National Crime Agency, and by industry analysts from a variety of sectors.  They will work together to produce an enhanced picture of cyber threats facing the UK for the benefit of all partners.

If you would like to find out more about the CISP or if you are interested in applying to join, please contact the CISP.
Press release & links ~ CISP ~ CO: An issue that is still very much in the news (2nd item) ~ PC&PE: Some battle skills of the future will be much less physical, but no less deadly (4th item)

NOWill ‘good intentions’ become ‘actual outcomes’? - Dame Julie Mellor, the Health Service Ombudsman, has made a statement on the government’s response to the Mid-Staffordshire report.
Press release & links ~ The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry ~ Putting Patients First - Government publishes response to Francis Report ~ The King's Fund's statement on the government's response to the Francis Inquiry report ~ Monitor statement to the Government's initial response to the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry report ~ Making sense of the Francis Inquiry – new interactive guide ~ The Francis report – briefing for members ~ Call for ‘patient safety officers’ to stamp out Mid Staffs-style abuses ~ CIPD: Lessons businesses and public service providers can learn from Mid Staffs Trust failings ~ RCN:  Bring back State Enrolled Nurses?

MoJSpend a little bit more and stop the re-offending hopefully - Female offenders should receive more targeted support to break the cycle of crime & abuse many of them face, Justice Minister Helen Grant said recently.

 It costs £45,000 to keep a woman in prison for one year – while almost 45% of all women released from custody in 2010 re-offended within 12 months, committing more than 10,000 further offences & creating countless more victims. For women serving fewer than 12 months in prison, the re-offending rate rises to a staggering 55.6%.

Many female offenders have a background of abuse and up to 56% have been in care.  The proportion of female prisoners, that report abuse in their lifetime, is double that of males.  In 2011 self harm was 10 times higher than for men, and females in custody are twice as likely to suffer from depression.
Press release & links ~ Report published on women offenders ~ New funding to tackle female offending ~ New centre to help women turn away from crime ~ PRT:  Can they legally be treated differently than men? ~ MoJ:  Time to try something else

IPPRIt is not just the Scots who should ‘govern’ themselves - Associate IPPR Director Guy Lodge has responded to the publication of the McKay report into the West Lothian question.
Press release & links ~ ScotGov:  If the vote is negative the whole of the UK will need to answer the West Lothian question before deciding what new Devo Max powers could be agreed

Forthcoming event: Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit | 3 - 4 June 2013 | London - PRIORITIZE INVESTMENTS. PERFECT PERFORMANCE. PROVE VALUE - The Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2013 is the premier gathering of program and portfolio management executives focused on improving how organizations select, implement and manage IT initiatives and services.

Gain new methods of prioritization, resource optimization and governance to address competing strategic goals, as well as how to adapt programs with an eye toward shifting risks and ongoing business case validity.
Click here to find out more and to register.

Collaborative Channel Shift - Extending the Reach of Online Service Delivery to Key Stakeholders - When it comes to digital service delivery and customer engagement, Harrow Council has reached beyond its traditional audience of residents, businesses and landlords. Neighbourhood Champions, Councillors and the Police are the latest to benefit from a brand new service launched recently on the MyHarrow web portal. The new service was launched as part of the Neighbourhood Champions Scheme, a joint initiative between Harrow Council and the Metropolitan Police.

Looking at the bigger picture Harrow’s Transformation Programme keeps growing and now nearly 30% of all customer transactions and 63% of enquiries are via the web.

Harrow has already generated savings of £260,000 per annum via channel migration with a further £500,000 savings as a projection for the medium term.

Click here to receive furher information and the full story on the latest addition to Harrow's ongoing channel information programme. 

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