Policy and Information Team Annual Review

01 February 2022 13:29
  • Annual Reports

Read about the work of our Policy and Information team in our Policy and Information Annual Review (2020/21)

Advice NI didn’t drop the ball during a most challenging and difficult year: maintaining the policy work of the organisation whilst, responding to covid-specific needs of the Independent Advice Network.

- Advice NI Member

12 WEEKLY COVID-19 UPDATES FOR INDEPENDENT ADVICE NETWORK

  • Responded to need quickly and effectively
  • Contributed to emergency response on Covid-19 Community Helpline 7 days per week
  • Design and formatting of hyper-linked easy-access Helpline script

9 MONTHLY POLICY eNEWSLETTER ‘THINK’

  • Latest News
  • Latest information regarding social security easement measures
  • Legislative changes
  • Assembly and Parliamentary questions

8 SOCIAL POLICY BRIEFING PAPERS

7 POLICY & INFORMATION ISSUE BASED POLICY FORA

  • 2nd PIP Review led by Marie Cavanagh
  • 3 x ‘Inspirational Speaker’ series of webinars
  • Job Start programme Policy Forum
  • The Appeals Service Forum
  • UC/SDP Gateway Transitional Payments Policy Forum

100+ MEETINGS WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS

Ongoing engagement with Minister for Communities including:

  • Welfare Mitigations
  • Work of Independent Advice Sector
  • Covid-19 updates
  • Universal Credit updates
  • Disability Consultative
  • Forum, Standards Committee
  • Emergency Leadership Group
  • Covid-19 Community Helpline
  • Medical Assessment Transformation
  • Mutual Banking
  • Land & Property Services
  • Consumer Council
  • NI Fuel Poverty Research
  • Brexit Forum meetings

100+ QUERIES AND ENGAGEMENT WITH INDEPENDENT ADVICE NETWORK

  • Social security issues
  • Cases escalated

CASE STUDY

The claimant had multiple health problems and struggled with day to day tasks but had been awarded 0 points at her PIP assessment with CAPITA. The Policy and Information Team worked with her adviser (Thomas Henry, Mindwise) to prepare further evidence, and made an intervention with DfC to have the case reviewed. After the intervention, the claimant was awarded Enhanced Daily Living with backdating.

20+ MEDIA CONTRIBUTIONS

  • BBC ‘On Your Behalf’
  • UTV ‘View from Stormont’
  • U105
  • BBC ‘Good Morning Ulster’
  • BBC ‘Talkback’
  • BBC ‘Evening Extra’
  • BBC Radio Foyle re Covid-19 Community Helpline
  • Impact of Lockdown on most vulnerable
  • Universal Credit
  • Mitigations package
  • Impact of the Budget
  • Welfare reform
  • ViewDigital articles

250+ SOCIAL MEDIA CONTRIBUTIONS

  • Daily posts on social security and welfare rights related issues
  • Contributions to CliffedgeNI Welfare Mitigations work

50+ CONSULTATION RESPONSES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

  • Universal Credit backdating
  • PIP delays
  • FCA proposals
  • MAPS contributions re in areas of digital engagement
  • Future state measures
  • Service design
  • Workforce and draft recommendations
  • Family Resources Survey Consultation
  • Fairness in Government Debt Consultation
  • 2nd Independent PIP Review
  • Social Security Advisory Committee session
  • Mutual Banking meetings and contributions
  • Contribution to Agenda NI Housing Conference
  • Fuel Poverty Strategy Survey
  • NI Assembly’s All Party Group Inquiry on Reducing Harm Related to Gambling
  • Commission on Social Security survey
  • Public Policy Exchange Webinar on Future of the Welfare State
  • Period Poverty engagement and consultation response
  • PfG consultation response
  • DfC EQIA draft Budget allocation response
  • DoF draft Budget consultation response
  • ‘Individuals in fuel poverty’ research and report
  • ‘Small businesses and their energy and water bills’ research and report
  • DfC proposed budget allocation: helped to facilitate member engagement, template Briefing Paper / PR & media work / social media / hashtag / consultation response / case studies; engagement with stakeholders including political parties and MLAs.

DEVELOPED 1 SOCIAL POLICY COURSE: SOCIAL POLICY: A BEGINNERS GUIDE

  • Familiarisation with Moodle, converting to online access, now available online

CREATED 1 ADVICE NI POLICY VIDEO

  • Collaboration across the Policy and Information Team

Rollout of AdviserNet information system across frontline members & Research, quality-assurance and production of NI-specific information resources

  • 250 active users on AdviserNet
  • 31 frontline members have AdviserNet licenses
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Last updated:
1 February, 2022