Why do some public policy measures succeed while others fail? Why, for example, has the Local Property Tax been a policy success, while the attempt to introduce water charges was a policy disaster? What can we learn from successful and failed policies about the policy-making process in Ireland and how to make that process more effective?
The conference included senior policymakers, public servants, academics, and other experts who evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the policy-making process in Ireland with a view to suggesting how the quality of policy-making might be improved. Although much analytical attention has been paid to the effects of public policies in Ireland and to the macroeconomic context in which they are set, there has been very little analysis of the policy-making process: How policies are conceived, designed, implemented, communicated, and reviewed. This conference attempted to address this gap.
The conference featured the launch of a new Whitaker Institute report by economist Jim O’Leary on water charges and the local property tax. This report, meticulously researched based on exceptional access to senior policymakers, looked back forensically at these two recent policy initiatives and explores what it was about the policy-making process in each case that contributed to success or failure.