Policy Briefs

The Whitaker Policy Briefs are short and informative analyses on some of Ireland’s current public policy issues that bring background and recommendations to policy-makers, journalists and the general public. The policy briefs cover a wide range of topics with emphasis on the following three research themes:

  • Business, Innovation & Economic Development
  • Public-Sector Innovation and Reform
  • Sustainable and Inclusive Societies

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Irish Ocean Conversations: Co-Creating an Ocean-Literate Society

The Irish Government’s Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth Strategy sets out a roadmap for integrated actions across policy, governance and business to enable our marine potential to be realised (Inter–Departmental Marine Coordination Group, 2012). Specifically, Action 29 aims to embed knowledge and consider options for the inclusion of marine studies in the secondary school curriculum. Research from… | Read on »

Mobilising a European Sea Change in teaching 12–19 year olds about the ocean

The Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation (2013) reinforces a need for Ocean Literacy across Europe, the United States, and Canada. In Galway in 2013, top marine scientists concluded that together we have the capacity to understand and predict major Atlantic and Arctic processes, as well as the changes and risks they carry in relation… | Read on »

What impacts employee pension decision-making?

In this research, concepts from bounded rationality theory were applied to develop an integrated model to explain how pension plan structure and pension communication policies impact on employee pension participation within organisations. Bounded rationality theory provided a useful frame of reference to understand the challenges that employees face in making complicated pension decisions, made over… | Read on »

Mapping policy interfaces for marine litter

At the 2015 G-7 Leaders’ Declaration Summit, G-7 leaders acknowledged that ‘marine litter, in particular plastic litter, poses a global challenge, directly affecting marine and coastal life and ecosystems and potentially also human health’. With this in mind, research from Sea Change—a Horizon 2020 project—engaged in European dialogue with marine governance actors. A modelling approach… | Read on »

Economic impact from expansion of the Irish aquaculture sector

As part of the European Union (EU)’s Blue growth Strategy to create sustainable growth and employment in the marine economy, aquaculture has been identified as a sector with high growth potential. In Ireland, the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development (NSPSAD) sets out a target of achieving production levels, for all aquaculture sub-sectors, at or… | Read on »

No panaceas in sea fisheries management

This research involved an evaluation of fisher’s preferences for various management measures proposed under the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform process, but the conclusions have wider relevance as similar measures are used by comparable fleets in fisheries globally. The choice experiment survey was conducted with fishers involved in mixed pelagic and demersal fisheries in… | Read on »

Consultation and compensation may be required to ease farmers’ concerns about Greenway land acquisition

There are ambitious plans for an extensive network of off-road walking and cycling routes, known as Greenways, across the island of Ireland. Research has shown that Greenways can bring wide-ranging benefits to rural communities, providing peaceful routes for school-children, recreationalists and tourists alike. Successful Greenways have opened in Mayo, Waterford and elsewhere, generally using State-owned… | Read on »

Irish marine environment shown to have high value as a recreational angling resource

Sea anglers are one of the main marine recreation user groups in Ireland. Within Ireland, an estimated 127,000 people go sea angling every year along Ireland’s 5,600 kilometres of coastline (Inland Fisheries Ireland, 2015). However, as an activity, sea angling is often over-looked in debates related to the sustainability of commercial fisheries, tourism and impacts… | Read on »

Protecting multiple types of innovation

Engaging in multiple types of innovation with different time horizons and risk levels has been found to be important for organisational performance. However, organisations face particular challenges when they engage in more than one type of innovation such as radical, incremental, customer-oriented, and technological innovation. Typically, innovations with a greater likelihood of short-term success command… | Read on »

What are the perspectives on ageing of mid-life women in rural Ireland?

Relatively little is known about how mid-life rural women perceive their own ageing. A recent Irish study (Herbert, 2017) shows this cohort to be highly diverse in attitude and behaviour, challenging some stereotypical gendered assumptions about mid-life women. Qualitative data were gathered by interviewing 25 women aged 45-65 years of age from diverse socio-economic, demographic,… | Read on »