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

Sign-up to hear when the next Policy Brief is published.

The Ultimate Immune Boost: Healthcare Worker Flu Vaccination

In line with the Immunisation Guidelines for Ireland from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, the HSE recommend that all healthcare workers (HCW) in health services receive the seasonal influenza vaccination each year. Compared to adults working in non-healthcare settings, HCWs are at significantly higher risk of influenza. Achieving a high uptake of influenza vaccination among… | Read on »

Unearthing Stumbling Blocks to Farm Succession & Land Mobility

Intergenerational family farm transfer is a complex and highly topical issue. Joint farming ventures (JFVs), including arrangements such as farm partnerships, share farming and contract rearing, have been advocated within Irish farm transfer policy discourses as succession models that can enable young farmers to become formal partners in the family farm business. They also allow… | Read on »

De-camouflaging chameleons: Requiring transparency and privacy protection in the IoT

Information and communications technology and the development of the so-called ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) provide new and valuable affordances to businesses and consumers. The use of sensors, software, and interconnectivity (marketed as ‘smartness’) provide digital devices with useful adaptive capabilities. The rapid development of so-called ‘smart devices’ means that many everyday items are now impenetrable… | Read on »

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 »