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.

Linking Economic Theory with Sustainable Development and Well-Being Indicators

For sustainable development to be meaningful, it must be achievable and measurable by some reasonably clear metric or metrics. Economists have long recognised that the System of National Accounting aggregates fail to properly measure human well-being. Complements and perhaps alternatives to indicators such as Gross National Income are required. However, the development of sustainability indicators… | Read on »

Advancing Scientific Knowledge: The Strategic Role of Scientists in the Principal Investigator Role

Principal investigators (PIs) are ‘scientists who orchestrate new research projects, combine resources and competencies, deepen existing scientific trajectories or shape new ones that are transformative in intent, nature, and outcome that can be exploited for commercial ends and or for societal common good.’  Taking on the PI role is a significant career milestone for scientists…. | Read on »

Leadership Development for Senior Civil and Public Service Managers

The Irish Civil Service Renewal Plan sets out a vision for a high performing system with the capability to meet the challenges facing Ireland over the coming years.  In accordance with Action 10 of the Civil Service Renewal Plan, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) implemented a senior executive leadership programme (ELP) aimed… | Read on »

Planning for a better Ireland: Trusting in the wisdom of crowds

In 2018, the Irish government published the National Planning Framework (NPF) as part of Project Ireland 2040. As the Irish economy emerged from a decade of economic recession, these planning documents were seen as timely. The vision set forth was “based on a set of values that will ensure Ireland’s long term economic, environmental and… | Read on »

Local Government Funding in Ireland

Traditionally, local governments fund recurring expenditures from three broad sources, namely user fees and charges, local taxes and grants or transfers.  Although reform of local government funding is a never-ending process, since the 2008 financial crisis Ireland has witnessed an unusually large number of changes in the funding of Irish local councils. These are a… | Read on »

The Growth Effects of Foreign Direct Investment

The potential benefits from foreign direct investment (FDI) are viewed as important, as technology transfers resulting from FDI can lead to higher productivity of domestic firms, thereby boosting a host country’s growth rate. Economists and policymakers in many developing economies thus believe firmly that FDI plays a key role in the economic convergence process; they… | Read on »

Implementing Whistleblowing Systems: Is Your Organization Ready?

The incoming EU Whistleblowing Directive 2019 will require many organizations* to make significant changes to protect whistleblowers against retaliation, establish confidential whistleblower channels and clear reporting processes.  Organisations must implement arrangements now that enable employees to speak up about perceived wrongdoing. But how to go about this? This research examined key organizations in the finance,… | Read on »

Designing and implementing initiatives for sustainable transitions in residential energy use

Reducing domestic energy use and related carbon emissions is a priority for national and European policy. A transition toward sustainable household energy use will require radical shifts in patterns of production and consumption that can only be brought about through systemic change involving multiple actors across all levels of society. Key considerations include the development,… | Read on »