Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS)

 KESS Header 

2013-14 PROGRAMME

“Promoting evidence-led policy and law-making within Northern Ireland” – that is the underlying aim of the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS). KESS is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, formally partnering a legislative arm of government – the Assembly - with academia. Aiming to encourage debate and improve understanding, KESS provides a forum to present and disseminate research findings in a straightforward format, across the Programme for Government; making those findings easily accessible to decision-makers such as MLAs and Assembly committees, as well as the wider public sector.  

KESS is jointly delivered by the Research and Information Service of the Assembly (RaISe), in partnership with all three universities located in Northern Ireland (NI) – the Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB - co-founder in 2011), the University of Ulster (Ulster - in 2012) and The Open University (OU - in 2013).

The Series presents networking opportunities, attracting a broad spectrum of attendees. These include: MLAs and their staff; Assembly staff; public and private sector employees; academics; voluntary and community groups; and, members of the public.

Seminars are free and are held on Thursdays from 3 October 2013 through 29 May 2014. Each seminar starts at 1.30pm in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, located on Stormont Estate. Most seminars cover a range of themes under one broad heading – see below for relevant dates and timings (also available to download as pdf).

Refreshments are provided following presentations and discussion. Free parking is available to all. Kindly allow time to pass through Assembly Security upon entry to Parliament Buildings; and ensure that you specify your special needs (for example, wheelchair accessibility) when registering.

Further details of the seminars, including policy briefings and videorecordings, will be placed on this website within 3-5 days after the seminar has taken place.

Please email raise@niassembly.gov.uk to reserve your place at any of the seminars listed below.

 

October - December 2013 January - May 2014
03 October 2013 - Public Finance 09 January 2014 - Migration                       
24 October 2013 - Shared Future 23 January 2014 - Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
14 November 2013 - Justice 06 February 2014 - Older Persons and Care
28 November 2013 - Public Service Reform  20 February 2014 - Mental Health
05 December 2013 - Environment 06 March 2014 - Public Health
  20 March 2014 - Governance/ Assembly Review
  03 April 2014 - Cultural Tourism
  15 May 2014 - Sustainable Economy
  29 May 2014 - Children and Young Persons

 


 

 3 OCTOBER 2013 – PUBLIC FINANCE

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm Professor Alan Trench (Ulster) - Fiscal Devolution Debates and the Future of the Barnett Formula  [Video]
The funding of the Northern Ireland Executive (and other devolved governments) has always been central to their ability to provide the public services for which they are responsible. It affects all policy areas, as well as being important in its own right. But since 2007 there have been debates in both Scotland and Wales about financial issues, which increasingly challenge the idea of devolved governments simply relying on a block grant calculated on the basis of the Barnett formula. In Wales, there have been calls for a grant based on relative need, and for increasing reliance on devolved taxes in Scotland. With the Scotland Act 2012 partially devolving income tax and transferring land taxes to the Scottish Government, all unionist parties considering how to enhance devolved Scottish tax powers in the event of a vote against independence in the 2014 referendum, and the UK Government’s response to similar proposals for Wales by the Silk Commission due early in the autumn, there is clearly momentum behind increased fiscal devolution. Those changes are likely to have significant effects on Northern Ireland in the medium term, if not immediately. Northern Ireland’s position in these debates so far has been to seek devolution of corporation tax – always likely to be rejected by the UK Government – but otherwise to maintain the status quo. That status quo is not as benign for Northern Ireland as it may appear, however. The present system allows a great deal of discretion to the Treasury; Barnett convergence means that the formula is likely to serve Northern Ireland much less favourably in the future than it has in the past; and reliance on the block grant ties Northern Ireland to an ‘English’ model of public services that may become increasingly politically unattractive. How Northern Ireland chooses to respond to these fragmented debates is a major choice for its politicians to make; trying to engage in a different debate, as it has, is no longer an option. [Policy Briefing] [Powerpoint Presentation]

 

24 OCTOBER 2013 – SHARED FUTURE

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Professor Mike Tomlinson (QUB) - Legacies of Conflict: the evidence [Video]
For all the discussion around the needs of victims and survivors, there are few established facts on the impact of the years of violent conflict on the population of Northern Ireland. Population-wide surveys of people’s experience of the conflict are rare. Drawing on the Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) survey (2012), this presentation will discuss the findings from a special ‘Troubles’ module which covered a range of experiences including: the death of close friends and relatives; injury to self and others; and, the witnessing of bombings, shootings and assaults. The survey also asked questions about when the worst ‘Troubles’ experience occurred and how people responded to events, for example by joining a support group or seeking help from a GP. The presentation will discuss the prevalence of conflict experience as well as its association with other major concerns of the PSE survey, such as deprivation, physical and mental health, and employment status. [Policy Briefing] [Powerpoint Presentation]

 2.05pm - Dr Ian Shuttleworth and Professor Frank Gaffikin (QUB) - New and Shifting Populations in Belfast: Analysis and Impact [Video]
It is often assumed that residential segregation in Northern Ireland always increases through time. However, early analyses of the 2011 Census showed that segregation fell between 2001 and 2011. This presentation will explore the possible population processes that have driven this change, and will discuss the impact of births, deaths, and migration on the shifting population geography of Northern Ireland. Some suggestions about the implications of these developments for the 'shared future' agenda are considered. Alongside this review of regional patterns of segregation, an examination of key features of demographic change in Belfast will underpin a critical reflection on its impact on planning and regeneration in the city. [Policy Briefing] [Powerpoint Presentation]

2.25pm - Professor John Wolffe (OU) - Beyond the ‘dreary steeples’? Reassessing the role of religion in Northern Ireland community divisions [Video]
This presentation will examine the assumption that although the Northern Ireland community divide has been ‘sectarian’, it has not been ‘religious’. It will summarise research both on Protestant-Catholic tensions in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, and on the ways that ‘religion’ itself is understood in scholarly and popular discourse. Recent declines in churchgoing have paradoxically increased the potential for violent or confrontational actions to be accorded spurious ‘religious’ legitimacy. The consequent needs are both for creative initiatives by the churches, and for the cultivation of greater ‘religious literacy’ by the media and policy-makers, especially in relation to equality, commemoration/parading and educational matters. [Policy Briefing] [Powerpoint Presentation]

2.45pm - Dr Aideen Hunter, Dr Jessica Bates, Dr Alan McCully and Dr Una O’Connor (Ulster) - Rural Primary School Partnerships, Sustainability and Social Cohesion [Video]
This presentation will offer insight into the potential for co-operation between small controlled and maintained schools in adjacent rural areas. It will draw on the Primary Integrating/Enriching Education (PIEE) project (2010-13), which involves developing cross-community partnerships between small rural schools in the NEELB area to enhance educational provision. The evidence was collected from two ‘case study’ partnerships. Additional to this, a survey of all participating principals and teachers was undertaken. In the third year of the project, the work was extended to look specifically at the impact of ‘shared’ teachers, a project initiative whereby a teacher is employed jointly by two partnership schools for a year. The presentation will examine the potential for rural schools, through cooperation, to enhance pupils’ entitlement and to achieve greater economic viability. From the evidence gathered, it will assess how far such partnerships might contribute to greater social cohesion or to what extent, in the longer term, they might consolidate existing patterns of segregation. The question of the sustainability of partnerships beyond the life of PIEE will also be addressed. [Policy Briefing] [Powerpoint Presentation]

3.05pm - Discussion

 

14 NOVEMBER 2013 – JUSTICE

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Grainne McKeever (Ulster) – Access to Justice Through Better Decision-Making [Video]
The process of welfare reform highlights the pressures on government agencies to deal with an increased number of claims, which has inevitably led to an increased number of individuals disputing the decisions made on their claims. A similar pattern is evident for other government agencies, including those responsible for making decisions on special educational needs provision, through to those with responsibility for helping individuals resolve their employment disputes. This seminar will review the empirical research evidence which highlights the barriers that individuals face in disputing administrative decisions made by government agencies, the role of advice in helping users overcome these barriers and the access to justice issues that arise from this. In light of this, the seminar will examine the steps that initial decision makers and government departments can take, individually and systematically, to improve access to justice, from the focus on improving the quality of initial decisions, to developing mechanisms to support individuals throughout the dispute resolution process. [Policy Briefing] [Powerpoint Presentation]

2.05pm – Discussion


28 NOVEMBER 2013 – PUBLIC SERVICE REFORM

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh (QUB) - Where to next with the RPA?: Lessons from international developments in public service reform [Video]
As governments across the globe grapple with the effects of the global financial and economic crises, the issue of public service reform has re-emerged as a key ingredient in the restoration of public finances as well as public trust in government. The content of these reforms varies considerably, however, ranging from swinging cuts in personnel numbers and expenditure budgets to the introduction of new performance management techniques, re-organisations and other consolidation measures. As the reforms envisaged under the Review of Public Administration in Northern Ireland continue to be implemented, it is thus timely to consider developments and innovations from elsewhere in respect of a new era in public service reform. This presentation will consider some of the key patterns and variations emerging in Europe and further afield, and will examine what lessons might be gleaned from them. [Policy Briefing] [Powerpoint Presentation]

2.05pm - Professor Greg Lloyd and Gavan Rafferty (Ulster) – Creating A Constructive Interface Between Community Planning and Land Use (Spatial) Planning [Video]
With the emerging Local Government (Reform) Bill, Community Planning offers an innovative way to consider how public services are planned and delivered. In appreciating how this new function aligns with the main aspirations of the Programme for Government, Community Planning should be considered in relation to the wider programme of local government modernisation and public service reform to articulate a new arena within which to integrate service delivery and spatial practices across differentiated scales. The recent Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 provides for the transfer of the majority of planning functions from central government to district councils. The transfer of functions and new powers are to be introduced as part of local government reorganisation to promote greater collaborative working, the creation of shared spaces and services, and deliver significant social change, chiefly under the strategic objectives of building a stronger and shared society (Programme for Government, 2012). While two distinct activities, community planning and land use (spatial) planning have similarities, for example, creating and promoting strategic visions for development, service provision and social change. This presentation will draw on a synthesis of research evidence and policy documentation from community planning models elsewhere to inform how a constructive interface between land use (spatial) planning and community planning could be created in the new governance landscape to ensure the processes are complementary and symbiotic. [Policy Briefing] [Powerpoint Presentation]

2.25pm - Discussion


5 DECEMBER 2013 – ENVIRONMENT

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Dr Philip O'Sullivan (OU) - Carbon, economic growth and unsustainability: the inevitable transition to a low carbon economy beyond GDP [Video]
This seminar will focus on environmental economics and policy. It will present the case that, despite the recent global economic downturn and recession in the United Kingdom, the current economic policy response of expanding growth driven by fossil fuel production is actually unsustainable. Rather than being the answer to increased prosperity and wider social benefits, the current economic approach of chasing economic growth measured by an increase in GDP is environmentally and socially unsustainable on a planet with finite resources. While debates about the possibility and implications of a 'post-growth' economy are worldwide in scope, analysis is given to the specific condition and concerns of the Northern Ireland economy and environment, and counter arguments that such an economic transition is utopian and impractical are addressed. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.05pm - Discussion


9 JANUARY 2014 - MIGRATION

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Dr Johanne Devlin Trew (Ulster) – 'Lost generations'? Taking the longer view on Northern Ireland migration [Video]
Between 2004 and 2008, immigration to Northern Ireland rose to unprecedented numbers and the issue of how the newcomers could be accommodated here became a ‘struggle’ for local authorities and featured prominently in the local media. Since then, however, immigration has declined significantly to the point where by 2012, Northern Ireland net migration figures were once again in the negative (more people departing than arriving). In fact, apart from the recent short-term immigration anomaly, the predominant context for migration relating to Northern Ireland since 1921 has overwhelmingly been emigration; this largely driven by youth unemployment, labour market structure, lack of inward investment, and on-going sectarianism. Though as some would point out, Northern Ireland does not control its own migration policy, governance at the local level nevertheless creates a climate that either encourages or discourages migration. In addition, UK policy and global economic conditions are influential. This presentation will provide an overview of migration trends and data relating to Northern Ireland, from its establishment to the most recent statistics. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.05pm - Dr Ruth McAreavey (QUB) - Poverty, ethnicity and international migrants to Northern Ireland: new opportunities or new vulnerabilities?
During the past two decades a predominant pattern of emigration has been reversed in Northern Ireland, as it became a destination for many different migrants. There is evidence of Sudanese seeking refuge, Filipino nurses taking up employment opportunities and Polish workers shoring up meat processing industries. A rich mix of ethnic groups can therefore be found across Northern Ireland. This is not just confined to urban centres; rural and urban areas have been recipients of in-migrants. This presentation will provide a brief overview of recent patterns and processes of migration to Northern Ireland and the major challenges arising for our society. The key policy questions considered will be the role of the state and civil society for building positive inter-group relations and the opportunities for migrants to achieve economic and social mobility. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.25pm - Dr Anne Kouvonen, Dr Justyna Bell and Dr Michael Donnelly (QUB) - ‘We asked for workers, but human beings came’: Mental health and well-being of Polish migrants in Northern Ireland [Video]
This presentation will discuss our research in mental health and well-being of Polish migrants - the largest ethnic minority in Northern Ireland (NI) (Census 2011). Our findings suggest that many Polish migrants are still in a process of adapting to NI society and there is recognition that returning to Poland is less likely now than they anticipated initially. Migration to NI for most Poles was due to a local demand for workers and high unemployment in Poland. As noted by Max Frisch- cited in the presentation title - migrants are often perceived as workers only without much consideration given to other aspects of their lives as human beings. Accordingly, many are vulnerable to the difficulties of living in an unfamiliar environment, struggling with everyday communication, lacking close social networks, and are underemployed. As a result, many migrants in NI are living with chronic stress, manifesting as insomnia, anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and a high suicide rate. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.45pm - Discussion


23 JANUARY 2014 – EDUCATION, INNOVATION AND ENTRPRENEURSHIP

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Professor Nigel J Mason (OU) - Realising potential: Widening participation in Science and Technology [video]
The United Kingdom, like most of Europe, is struggling to attract its younger generation into Science Engineering Technology and Mathematics (STEM). This presentation will examine a number of issues: How can we both improve uptake of STEM at schools and universities, and ensure subsequent careers are attractive to the next generation? In particular, how can we encourage more women into STEM? And how can we retain women in scientific careers after the common family-based 'career break'? How can we overcome the current small numbers of ethnic minority students in the United Kingdom’s STEM? Are there cultural reasons for current problems or does the lack of exemplars result in a self-perpetuating failure? [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.05pm - Professor Teresa Cremin (OU) - Creative Little Scientists [video]
This presentation is based on a comparative study funded by the European Union, which works across the four nations of the UK and eight other participating countries: Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Malta, Portugal, and Romania. The project (2011-14) focuses on the relationships and synergies between science and mathematics education and creativity in the early years. Creative Little Scientists seeks to document current reality in the countries of the study, through undertaking policy surveys and extensive classroom focused research with children aged 3-8 years. Reviews of related literature have also been undertaken. The study aims to mainstream exceptional and excellent practices in fostering creativity through science and mathematics teaching by proposing changes in teacher education and classrooms encompassing curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. This presentation will focus upon the Northern Ireland data and will consider the approaches used in Northern Ireland for the teaching, learning and assessment of science and mathematics in Early Years and what role creativity plays in these. It will also consider the differences between the pre-school and primary settings, and the challenges faced and opportunities seized by practitioners as well as recommendations for practice. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.25pm - Professor Pauric McGowan (UU), Dr Richard Blundel (OU) and Dr Kristen Reid (OU) - Delivering effective enterprise education – the role of learning design and technology [video]
Public policy statements on enterprise and entrepreneurship education have emphasised its importance in relation to the promotion of economic growth, community development and resilience. However, there is continuing debate over the nature, scope and effectiveness of existing approaches. For example, a recent United Kingdom government study found that while there is evidence of an overall strengthening of provision, enterprise and entrepreneurship, education is not yet widely embedded across the full range of vocational learning (BIS 2013). In a joint statement in 2003, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the Department of Education and the Department of Employment and Learning stated that, “The future prosperity of society depends on all our young people, including the brightest and the best and their parents coming to regard the business sector and in particular setting up their own business, as a valid and realistic career option”, thus underlining their determination both to embed entrepreneurship skills across the curriculum and to promote awareness of entrepreneurship across the education system in Northern Ireland. This presentation will review developments in the field of enterprise education, with a particular focus on the potential contribution of new technologies and associated learning designs. It will also consider some key challenges in delivering effective educational opportunities for students, including the requirement for contextualised and experience-based learning, and encourage sharing of innovative practices among participants. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.45pm - Discussion


6 FEBRUARY 2014 – OLDER PERSONS AND CARE

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Dr Assumpta Ryan (Ulster) – A time of transition: family caregiving, older people and long-term care [Video]
This presentation will bring together the findings from a range of qualitative and mixed methods studies on family caregiving and entry to long-term care from the perspective of older people and their families. The changing philosophy surrounding the provision of health and social care across Europe has resulted in a shift in policy from institutional to community based care. This shift lies at the heart of the ‘Transforming Your Care’ agenda in Northern Ireland. While there is strong evidence to suggest that older people wish to remain in their own homes, it is important to acknowledge the needs of family carers in supporting older relatives to stay at home and age in place. When caregiving is needed, family members provide support, but frequently find that they are unprepared for their new roles as caregivers and decision-makers. Although family caregivers have a strong commitment to their caring role, deterioration in their relative’s condition or their own inability to cope, coupled with the challenges in accessing information and support, often results in the move to a care home. The presentation will explore the decision-making processes surrounding entry to nursing or residential care facilities, and the impact of this transition on older people and their families. Recognising that entry to care will always be a difficult experience, the presentation will highlight ways of making it easier for older people, families and care home staff. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.05pm - Jan Draper, George Kernohan and Aine MacNamara (OU and UU) - The role of the hospice volunteer in two community settings [Video]
In the United Kingdom, there are between 70,000 and 100,000 hospice volunteers, of whom half have direct patient contact. This presentation will draw on a commissioned literature review that highlighted how 'volunteering is integral to voluntary action and often motivated by altruism.' The review concluded that hospice at home volunteers can help improve the quality and responsiveness of end of life care, improve access to care and can support care and death in the person’s own home. Volunteers gain health and social benefits and personal growth from their volunteering and the patients and carers they support also gain benefits over and above the care they receive. Volunteers also bring benefits to the hospice as an organisation and to the local community, providing a link between the two and enabling the hospice to be more sensitive and responsive to local needs. The presentation will highlight further work that would seek to provide empirical, qualitative data on the role of the volunteer in two community settings, England and Northern Ireland, and would aim to explore the differences and similarities in these two community contexts. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.25pm - Dr Kevin Moore (Ulster) – To Keep a Person in Their Own Wee Corner: An Exploration of the Roles, Responsibilities and Services Provided by Home Helps and Domiciliary Care Workers in a Large Health and Social Care Trust  [Video]
Worldwide demographic trends indicate an expansion in the older person population and an increasing need for home-based social care provision. At the same time a number of factors impact on the ability of family members to provide informal care; and there is expected to be a reduction in the numbers of young adults available for employment in support roles. These changes will have a direct impact on the nature and type of services provided by primary health care teams, and home care services. This presentation will focus on findings of recent research looking at the roles and responsibilities of home helps, domiciliary care workers and community care assistants, and makes recommendations for future service planning and home care provision. The role of the home care worker is an extremely important and interconnected one to effective health and social care within the community.  The research evidence shows a work force that is motivated by altruism and a person-centred caring ethos. Workers value the importance of their role, but there exists a disconnect between valuing of the role and it’s recognition within the wider Health and Social Care context. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.45pm - Discussion


20 FEBRUARY 2014 – MENTAL HEALTH

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Dr Gavin Davidson (QUB) - How will the Mental Capacity (Health, Welfare and Finance) Bill work in practice?  [Video]
This presentation will use case examples to demonstrate how the proposed Mental Capacity Bill will provide a comprehensive framework for supported and substitute decision making, for people whose decision-making ability is impaired, in Northern Ireland. The case examples will cover both civil and criminal justice aspects of the new law across a range of levels and settings. This applied approach will allow the proposed assessment, intervention and review aspects of the Mental Capacity Bill to be explored. It will also facilitate consideration of: the scope of the new law; the proposed safeguards; compulsion in non-hospital settings; advance care planning; and addressing public safety issues. The discussion of the case studies, and how the new law would apply to them, will be based on the views of a range of key stakeholders. The presentation will also highlight education, training and research priorities for implementing the Bill.  [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.05pm - Dr Berni Kelly, Dr Sandra Dowling and Dr Karen Winter (QUB) - Addressing the over-representation of looked after children with mental health needs and/or disabilities in Northern Ireland [Video] 
This presentation will report on a study examining disabled looked after children in Northern Ireland. Evidence indicates that disabled children are over-represented in the public care (DHSSPSNI, 2012; Stalker & McArthur, 2010). However, limited research using differing definitions of disability and inconsistent recording systems raises questions about their over-representation. Drawing on the United Nations CRPD definition of disability (2006:4), the study includes looked after children with mental health needs, and this presentation focuses on this group, which represents a high proportion of the looked after population. The presentation will present themes arising from completed literature and policy reviews, and findings from a survey that profiled disabled looked after children in Northern Ireland. Focusing on those with mental health needs, findings will include: the reasons for entry to care; family contact; looked after status; number and type of placements; service needs and service access. Data is contextualized within the wider population of looked after disabled children.  [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.25pm - Professor Gerard Leavey (Ulster) – The Impact Study: Improving Mental Health Pathways and Care for Adolescents in Transition to Adult Services in Northern Ireland [Video]
This presentation will focus on the provision of services for adolescents in Northern Ireland during the transitional stage from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS). The Bamford Review highlighted concerns that services in Northern Ireland may be under resourced, patchy and inconsistent in their approach to adolescent care and service transition. The Review also questioned the strength of effective liaison and collaboration between services such as CAMHS, education, social services, criminal justice and primary care. There is continuing concern that many young people with mental health problems are lost to care in the move from child and adolescent mental health services to adult mental health services. Evidence suggests that between 30-60% of young people drop out of treatment with young socially isolated males most likely to disengage. Many of these young people come into contact with services later, including the criminal justice system, with complex, compounded and harder to manage problems. A key focus of this presentation will be an on-going research project, funded by the R&D Division of the Public Health Agency, examining the issue of transitional services for young people with mental health problems in Northern Ireland. The primary aim of the study is to gather robust quantitative and qualitative data on the provision of services for adolescents in Northern Ireland during the transitional stage from CAMHS to AMHS, which will inform standardised service development. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.45pm - Discussion


6 MARCH 2014 – PUBLIC HEALTH

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Dr David Hassan (Ulster) – The Societal Effects of Sport in Northern Ireland: Examining Marginalisation and Mental Health Issues [Video]
This presentation will examine a range of societal effects of participation in sport, with a particular emphasis on improving mental health. It will build on a joint ministerial initiative promoting positive mental health in rural communities through sport, which was launched in March 2013. The presentation will also outline a range of current initiatives taking place both in urban and rural settings throughout Northern Ireland in which sporting and community bodies seek to engage marginalised youth (and others) through sport. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.05pm - Professor Lindsay Prior (QUB) - Driving as a Public Health Problem [video]
Young drivers have high injury rates and, as a result, high insurance premiums. Few interventions have been effective in reducing crash rates among young drivers, but restrictions introduced in other parts of the world such as Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) have been shown to be effective. To address the young driver crash problem, Northern Ireland is planning changes to driver training and testing, including a passenger restriction which is regarded as a key element of GDL, from 2014. GDL aims to reduce young driver crash rates by reducing exposure to high risk conditions, such as carrying teenage passengers, drinking alcohol and driving late at night. GDL has been introduced in a number of countries, and this presentation will provide a review of available evidence on the effectiveness of GDL and outline how the introduction of GDL in Northern Ireland might be evaluated over the coming years. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.25pm - Dr Mark Tully and Dr Ruth Hunter (QUB) - The importance of doing regular physical activity to health, society and the economy: Time for a major re-think [Video]
It is estimated that physical inactivity is responsible for 6 –10% of deaths, at a cost to the NHS of £1.06 billion/year and so the potential public health dividend of increasing physical activity in the population is substantial. Recent data for Northern Ireland show that over 60% of adults are not meeting current recommendations. Previous initiatives have had only modest effects, with maintained changes in physical activity behaviour being difficult to achieve. Thus a major re-think in our approach is required. This presentation will highlight the impact of rising levels of physical inactivity to health, society and the economy, and use examples from research in the area. The PARC (Physical Activity and the Rejuvenation of Connswater) Study is a before-and-after natural experiment investigating the impact of a £40m urban regeneration project in east Belfast on physical activity and public health, and the Physical Activity Loyalty Card Scheme which investigates the use of financial incentives to encourage physical activity. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.45pm - Discussion


20 MARCH 2014 – GOVERNANCE/ASSEMBLY REVIEW

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Dr Alex Schwartz (QUB) – Petitions of Concern [Video]
Northern Ireland’s system of government includes several mechanisms designed to facilitate inclusive cross-community power-sharing. One such mechanism is the “Petition of Concern”; any decision of the Assembly may be subjected to the requirement of cross-community consent where a Petition of Concern is signed by at least 30 MLAs. The Assembly and Executive Review Committee has recently considered changing or eliminating the Petition of Concern in light of criticisms that it is unfair, increasingly prone to abuse, and impedes legislative productivity. This presentation will assess the strengths of these criticisms in comparative perspective, with reference to the experience of other consociational democracies.  [Policy Briefing]  [Presentation]

2.05pm - Professor Yvonne Galligan (QUB) - Women in Politics [Video]
Making democracy ‘fit for purpose’ is a continuing theme in 21st century politics. An aspect that has loomed large in this debate is the under-representation of women in political life. As legislatures across these islands and beyond have become more gender equal in representation, the record of women’s representation in the Northern Ireland Assembly becomes an anomaly. There is now a significant body of international practice and experience on which to draw, suggesting that the poor representation of women in the politics of Northern Ireland can be successfully addressed. This presentation will draw on recent international lessons and developments to inform the debate on women’s representation in Northern Ireland. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.25pm - Discussion


3 APRIL 2014 – CULTURAL TOURISM

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Professor Mícheál Ó Mainnín (QUB) - Home and Away: Exploiting the Corpus of Northern Ireland Placenames for Cultural Tourism [Video]
The Northern Ireland Place-Name Project is engaged in research on the history of over 30,000 local place-names. These names, of varying linguistic origin (primarily Irish, English and Scots), give Ulster place-names their distinct character. Furthermore, emigrants to the New World brought their names with them: e.g. Derry and Londonderry in New Hampshire (USA); and Belfast in Maine (USA); Prince Edward Island (Canada); and, Christchurch (New Zealand). Names of places connect communities at home and abroad, but their potential has never been exploited, particularly in the context of the Irish and Scotch-Irish diaspora who are conscious of their roots in the island of Ireland. This seminar will consider ways in which this might be accomplished, with the assistance of the online database of Northern Ireland place-names, www.placenamesni.org. It will also consider how place-names can be exploited to build cultural capital at home, to the benefit of the heritage and tourism industries. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

2.05pm - Discussion


15 MAY 2014 – SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Dr Sandra Moffett (Ulster) – The Role of Knowledge Management in Building a Sustainable Economy in Northern Ireland
The current Programme for Government 2011-15 focuses on growing a sustainable economy and investing in the future of Northern Ireland. To recover from the current economic downturn, organisations strive to become more innovative, streamlined and focused, providing high quality value-added goods/services to customers, in an efficient yet achievable way. To grow a strong, modern and sustainable economy many organisations are turning to Knowledge Management for business improvement and refinement. This presentation will explore Knowledge Management strategy and implementation as a building block for public, private and voluntary sector innovation. Theoretical underpinnings will be supported by United Kingdom case studies, with key lessons proposed for participant consideration.

2.05pm - Dr Leslie Budd (OU) - Can the peace dividend and devolution transform business in Northern Ireland: lessons from the UK fastest growing sub-region?
This presentation will consider this issue and draw on research in regard to the kind businesses and management challenges developing in Milton Keynes and its hinterland: the fastest growth region in the United Kingdom. If Milton Keynes can be considered a growth pole, what are its propulsive industries (in the sense advanced by the famous economist Joseph Schumpeter); and how can they be aligned as an ideal-typical model for a challenging socio-economic environment like Northern Ireland? Within this analysis is discussion about what kind of physical, social infrastructure and institutions (school hospitals, social, cultural and related categories of capital developed by the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu) are needed to develop and sustain such a potential growth pole. In part, this presentation will also draw on a framework created for the first Outline Spatial Strategy for Iraq on post-conflict regional economic development.

2.25pm - Discussion


29 MAY 2014 – CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS

1.30pm - RaISe - Welcome

1.35pm - Assembly Committee Chair – Opening Remarks

1.45pm - Lesley Emerson, Professor Laura Lundy, Dr Katrina Lloyd and Dr Karen Orr (QUB) - Legal needs of children and young people in Northern Ireland
Research was carried out on behalf of the Department of Justice to explore the need for legal services for children and young people (CYP) in Northern Ireland (NI). Interviews were carried out with key stakeholders with direct experience of the legal needs of CYP, a wide range of focus groups with CYP and an online survey of post-primary school pupils to ascertain their knowledge and understanding of their legal rights and needs. This mixed-method approach facilitated the provision of in-depth information on the legal needs and legal remedies for CYP as well as quantitative data about legal needs from a large number of CYP across NI. A key feature of the methodology used is that it draws on a children’s rights-based approach developed within the Centre for Children’s Rights at QUB, which ensures that the perspectives of CYP are foregrounded throughout the research process. This presentation will discuss the findings from the research.

2.05pm - Discussion

   ___________________________

Details of earlier Seminars (including Briefing Papers and videorecordings) can be found at the following;

Series 2 Programme Details: 04 October through to 16 May 2013
Series 1 Programme Details : 22 March through to 05 July

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