Assembly Seminars Put Spotlight on Policy-Making

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 21 March 2012

Reference: SO 16/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly is taking the lead in bringing together local researchers with MLAs, local employers and the community and voluntary sector to help inform the legislative programme.

A series of seminars, beginning on the 22nd of March and continuing until the 5th of July will see academics from The Queen’s University of Belfast sharing their research findings on a wide range of topics, from measuring local poverty to young people’s attitudes to peace walls and addressing educational underachievement of children in care.

The seminar series is intended to aid MLAs as they debate proposed legislation and give them a forum to discuss issues with both academic researchers and stakeholder groups, including public and private sector organisations.

Commenting on the new initiative, the Speaker for the Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA said: “We very pleased to be able to host this seminar series. It gives us an opportunity to bring together researchers and those involved in policy development in a forum which will produce better and more evidence based laws and programmes.

“Our Research and Information Service provides an excellent service to our MLAs and supports them as they carry out their legislative role. We believe that research carried out by local academics can inform and aid this process.

“This series is the first in what we hope will be a rolling programme of informative seminars. We expect that the University of Ulster will also take part and share their expertise.

“We expect these seminars will be of interest to a wide range of groups and individuals and we look forward to welcoming them to Parliament Buildings.”

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