Research Publications 2017

Synopsis: The Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service (RaISe) produces a number of Research publications each year. These cover a variety of topics which are of interest to Members, Committees and the general public.

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Number    Date

Women’s Economic Transition to Retirement
This paper contains updated demographic data for Northern Ireland and the UK, outlines related social and economic concerns, and provides a background to recent changes in the State Pension.  It then examines how demographically-driven policy change, combined with differing lifetime incomes and employment patterns, make older women susceptible to short-term poverty risk, later life disadvantage, and over reliance on state support.


Cancer: Northern Ireland
This research paper provides an overview of cancer in Northern Ireland. This includes information about:

  • cancer statistics;
  • policy developments;
  • service commissioning;
  • screening, care pathways and types of treatment;
  • accessibility to hospital treatment across Northern Ireland, and,
  • overall performance of Health and Social Care Trusts against Ministerial waiting time targets for cancer.

Election Report: Westminster General Election, 8 June 2017
This paper provides an analysis of the Westminster General Election held on 8 June 2017, and compares the outcome with the 2015 election. The paper also includes an analysis of voter turnout  and  results by party and constituency.


Addendum to NIAR 32-16: The EU Referendum and the potential implications for Northern Ireland’
On the 10 February 2016 the Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service published a briefing paper (NIAR 32-16) which examined the ‘The EU Referendum and the potential implications for Northern Ireland’. A significant section of this paper was devoted to the potential trade implications of Brexit from Northern Ireland.  This section relied upon Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data to reach its conclusion.  The methodology used to compile this data has recently been revised. The purpose of this paper is to outline how this methodological change alters the findings of NIAR 32-16.


Brexit and Northern Ireland: A Reading List (updated 31.01.20)
This paper provides a list of journal articles, blog articles, briefing papers and other reading materials relating to the UK’s exit from the EU and the implications for Northern Ireland. As the volume of published material on Brexit is vast and varied, this reading list does not purport to be a single comprehensive source covering all issues and opinions. However, the material has been drawn from a wide range of well-established and authoritative sources and RaISe intends to update the reading list as appropriate.


Sources of Funding for the Voluntary and Community Sector
This briefing paper provides an overview of the different types of funding available from public, charitable and corporate sources. It is not possible for RaISe to provide a comprehensive list as there are hundreds of different sources of grant aid and they change constantly.


Japanese Knotweed
This briefing paper considers legislation in Northern Ireland (NI) across GB and the Republic of Ireland (ROI) surrounding Japanese Knotweed from two perspectives: as an invasive species and the control of it spreading to neighbouring properties. It also gives detail on a new EU Regulation on invasive alien species. 


Support to Appeal Rights Exhausted Asylum Seekers in Northern Ireland
On 18 January 2017 the Committee for the Executive Office heard evidence from the Northern Ireland Community of Refugee and Asylum Seekers (NICRAS) and Refugee and Asylum Forum (RAF) on the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Northern Ireland. In particular, issues for people whose applications for asylum had been declined, but for various reasons remain in Northern Ireland, were raised. This paper briefly summarises the asylum system as it applies to Northern Ireland and gives an overview of support to appeal rights exhausted asylum seekers. This refers to people seeking asylum who have been unsuccessful in their applications and any appeals have failed.


Background Information and Statistics on Carers in Northern Ireland
This Briefing Note contains background information and statistics on Carers in Northern Ireland, and draws attention to the more pertinent issues facing this group at present.


Carers: Legislation, Policy and Practice
This paper looks at the provisions for supporting carers in law and
policy across the UK; key issues for carers, with additional reference to wider EU work in this regard; and some particular examples of good practice in selected EU countries. It may be read in conjunction with RaISe briefing paper NIAR 44-17 (March 2017).


2017 Assembly Election: Transferred Votes
This briefing note provides information on how votes were transferred between parties at the 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly Election.  It
supplements the recently published Research and Information Service briefing paper on the 2017 Election results (NIAR 20-17 – “Election Report: Northern Ireland Assembly Election, 2 March 2017”)


Election Report: Northern Ireland Assembly Election, 2 March 2017
This paper provides an analysis of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections held on 2 March 2017, and compares the outcome with the 2016 election.  The paper also includes an analysis of voter turnout and results by party and constituency.

  2016-17 Mandate  
21/17 Planning, financing and delivering transport infrastructure
This paper compares the various ways in which transport infrastructure is planned, financed and delivered in each of the UK regions. This includes a comparison of public spending on roads, bus and rail provision with an analysis of the subsidies paid to operators. The role of private sector finance in the delivery of infrastructure is considered and the various approaches to employing private capital, including how this is paid for, in the UK regions as well as in Belgium and Germany is set out.
20/17 Legislative Position on Stalking and Relevant Statistics in the UK and the Republic of Ireland
From November to December 2016 the Justice Committee conducted a Review of the ‘Need for Stalking Legislation for Northern Ireland’. This review consisted of a public call for evidence, as well as the commissioning of three research reports on various aspects of stalking
for consideration in early 2017. This paper looks in greater detail at
interpretive legislative provisions and supporting statistics for England & Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
19/17 Incidence and Prevalence of Stalking in Northern Ireland
The focus of this briefing paper is the identification and provision of information on the level of stalking in Northern Ireland. The paper
highlights the difficulty in establishing this level, here and elsewhere, due to a lack of an agreed definition of stalking.
18/17 Executive Budget 2017-18: Committee Engagement
This Briefing Paper supplements RaISe Papers NIAR 413-16 (dated 21 October 2016) and NIAR 502-16 (dated 9 January 2017), to assist statutory committees, and individual MLAs in their scrutiny of the anticipated Executive Budget 2017-18.
17/17 Review of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety’s Annual Report and Accounts 2015-16
This Briefing Paper is prepared for the Committee for Health (the Committee), to further enable its consideration of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety’s (DHSSPS) Annual Report and Accounts 2015-16. It should be noted that this is the last Annual Report and Accounts to be produced by the DHSSPS, following the reorganisation of the machinery of government in Northern Ireland in May 2016, which resulted in the renaming of the former Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), to what is currently known as the Department of Health (DoH).
16/17 Rules and Arrangements governing All-Party Groups in the Northern Ireland Assembly and other UK Parliaments/Assemblies
In response to a request for research from the Committee on Standards & Privileges, this paper provides an up-to-date overview and cross-comparison of the rules and arrangements that currently underpin the operation of All-Party Groups/Cross-Party Groups in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, and the UK Parliament.
15/17 Opposition funding
This briefing note examines the different approaches and amounts provided in respect of financial assistance given to opposition parties across jurisdictions in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.
14/17 Devolution reviews
The paper sets out a brief history of recent devolution in Scotland and Wales and comments on the reviews that have occurred in relation to the development of devolution over the last number of years. It also includes timelines setting out the key devolution milestones in relation to the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales.
13/17 Ethics and Standards Training
This briefing paper was prepared following a request from the  Committee on Standards and Privileges. The Committee asked for information on the following: good practice approaches to training/CPD on standards/conduct related matters in other legislatures, local authorities, etc; and possible approaches to identifying training needs in a parliamentary context.
12/17 Hazardous waste exports from Northern Ireland
This paper is a follow up to the briefing on Waste Management (NIAR 435-16) and provides further information in relation to hazardous waste exports from Northern Ireland (NI). It considers the amount of hazardous waste exported from NI and the main destinations.
11/17 Recycling in Germany
This paper provides an overview of the current state of recycling in Germany and the policy behind the approach used. It also explores the concept of ‘zero waste’ and how this is used to drive down waste levels and encourage recycling in countries adopting it.
10/17 Background paper on Waste Management in Northern Ireland
The intention of this paper is to provide background information to the Committee in relation to the policy framework for waste management in NI and an overview of responsibilities.
09/17 Breastfeeding: Attitudes and Policies
This paper presents statistical data on rates of breastfeeding globally and in NI. It also reviews recent evidence-based research providing
evidence of cultural and social factors influencing women’s choices around breastfeeding, and examines policy and strategies relating to breastfeeding in NI, the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
08/17 Mental Health in Northern Ireland: Overview, Strategies, Policies, Care Pathways, CAMHS and Barriers to Accessing Services
This paper provides background information on mental health and illness in Northern Ireland (NI).  It provides definitions of mental health and illness; gives an overview of mental illness (including self-harm and suicide) in NI; highlights the relevant overarching strategies and policies and those specific to mental health, mental illness and suicide for NI; describes the care pathway  for treating mental health problems, with specific reference to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS); discusses evaluations of mental health service provision in NI in terms of accessing services and barriers to access; and highlights relevant initiatives in neighbouring jurisdictions.
07/17 Further information relating to the Police Ombudsman
This paper has been produced following a request from the Committee for the Executive Office. The Committee requested information on the following: the original rationale as to why the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland was set up in the way it is with respect to review/oversight of its decisions; and any examples of where a complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman has led to a review of a decision of the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.
06/17 Provision for Hybrid Bills in other legislatures
This briefing paper provides information on hybrid bills. The Committee on Procedures requested this paper following its meeting on 12 January 2016. At that meeting, it received a briefing on the possible introduction of a Bill that the Speaker had deemed hybrid – that is, a mixture of public and private legislation. The Northern Ireland Assembly currently has no provision in Standing Orders for processing hybrid bills.
05/17 Composite Classes
In October 2016 the Minister for Education suggested that it is more difficult for teachers to deliver high quality education in composite classes and stated that, by the end of the planning period, he expected actions to address ‘the issue of primary pupils being taught in a composite class of more than two year groups’. This briefing paper discusses composite classes in Northern Ireland and in other jurisdictions.
04/17 International Relations Outside the European Union: Ukraine
This briefing paper has been prepared to support the Committee of the
Executive Office in its scrutiny of the Executive in its actions in relation to the exit of the UK from the European Union. On 7 December 2016, the Committee considered evidence on the relationships between the EU and Norway and Switzerland. The Committee requested information on the arrangements between the EU and Ukraine.
03/17 TIMSS and PISA
The Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) are international research projects conducted every four and three years respectively. The studies aim to allow an international comparison of student performance and analysis of trends over time. This briefing note considers a number of findings from the two studies undertaken in 2015.
02/17 Children and Young People’s Strategic Indicators
In 2006 the former Office of the First and deputy First Minister published Our Children and Young People – Our Pledge: A ten-year strategy for children and young people in Northern Ireland 2006-2016. The strategy aimed to ensure that, by 2016 ‘all our children and young people are fulfilling their potential’. It set out five high level outcomes, each of which included a number of indicators. This briefing paper considers a number of the educational indicators within the ‘enjoying, learning and achieving’ outcome, based on this data. It also employs other data from the Department of Education, including school performance data.
01/17 Executive Budget 2017-18: Funding Envelope
This Briefing Paper supplements RaISe Paper NIAR 413-16 Forthcoming Executive Draft Budget 2017-18: Assembly Consideration (dated 21 October 2016). It provides updated information on the Executive’s ‘funding envelope’ from Westminster for 2017- 18, following the Autumn Statement made by the United Kingdom Chancellor in November 2016.

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