Home > National strategy for research and data on children’s lives 2011—2016.

Ireland. Department of Children and Youth Affairs. (2011) National strategy for research and data on children’s lives 2011—2016. Dublin: Government Publications.

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This research and data strategy is published in fulfilment of a commitment given in the social partnership agreement Towards 2016 for the development and publication of a National Data Strategy on Children’s Lives (Department of the Taoiseach, 2006a). The strategy has been developed in the context of substantial investment in the creation and transfer of knowledge for the purpose of improving citizen’s lives. This has resulted in a growing knowledge base across many different areas and in Ireland, as elsewhere, has led to increased support and concern for evidence-informed policy and practice.

The initial intention in developing this strategy was to focus on data only, particularly on official and other statistical holdings, as has been the case with strategies developed by other Government departments. This strategy goes beyond this type of approach and both aligns and mobilises key issues of relevance to both research and data around children’s lives. In doing so, it provides a framework for improving understandings of children’s lives across all sectors, including policy-makers, service providers, researchers, children, families and communities. The inclusion of both data and research is an explicit recognition of the importance of achieving a comprehensive understanding of children’s lives. Although there is much overlap between research and data, in general, agendas have evolved separately from each other and issues arising are usually addressed in different fora and through individual strategic developments.

The recent Government decision to create a Department of Children and Youth Affairs, which incorporates a number of policy areas on children and youth people (such as early childhood care and education, youth justice, child protection and welfare, children and young people’s participation, research on children and young people, youth work and cross-cutting initiatives for children), provides an important infrastructure through which evidence can be at the centre of policy and practice around children’s lives.

This strategy, through its Action Plan (see Chapter 5), will play an important part in informing policy and practice developments by facilitating the creation, synthesis and transfer of the best available knowledge in the area for the purpose of ensuring children’s lives benefit from research and data. While the Department of Children and Youth Affairs is responsible for certain actions in the strategy and will have an oversight role in relation to the overall action plan, individual Government departments or other organisations that have agreed to carry out specific actions in this strategy will be responsible for delivering on these.

An understanding of the effects of policy decisions, supports and interventions, as well as the factors in and impact of changes and transitions at various points in the lifecycle, is critical in informing decisions aimed at improving outcomes. This is particularly the case with children, where significant changes in their growth, development and outcomes take place within a relatively short period of time. Much progress has been made in understanding children’s lives in Ireland. Further strategic development, however, can assist in:
• providing leadership in the area of research and data on children’s lives;
• facilitating a comprehensive approach to understanding the lives of all children, with a particular focus on the lives of children with additional needs;
• identifying priority areas, minimising duplication of effort and maximising value for money;
• coordinating research and data developments of relevance to children’s lives;
• systematically building research, evaluation and utilisation capacity.

Why a Research and Data Strategy on Children’s Lives?
• Development of strategy
• Aim and objectives of strategy

1. Context for a National Strategy for Research and Data on Children’s Lives
• Investment and policy development in research
• Research governance developments
• Investment and policy development in data
• National investment in children’s research
• National Children’s Research Programme
• Commissioned research programme
• Capacity-building programme
• A programme to develop the infrastructure around data and research on children’s lives
• Knowledge transfer around children’s lives
• Early Intervention Programme
• Summary

2. Development of National Strategy for Research and Data on Children’s Lives
• Children’s outcomes
• Process of development
• Identification of potential gaps
• Review of recommendations in national policy
• Consultations
• Analysis of inputs
• Analysis of information gaps and availability
• Consultation on draft actions
• Bilateral discussions with stakeholders
• Summary

3. Information Gaps, Sources and Priorities
• Outcome Area 1: Children will be healthy, both physically and mentally
• Outcome Area 2: Children will be supported in active learning
• Outcome Area 3: Children will be safe from accidental and intentional harm, and secure in the immediate and wider physical environment
• Outcome Area 4: Children will be economically secure
• Outcome Area 5: Children will be part of positive networks of family, friends, neighbours and the community, and included and participating in society

4. Cross-cutting issues influencing National Strategy for Research and Data on Children’s Lives
Development of a national strategic approach to improving information around children’s lives
• Improvement of administrative data systems
• Build capacity across all areas of research and data development
• Support evidence-informed policy and practice
• Summary

5. Action Plan
• Implementation and oversight
• Action Plan

Appendix 1: DCYA National Children’s Research Programme — Commissioned Research
Appendix 2: DCYA National Children’s Research Programme — Scholarship Programme
Appendix 3: Review of national policy documents to inform National Strategy for Research and Data on Children’s Lives
Appendix 4: Online Consultation Questionnaire
Appendix 5: Respondents to Online Consultation
Appendix 6: Inventory of data sources
Appendix 7: Consultations conducted with children and young people under the OMCYA/DCYA Participation Programme
Appendix 8: National Statistics Board’s (2004) Best Practice Guidelines for the development of a data strategy
Appendix 9: Research and Data Strategy Steering Group Membership

Date:November 2011
Pages:112 p.
Publisher:Government Publications
Corporate Creators:Ireland. Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Place of Publication:Dublin
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
R Research > Research organization and management
T Demographic characteristics > Child of substance user
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Programme planning, implementation, and evaluation > Programme planning (strategy)
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health services, substance use research
T Demographic characteristics > Child

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