Home > Social inclusion in the Irish health context: policy and stakeholder mapping.

O'Donnell, Patrick and O'Donovan, Diarmuid and Elmusharaf, Khalifa (2020) Social inclusion in the Irish health context: policy and stakeholder mapping. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 189, (1), pp. 11-26.


Social inclusion is a complex concept, and its relationship to health has been widely debated. Across the European Union, there has been a move towards policies promoting social inclusion. Despite this, there has been a limited analysis of how the concept of social inclusion is operationalised in Irish policy. The aim of this research was to document and map the development of social inclusion policies in the Irish context. The objectives were to identify all the relevant stakeholders and policies and to describe the relevance of social inclusion policy in the domain of health.



We utilised a widely recognised policy analysis framework. We conducted a systematic search of relevant government policies, grey literature databases, statutory agencies and stakeholders in the Irish context since 2006. The researchers initially identified a total of 954 results.



The relevant stakeholders discovered were the research community, service providers, civil society organisations, policy makers and government, philanthropists and socially excluded people. Most policy documents included refer to one of two national policies created to drive social inclusion activities. Social inclusion was being operationalised in the context of health, but the relationship between policymakers and those planning and providing services was unclear.



The concept of social inclusion was being operationalised in the Irish policy context. A multitude of stakeholders were involved, reflecting the wide reach of this concept in society. Social inclusion was a particularly important concept in the realm of health, and in the primary care domain in particular

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