Government Policymakers & Higher Education Researchers Come together to Build Bridges for Evidence Informed Public Policy on Youth Well-being


Campus Engage, in collaboration with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion, and Youth (DCEDIY), was very happy to kick off our pilot brokerage event earlier this month. Researchers and policy-makers from across Ireland arrived to share their expertise and tackle the question of how best to formulate evidence-informedpolicy to improve the lives of young people.

The IUA is the representative voice of Ireland’s research intensive, enterprise engaged, public universities. Based at the IUA, Campus Engage works to mobilise research knowledge and expertise to address our most complex societal challenges to support policy officials to inform, implement and evaluate high impact public policy, for societal good. DCEDIY is the main government department responsible for youth policy in Ireland and one of DCEDIY’s key strategic actions is to develop quality, evidence informed youth policy.

This event, as part of a targeted initiative, included both conference style addresses by key players in youth research and youth policy, alongside three breakout brokerage sessions. These brokerage sessions provided a space where policy makers and researchers could consider how academic research can address specific policy challenges relevant to the lives of young people in Ireland.

The objective of the brokerage sessions was to enhance understanding of current research, but also to inform and encourage future dialogue on new and emerging research agendas. The brokerage sessions were chaired by Mary Doyle, Fergal Walsh and Seán Ó’Fohglú, each of whom has very senior experience in both the civil service and in the higher education research sector. Each brokerage session included a short input from a policy ‘challenger’ and responses from researchers who highlighted some key research trends in relation to the specific challenge. These inputs were intended to stimulate debate and dialogue amongst attendees in each session.