Realising the Promise of Equality Policy: An evaluation of the processes of implementation of three national equality strategies

An independent report by CES research and evaluation experts Dr Lauren Kavanagh and Dr Lorna Sweeney on ‘Realising the promise of national equality policy’ has been welcomed by Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman.

The study was commissioned by the Department to examine and evaluate the effectiveness of the processes for implementation of three equality strategies - the Migrant Integration Strategy, the National Strategy for Women and Girls, and the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy - with a view to informing how the Department develops and implements whole-of-government equality policy in the future with a strong outcomes-focused approach.

To identify best practice, a bespoke, evidence-informed and expert-validated framework of activities important to the effective implementation of equality or human rights policy was created, drawing on Irish and international literature in the field.

Processes used in the three equality strategies were assessed against this best practice framework. This evaluation concluded that stakeholder consultations for the previous strategies were felt to be thorough and to capture a broad cross-section of views. It was recommended that consultation for future national equality strategies should seek to build on these successes. Other recommendations focus on enhancing collaboration with stakeholders, adopting appropriate structures for steering, striving for focused and dynamic strategies, addressing capacity issues, developing indicators of progress and promoting effective use of monitoring information, and planning and paying ongoing attention to implementation.

At the launch of the report in June 2023, Minister O’Gorman said: “I welcome the publication of this study and its recommendations. These form a valuable resource to policy makers in the public service and to the stakeholders who contribute to developing and giving effect to equality policy. In particular, the study will inform the processes of consultation and development of successors to the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy, the Migrant Integration and the National Strategy for Women and Girls, which are currently underway.”

Dr Lorna Sweeney says,“Our aim at CES is to provide evidence and promote evidence to improve public services and policies to, by extension, improve outcomes for individuals, families and communities on the island of Ireland. We hope the framework of good and promising practices for implementing national equality strategies that we have developed over the course of this evaluation will be useful in supporting and strengthening the implementation of future national equality strategies.”

CES can deliver a wide range of services and support to policy makers and service planners, with expertise in research, evaluation and implementation.

If you are considering commissioning an independent review of services or need advice on effectivelyimplementing new policies and practices please contact

You can read the full ‘Realising the Promise of Equality Policy’ report here

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