Government departments and service providers in Ireland and Northern Ireland

Implementation Network: Creating public service connections in Ireland and Northern Ireland

All-island collaboration


The Implementation Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland shares real world experience and reflections of implementing policy and practice.

The challenge

The success of any policy or programme will depend on how well it is implemented. Since CES was set up in 2008, interest and understanding about what supports successful implementation has grown significantly. Recognising an opportunity for capacity building and learning, CES set up the Implementation Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2011, to share real world experience and reflections of implementing policy and practice. The network reaches beyond Ireland, providing access to a European and global community of policy makers and practitioners interested in the theory and practice of implementation.

What we did

A platform for policy makers

Policy makers and service providers work in different settings and sectors, but often face similar tasks and challenges when implementing policy or programmes, from staff engagement through to embedding good practice. Opportunities to share, reflect and explore connections are often limited, especially across departments and agencies.

Create connections, share knowledge

"Building networks, partnerships and connections represents a key strategic tool in the CES approach to achieving its goals and objectives."

(CES Ten Year Review, 2018)

Recognising that leadership of the network needs to come from its members, CES supports a Steering Group to guide the direction and sustainability of the network. Membership of the network is free and open to those working in public services in Ireland and Northern Ireland. In person meetings take place twice a year, with members receiving exclusive invites, opportunities to profile their work, and a biannual newsletter with new developments and resources.

CES has helped the network to access international expertise about implementation in the context of a wide range of policy challenges, from public health, to domestic and gender-based violence, sustainability and policing. CES also provides some administrative support to the network.

Guide progress

CES has supported members of the network to profile their work in Ireland and internationally, and has produced resources which share learning from implementation in Ireland, including guides, tools and a series of training videos.

The impact

Over the past ten years, CES has helped the network to grow and strengthen its membership, to over 160 members across Ireland and Northern Ireland. Through its support of the Network, CES has facilitated knowledge exchange, networking and relationship building between departments, agencies and across jurisdictions.

The Implementation Network is grateful to Tusla Child and Family Agency for funding support. Steering group member organisations are TUSLA Child and Family Agency, Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO), Centre for Effective Services (CES), Department of Education and Barnardo’s NI. Technical support is provided by CES.

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The Implementation Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland


Implementation Policy Development


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