Research Branch has responsibility for a wide range of research, centred on two main programme areas:
1. ‘Equality and Social Need’ publications
The branch holds responsibility for research relating to the areas of equality, social exclusion and social need, which encompasses a broad pallet of social and economic issues such as Labour Market, Education, Equality and Diversity.
The equality and social need research publications are intended to support the formulation and development of policy; assess impacts; provide a challenge perspective; and facilitate broader societal debate. Research is also conducted to provide statutory authorities with data and information to assist in undertaking their statutory duty under Section 75 on the Northern Ireland Act (1998).
2. ‘Good Relations, Reconciliation and Children and Young People’ publications
Research Branch also has responsibility for a wide ranging programme of research centred on ‘Good Relations, Reconciliation and Children and Young People’. It aims to maintain an up-to-date body of information on the nature, impact, effects and manifestations of the major divisions in Northern Ireland, such as perceived political, religious or ethnic background.
Also encompassed within this programme area is research centred on the lives of children and young people in Northern Ireland, both in general and in relation to how conflict and division has impacted on their lives.
This research programme area also aims to evaluate the impact of Government’s policies relevant to the Northern Ireland divide and children in Northern Ireland and provide relevant and timely evidence to help shape and frame new policies and programmes.