Embedding a Wellbeing Framework in Northern Ireland: A contribution from Carnegie UK Trust to inform discussions around the Programme for Government consultation

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Author: Hannah Ormston, Lauren Pennycook, Jennifer Wallace

Year: 2021

ISBN: 978-1-91208-59-2

Northern Ireland’s journey towards a wellbeing outcomes approach has been an intermittent one. At this point in time, and as we move forward to recover from the pandemic, a strong indication of commitment to societal wellbeing as a whole of government approach is required. The draft Programme for Government is a helpful starting point, but we believe that the Northern Ireland Executive has the potential to go further in implementing its wellbeing approach.

Since 2017, The Trust’s Embedding Wellbeing in Northern Ireland project has provided financial and in-kind support to the three Community Planning Partnerships; our response to the draft Programme for Government is informed by our learning from this project, alongside our longer-term knowledge of wellbeing frameworks. Our expertise has led us to develop a framework for societal wellbeing that brings together the key outcomes required for a flourishing society.

The draft Programme for Government is orientated to outcomes, but in this discussion paper, we call on the Northern Ireland Executive to go further and put the wellbeing outcomes approach on a statutory footing to ensure its permanence. Our discussion paper includes further details on this recommendation, along with eight other recommendations to support the Executive to shift from talking about a wellbeing approach, to delivering and embedding it in practice through the new Programme for Government.

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