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School of Law welcomes announcement Wellbeing will be at heart of new Programme for Government


The School of Law at Queen's University has welcomed confirmation by the First and Deputy First Minister that an outcomes framework, focused on wellbeing, is to guide the work of the post-election administration in Northern Ireland

During their final appearance at the Assembly’s Committee of the First and Deputy First Minister, First Minister Arlene Foster confirmed that an outcomes-focused Programme for Government is in the early stages of preparation, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described how the outcomes framework would focus on wellbeing. Mr McGuinness went on to cite the work of the Northern Ireland Roundtable on Measuring Wellbeing convened by Queen’s School of Law in collaboration with the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (CUKT).

Dr Peter Doran from Queen’s School of Law, said: “It has been a year since the School and the CUKT published the report of the Carnegie Roundtable on Measuring Wellbeing in Northern Ireland. The OFMDFM’s plans to encourage a more collaborative approach to policy delivery, steered by cross-departmental outcomes, are in line with recommendations in the Roundtable report on placing wellbeing at the heart of our system of government, with an ever greater focus on citizen engagement in the policy process.”

Head of the School of Law at Queen’s, Professor Sally Wheeler, said: “We welcome the comments of the First and Deputy First Minister, noting that the policy contribution by the work of the Roundtable was an example of the societal impact Queen’s is committed to under the Vice Chancellor’s 2020 Vision.”

John Woods, School of Law, added: “The Roundtable recommended seven steps towards placing the wellbeing of citizens at the heart of government and since the publication of our report, a number of positive developments have taken shape.

"An outcomes framework in the Programme for Government will form the lynchpin for a series of far-reaching changes, focusing on a more collaborative and impactful approach to policy. At the heart of government and across civil society and the private sector there is a palpable desire for a more engaged, collaborative approach to living well together. An important dimension of collective wellbeing is an effective democracy.

“We are launching a new video that identifies the actions that the NI Executive and others have taken to begin to put wellbeing at the heart of the government of Northern Ireland. This is accompanied by a short briefing paper (attached) which examines each step by identifying the key questions around implementation.”

Jen Wallace, Head of Policy at CUKT added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our stakeholders on this issue for their interest and enthusiasm for the recommendations of the Roundtable. We will continue our work on wellbeing in Northern Ireland and are actively exploring our next steps.”

To discuss the issue further, or for further information, contact Dr Peter Doran ( or follow the Northern Ireland Roundtable on Measuring Wellbeing on Twitter @NIwellbeing.


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