The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has published a Scoping Paper: Projects, Progress and Policy setting out a proposed approach to research on the Shared Island initiative.
NESC Director, Dr Larry O’Connell, said: "We in NESC are responding to a request from the Department of the Taoiseach to carry out research and to produce a comprehensive report on the Shared Island in 2021.
"We will seek to do this in an inclusive manner, engaging with all communities and traditions on this island to build consensus around a shared future, with a focus on actionable areas of cooperation. The work will be underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement and absolute respect for the principle of consent."
The NESC research will contribute to building a shared knowledge base and understanding about possible ways in which greater co-operation can emerge across a number of economic, social and environmental areas in Ireland, North and South, and also between these islands East and West. The research will not address the constitutional question, but will focus on sustainable economic, social and environmental development issues in line with NESC’s strategic remit.
The project lead, Dr Helen Johnston, said: 2The research will reflect the NESC approach of integrating economic, social and environmental issues. Specifically, we will examine areas such as the economy, good jobs, regional development, poverty, mental health, social enterprise, climate and biodiversity, with an overall focus on sustainability and connectivity. Part of the project will involve more in-depth research using a 'place-based' approach drawing on the lived experience of people in border and adjacent communities."
NESC is keen to engage with people throughout the island to listen and learn, with a view to linking bottom-up and top-down views and perspectives. Common issues will be identified and shared, with a view to addressing problems in a cooperative way, through innovative solutions.
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