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The Policy Making Process and the Positive Ageing Strategy

The Policy Making Process and the Positive Ageing Strategy

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The Policy Making Process and the Positive Ageing Strategy

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  1. The Policy Making Process and the Positive Ageing Strategy Eileen Kehoe Office for Older People Department of Health and Children

  2. Introduction • Opportune time for this Seminar • Good quality policy depends on high quality information from a variety of sources • Set out approach to developing a Positive Ageing Strategy • Commitment in the Programme for Government 2007-2012 • Intention is to have a broad ranging, outcomes focussed strategy, developed in consultation with the key interest groups.

  3. Why a Strategy for Older People • Demographics • Increasing number of people aged 65+ • Now 467,000 (11%) in 2006, 775,000 (13.6% in 2021) • Changing nature of policy development and social service delivery • Move from agency led services, driven by contingency or crises to tackle specific issues • Strategic direction from the centre, standards, outcomes, continous improvement based on feedback and participation

  4. New approach represented most clearly in lifecycle approach - NESC 2005 Developmental Welfare State Future development of public services organised around the main stages, ie children, people of working age and older people Places the individual at the centre of policy development and delivery, outcome focussed rather than contingency and targetting groups for interventions Why a Strategy for Older People

  5. Commitment • Programme for Government 2007-2012 commitment to Strategy. • 2006 Social Partnership Agreement Towards 2016 adopted the lifecycle approach. • First time there has been a commitment to such a broad-ranging strategy for older people. • The Years Ahead - A Policy for the Elderly 1988, Adding Years to Life and Life to Years1998 focus on health and social services.

  6. Background and Context • Programme for Government 2007-2012 “ to better recognise the position of older people in Irish society” • Operational plans by Government Departments • Joined up thinking on initiatives serving older people • Ongoing mechanisms to monitor progress and identify challenges • Liaise with recognised voluntary groups • Consider appointment of Ombudsman for Older People

  7. Background and Context • Pointed out that the development of public transport systems improve accessibility for older people. • Provisions relating to education and training, making it easier for older people to stay in their own homes, pensions, improving income and employment and employment conditions.

  8. Leadership • Minister of State for Older People and Health Promotion. • Member of the Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion – specific remit to bring a coherent and integrated approach to social policy issues. • Within DoHC but Minister has responsibilities at D/Social and Family Affairs, D/Environment, Heritage and Local Government. • Supported by Office for Older People • Office now includes former staff of the National Council on Ageing and Older People.

  9. Evidence and Information • Quality policy depends on high quality information from a variety of sources • Expert knowledge • Existing evidence, including international • Evaluation of other or previous policies • New evidence or secondary sources • Operational data from frontline staff in departments, agencies, local authorities.

  10. Sources • Cross Departmental Group • Chaired by Director, Office for Older People • 11 departments, Central Statistics Office • Charged with developing the Strategy • UN Principles for Older Persons • WHO Policy Framework on Active Ageing • NGO Liaison Group • 12 members, expert information, priorities • Expert Advisory Group • agencies, independent experts, priorities

  11. Sources • Desk based literature review of other strategies • Public call for Submissions • individuals, organisations, groups • issues relating to older people’s participation in society, the way services are organised and used by older people, issues that affect quality of life or any issue considered of importance to older people • not intention to propose new services • strategic direction for future policies, programmes and services in the future • Regional Meetings

  12. Sources • Ageing Well Network • Policy network, wide ranging membership • developing position papers on a range of issues relating to older people • Older & Bolder Network • Network of organisations concerned with older people and ageing issues • feedback from consultation process earlier in the year.

  13. Where Now? • Work continuing • Submissions: closing date 24 September • Regional meetings

  14. For Researchers • Context of increasing emphasis on data both quantitative and qualitative data • Strategies – Disability, Social Inclusion, Children’s - all developing data strategies • DoHC developing a National Health Information Strategy • Research Unit within DoHC • to support the conduct and use of research across the department • All departments now required to have Data Strategies

  15. For Researchers • Objective is to have implementable strategies • Grounded in the real needs and lived experience of older people • Stakeholder opinion, experience of professionals/front line staff

  16. Data from Research • Robust descriptive, inferential, and longitudinal data • Qualitative data to aid understanding • Show overall wellbeing within and between populations over time • Point to emerging trends, enables policies to be proactive rather than reactive • Monitor progress, identify shortcomings • Quantify level and locations of need • Reveal severity, geographic concentration – reduce ambiguity

  17. For Policy Makers • Shared understanding between researchers and policymakers about what information is of most interest • Data for policy has to be guided by vision and specific provisions of any strategy • Clarity of goals, time scales, objectives, implementation structures • Clarity about the questions to be asked or answered • Openness to identifying and addressing gaps

  18. Need? • Not enough information about the social determinants of quality of life • Need to know how older people interact with services, what else is needed, what are the barriers, what happens when people move between services • Information for policy development different from that needed to monitor performance • Capacity of researchers

  19. Policy Makers • Ability to interpret data, understand underlying assumptions, other political, economic and social factors • Combine data and stakeholder opinion • Coherence with other stategies • Objective to increase policy analysis capacity within departments • Inter agency/cross departmental working difficult but essential

  20. TILDA • The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing • Partnership with Trinity led consortium • Good example of iterative process and how shared understanding of evidence needs and priority contexts can develop to the benefit of both researchers and policy makers

  21. Challenges • Gathering evidence takes time but policymaker may need the information quickly • Small scale research projects and qualitiative research have a valuable place • Measuring progress on ‘softer’ issues can be difficult • Gathering robust data on minority, marginalised or difficult to reach groups

  22. The Policy Making Process and the Positive Ageing Strategy Eileen Kehoe Office for Older People Department of Health and Children