Dr John O Neill is the Director of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA). He is currently head of research at the IPA where he focuses on developing and delivering research that meets the needs of the civil and public service across a range of policy implementation challenges including the climate action agenda. John is currently the project lead on research assessing climate action capacity across the civil service and research programmes for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exploring implementation challenges across a wide range of environmental policy areas. Before joining the IPA, John played a lead role in developing and implementing key policies across several Government Departments (DECLG, DECC & & Department of Transport) including providing technical advice across a wide range of environmental policy areas at both national and international level.
Cáit Ní Chorcora is a researcher at the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), Ireland since January 2022. The mission of the Institute is to assist the public service with the challenges they face across governance and implementation. Cáit’s work is focused on improving public services through evidence. Work undertaken closely aligns with the public service reform and modernisation agenda and aims to increase awareness and stimulate informed debate and further thinking on key policy and public management issues. Since 2022, much of Cáit’s work has focused on progressing the IPA’s research programme for Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which has a strong focus on implementation of environmental polices/programmes at national and local level. Her research aims to assess the potential of applying implementation science in wider policy domains (i.e. environmental policy) to facilitate better, more effective policy coherence and implementation in the fields of environmental research and climate change.
The mission of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) in Ireland is to assist the public service with the challenges they face across governance and implementation. This research is looking to address the challenge faced by Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in unlocking implementation of key polices/programmes at national and local level.
Specifically, the research aims to assess the potential of applying implementation science in wider policy domains (i.e. environmental policy) so as to facilitate better policy coherence and implementation in the fields of environmental research and climate change.
The initial element of this research is a comprehensive review of the implementation science literature, focusing on clearly defined areas within health and social care sectors, but also covering wider policy implementation and building on the work by Hering (2018) in assessing relevance of concepts, tools and approaches that are transferable to other sectors such as environmental policy.
The second step will involve consideration of relevant implementation science frameworks for direct applicability in policy areas which are well established (climate adaptation) but also where policy development is still evolving (land use).
Our key findings to date include:
• A wide spectrum of approaches to implementation science identified – from the very controlled and confined environment of a fixed community response (i.e. drug intervention scenarios) to approaches where wider policy decisions need to be considered at national/regional or local levels.
• Within this wide spectrum outlined above, it becomes more challenging to define exact applicability of implementation science frameworks when encountering more general evidence for policy considerations.
Hybrid possibilities exist to apply implementation science across other disciplines/sectors, such as the environment. Within this context, potential exists to facilitate more efficient and effective public administration processes, thus potentially creating far-reaching benefits for wider society in complex policy areas such as climate.