Aims and Objectives

The aim of ORB is to provide summary information on key topics of interest in the Social Policy field in Northern Ireland. ORB concentrates on material that is research based, carried out by government, the voluntary sector or academia and focused on Northern Ireland.

The material on ORB is based on quantitative and/or qualitative research using both primary and secondary data sources. The main focus is on research carried out since 1990 although some key studies carried out before 1990 are also included.

The bibliography provides the name(s) of the author(s), the year of publication, the document type, the title of the work and the publisher. The summaries provide information on the background to the research, the research approach and the main findings. The summaries are short and designed as a first step for the reader rather than a comprehensive account of the work. The task of compiling more summaries is currently being undertaken and these will be included as they are completed.

If a summary document exists elsewhere online, ORB provides a direct link to it.

The material on ORB is regularly updated with new bibliographic entries and summaries.

ORB is part of the ARK resource – dedicated to making social and political information on Northern Ireland available to all.  The ARK website holds information on a wide range of social and political topics.  Go to the ARK homepage, and search across all the ARK materials or go directly to one of the specialist sections.


ORB welcomes contributions of material which covers aspects of social policy in Northern Ireland. Anyone who has published, or who is about to publish material, may wish to allow a summary of the work to be included on the ORB site.The work should be:

*Quantitative or qualitative research in Social Policy.
*Have a focus on Northern Ireland (although this could be part of a wider project).
*Based on primary or secondary data analysis.
*Based on research carried out by government, academia or the voluntary sector.
*Based on research that has been carried out since 1990.

The summary can be an Executive Summary or one written specifically for the ORB site by the author(s). Alternatively, a member of the ORB team can write a summary of the work. If the work is available elsewhere online, ORB will provide a direct link to it.

If you have material you would like to contribute or information on publications that you think could be included on the ORB site, please contact Paula Devine.

From April 2012 to March 2014, ORB was funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Plese note, that since 2014, the ORB Social Policy Database has only been partially updated.

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Disclaimer: © ORB 2001 Last Updated on Wednesday, 21-Sep-2016 16:33