ARK Policy Unit


The ARK Policy Unit has been built on its close connections to the voluntary sector and initiated links with policy makers within the Northern Ireland Assembly and Government departments. It has worked to develop a facility for a more critical appraisal of policy which is based on knowledge and evidence, and which encourages public engagement with Social Policy.

As part of this work, the Policy Unit has published a range of publications. Find out more below.

Policy Briefs
ARK's Policy Briefs aim to explore key policy issues facing Northern Ireland and draw on published research evidence, as well as the discussions at the associated Policy Roundtables.


ARK's Policy Unit launched an important policy publication on 3 November 2009. The book Figuring it Out: Looking behind social statistics in Northern Ireland, by Ann Marie Gray and Goretti Horgan, reveals what social statistics can tell us about social policy in Northern Ireland. The book, produced with the assistance of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, is the outcome of an ARK project which aims to inform and promote debate on social policy issues. The statistics are accompanied by a lay friendly commentary on transport, the environment, health and social care, education, employment and culture, arts and sport which highlights significant trends and identifies priority issues for social policy.

A second edition of this book, by Ann Marie Gray, Goretti Horgan and Amanda Leighton, was published in November 2015.

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