Pobal holds a vast amount of data about the programmes we manage. We recognise that this data, if used properly, can be translated into information and knowledge about how to best support communities and improve outcomes for individuals. It is our aim to make these insights available to our colleagues in Government as well as to those delivering services on the ground.

Our research and analysis contributes the continuous and iterative improvement of programme design, as well as allows us to support the targeting of resources towards where they are needed most.

We do this by:

  • Producing and maintaining robust and reliable data sets from which insights can be gleaned.
  • Applying academic standard methodologies to real world challenges.
  • Measuring what really matters for individuals and communities by focusing on the outcomes and impacts of programmes and activities.
  • Taking an innovative approach to utilising data, through the creation and use of evidence based tools.
  • Using high level statistical and data science techniques to mine our data sets.
  • Working collaboratively with our funding departments, beneficiaries, academic institutions and other interest groups.
  • Supporting others to use this data through the generation of high quality outputs.

This section of Pobal’s website provides links to the various research and analysis outputs produced by Pobal. For more information on our research and analysis work, you can contact our head of Monitoring, Analysis & Outcomes on research@pobal.ie.

Pobal HP Deprivation Index

The Pobal HP Deprivation index is Ireland’s most widely used social gradient metric, which scores each small area (50 – 200 households) in terms of affluence or disadvantage. The index uses information from Ireland’s census, such as employment, age profile and educational attainment, to calculate this score.

The index is used by various state agencies and government departments to target resources towards disadvantaged areas. The index is used in the allocation of resources under the following programmes managed by Pobal:

  • The Social Inclusion ad Community Activation Programme (SICAP)
  • Early Years Capital

The index is also used by the following agencies:

  • Department of Education and Skills (Designation of schools under DEIS)
  • TUSLA (Resource Allocation Modelling)
  • HSE (Health Atlas Ireland)
  • Drug and Alcohol Task Forces (Resource Allocation Modelling)
  • CSO (Optimising sampling methodologies)

The introduction document to the 2016 index can be found here.  A presentation from the author on the key findings can be downloaded here, and the full index to electoral division level can be downloaded using this link.

For more information on the index, its construction or application, please contact us on pobalmaps@pobal.ie.

Pobal Maps

To support the usage of our data, Pobal have developed an interactive graphical information system called Pobal Maps (https://maps.pobal.ie). Pobal Maps allows users to see where Pobal delivers funding to, as well as providing a way of accessing and using the Pobal HP Deprivation Index. It also includes details on all of Ireland’s childcare service providers delivering government childcare schemes.

Pobal/ESRI Research Programme

Pobal works closely with Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) on a number of projects, with a view to both improving how programmes are delivered, demonstrating the effectiveness and outcomes of certain interventions, and also adding to the body of knowledge in relation to social inclusion in Ireland. Research outputs from this work include:

Socio-emotional Outcomes at Age Five: Does Childcare Make a Difference?

Using monitoring data to assess community development: Evidence from Ireland

Pobal/OECD & LEED Cooperation

Pobal works closely with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme and has been Ireland’s delegate to the LEED Directing Committee since 2011. LEED is a unit within the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities and its mission is to contribute to the creation of more and better jobs through effective policy implementation, innovative practices, stronger capacities and integrated local strategies. During this time Pobal has influenced the direction of LEED’s work and disseminated key learnings back to Government Departments.

Pobal has worked in partnership with LEED to develop a number of high profile Irish reports including Local Job Creation Ireland (2013), Local Development (2014), and Weaving Together Policies for Social Inclusion in Ireland (2016) and contributed to the EC online tool on Social and Inclusive Entrepreneurship (2018).

From 2019 Denis Leamy, former Pobal CEO, will be the Chairperson of the LEED Directing Committee and will oversee the implementation of a new programme of work which tackles areas such as migration, social exclusion, jobless households, ageing and changing labour markets.

For more information on the work of LEED and the OECD see here.

The Future of Work at the OECD Local Economic Development Forum – Porto

Megatrends related to digitalisation, automation and the ‘gig’ economy are reshaping the way people live and work, as presented at the 14th LEED Forum in September 2018, Porto, Portugal.  A significant proportion of jobs will change or disappear altogether but the new world of work also creates unprecedented opportunities for both people and places to transform society and promote inclusive growth. The transformation of the world of work is raising questions about jobs and life. How many jobs will be destroyed and which new ones will be created? Will they be good ones, with good wages, and opportunities to grow? How will we transition in and out of jobs? Will some local communities be more impacted by these changes than others?

The Forum for Local Development Practitioners, Entrepreneurs, and Social Innovators in September 2018 in Porto brought together over 300 participants from the local, national and international level.  Mayors, employers, social innovators, entrepreneurs, as well as national government leaders, discussed how these megatrends are impacting jobs, workplaces, and local economic development opportunities.