Economic Development Institute and ResearchAny economic development policy making and planning process needs a systematic and high quality research programme with dedicated capacity. It should include statistical and data analysis and be able to synthesise independent expert advice and research.

The purpose of this sub-programme is to establish an Economic Development Institute that is able to draw together leading economic researchers and economic development practitioners. A separate institute, reporting to the Department, will make it easier to draw in researchers and practitioners from various institutions through fixed-term contracts, the commissioning of research projects and the convening of research teams. The institute will have three key functions: to provide analysis of data collected by the state and other institutions, to produce research and policy papers and lastly, to popularise and make accessible issues of economic policy as a means of empowering the citizenry on a crucial area of policy. It will also develop a resource centre on economic development.

The Institute will have publications and programmes aimed at state officials, shop stewards, private sector managers and the public on economic development issues. It will commission research, host seminars and workshops and create a database of global and local economic development initiatives and institutions.

It will take some time to establish the Institute, and therefore, in the interim these functions will be performed by the department primarily through contract programmes. In time, however, they will be migrated from the department to the Institute. The Economic Modelling Unit will similarly be consolidated within the Institute once it is fully established.