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Lobbying & Campaigning

This resources section includes links to think tanks and national infrastructure organisations.

Think tanks (also known as policy institutes) are generally independent bodies which conduct research in a particular area to provide data to policy makers and other groups to influence public policy. Some of these groups may have political leanings, while others may be more central. They are a great source of data and analysis for campaigning and lobbying.

National infrastructure organisations are non-profit groups which operate in Ireland on a national level working toward advocacy and lobbying for their cause, as well as offering support to local groups. They offer a great opportunity for local groups to link up to a national umbrella organisation to impact change in policy nationwide.

These lists do not include every think tank or national organisation operating in Ireland, but are a starting point for organisations looking to become involved on a national level and engage in campaigning and lobbying in Ireland.


Think Tanks:

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) – a research institute which focuses on understanding economic and social change that affect Ireland. Their findings aim to influence policy-making and civil society developments in Ireland.


European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) – an independent research body which provides analyses and publications on topics affecting the policies of European Parliament and its parliamentary committees. Publication topics include economic and social policies, EU financing, and structural and cohesion policies. A section of their website is focused on current EU legislation.


The Institute of International & European Affairs (IIEA) – non-profit organisation which does extensive research to analyse and publish forecasts of the developing challenges of the global and EU policy agendas which impact Ireland. The IIEA also holds forums and meetings in Ireland which bring together the leaders in the field for these issues.


National Suicide Research Foundation – The NSRF is an independent organisation which performs research on the causes of suicide and self-harm in Ireland. Its publication aims are to contribute to the knowledge base for building strategies and policy development working toward suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.


Public Policy.ie – an independent organisation which conducts research on important public policy issues in Ireland. Their research and publications focus on fiscal policy, income distribution, health & pension reform, local government and water policy.


Social Justice Ireland – an independent think tank which focuses on bringing about social justice in public policy in Ireland. Their main focuses are on issues related to poverty, inequality, social exclusion, sustainability and the environment.


Think tank for Action on Social Change (TASC) – an independent progressive think tank whose analyses focus is on economic equality and democratic accountability.



National Infrastructure Organisations:


Equality & Social Inclusion:

Focus Ireland – a national organisation which focuses on giving support to families who are close to becoming homeless as well as giving support to those have become homeless to help them get back on their feet. Focus Ireland also works on advocacy to influence public policy to support the issues of homelessness in Ireland.


The Irish Feminist Network – a members-based organisation whose aim is to promote gender equality in Ireland. The network focuses on policy and research, outreach and events, and campaigns and advocacy. Click here for the Irish Feminist Network Policy Brief on Women’s Political Representation in Ireland.


National Women’s Council of Ireland – a national women’s membership organisation working toward equality between men and women. Welcoming both member groups and individual members, the organisation has been in operation since 1973 and advocates for issues such as women in leadership roles, women’s right to health, valuing care & care work, women’s economic independence, reaching out to young people, and building the women’s movement.


Women’s Aid – a leading national organisation working in Ireland to stop domestic violence against women in children. Operating since 1974, the organisation offer support to women affected by abuse and work toward justice and social change on the issues of the safety of women and children. Click here for a link to their leaflet on campaigning successfully for women’s groups in Ireland.


Volunteer Ireland – the national volunteer development agency in Ireland which focuses on promoting volunteering and volunteer information services, as well as training and support for charities and non-profits. This organisation also supports corporations interested in volunteer work and offer volunteer management services for large-scale events and festivals.


The Wheel – an organisation which seeks to support and advocate for the voluntary and non-profit sector in Ireland. They offer resources for groups to access training and funding as well as campaigning for policy that encourages the development and sustainability of the voluntary and non-profit sector. Their main policy issues focus on advocating for the sector in harsh economic times, and encouraging policy on active citizenship and promoting volunteering.


Rural Development, Agriculture & Conservation:

Countryside Alliance Ireland – an organisation which campaigns for the interests and rights of rural communities both locally and nationally. Their key issues are focused on hunting, shooting, angling and the environment.


Environmental Pillar – organisation comprised of 29 national environmental NGOs whose aim is to work together to represent the Irish environmental sector in the making of public policy. The organisation’s focus is on sustainable social, environmental and economic development and acts as a point of contact for the government and other partners to engage with the environmental sector on policy matters.


The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) – Ireland’s largest national animal welfare charity representing 29 affiliated members. Its work focuses on preventing cruelty to animals of all breeds and to promote animal welfare.



The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) – a national child protection charity which works with children and families and government to keep children safe. Their aim is to keep child protection a priority for everyone and see themselves as speaking on behalf of the children of Ireland in campaigns and lobbying to the government on important issues.


Youth Work Ireland – an organisation comprised of 22 local youth groups around Ireland which promotes advocacy for youth issues to the Irish government and also supports its member organisations in delivery of youth services to their communities.



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