Five Key Objectives
These five themes of the strategic framework are the cornerstones of the strategy and how we hope to clarify and achieve the vision set by the Programme for Government. They are:
Our society remains heavily dependent upon fossil fuels and Northern Ireland is, unfortunately, lagging behind other UK regions in the reduction of our carbon emissions. Strong progress has been made in many areas of sustainability and clean energy production. However, if we are to meet the goals outlined in the proposed Northern Ireland Climate Change Act and The Executive’s Green Growth Strategy, we must plan for change across every sector of our economy (such as transport, energy, housing, agriculture and land use).
Strong, efficient and effective public services are essential to deliver our ambitions for the region, to support our economy and to meet the expectations of the people who live here.
Efficient transport networks, modern schools and healthcare facilities, social and intermediate housing, digital connectivity, accessible court facilities and good community infrastructure, all underpin a fair and prosperous society for all.
Our towns and villages are the fabric of our communities and our way of life. They provide a focal point for employment, leisure and the services on which many of us depend. They also provide a sense of identity, security and are a core element of how we define ‘home.’ Unfortunately, many of our towns and villages have experienced some decline in recent years and significant intervention will be required to help them regain and then retain their vibrancy, purpose and sense of place.
Northern Ireland has many internationally successful indigenous companies and we are recognised world leaders in several specialist areas of the tech sector, advanced manufacturing, agri-food and the creative industries. However, our economy has also been characterised by long-term structural weaknesses and inequalities such as poor connectivity, low productivity, relatively low wages and high rates of economic inactivity and low levels of investment in research, development and innovation. To strengthen Northern Ireland, we need to improve our digital and physical connectivity, internationally, nationally and locally.
Our region benefits from a strong communications infrastructure base and is comparatively ahead of many of our neighbouring nations when it comes to digital connectivity. However, technology continues to develop and change and the pace of that change is accelerating. Too much of our public sector is still reliant on paper-based or ageing IT systems that are often fragmented and difficult to use. We believe the opportunity presented by new and emerging technologies can make our region fairer, safer, more innovative, more productive and better connected.