Belfast, Northern Ireland

2013 challenge

In the second half of the 20th century, Belfast, like many other industrial cities, suffered from a declining industrial core and the flight of wealthier residents, which was exacerbated by sectarian conflict. 'Peace walls' or interfaces were erected throughout the city to prevent further violence, but these seams have led to persistent poverty and inequality in skills and opportunity in the borders between neighborhoods. Belfast Chief Executive Peter McNaney and Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir asked IBM for assistance in coordinating interventions and effectively allocating funds to address deprivation and inequality, including £20m of annual funding dedicated to social services that the City will control in April 2015, which was previously allocated at the central government level. The IBM team's recommendations provided Belfast with a roadmap to identify data sources and define data standards, establish a common framework for evaluating the impact of interventions, and build a model for directing funds to the most effective programs.

City Leader

Peter McNaney

Chief Executive, Belfast City Council (through June 2014)

Team Members

  • Sandra Black

    • Director, IBM Global Business Services (GBS) Data Security and Privacy
  • Anne Cunningham

    • Director, IBM Professional Development Centre of Excellence
  • Steven Hunter, Ph.D.

    • IBM Fellow, VP, Chief Technology Officer
  • June Thomson

    • UK and Ireland (UKI) Healthcare Leader
  • Melanie Polkosky, Ph.D.

    • IBM Research, Social Cognitive Psychologist
  • Nick Raponi

    • Cúram Services Business Leader, UK and Ireland