Roadmap on Future ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling (CROSSROAD)

Published on: 26/08/2010
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In order to support governments in designing policies, promising ICT tools are becoming available on the market. However, such tools are not widely adopted, and research is fragmented between academic fields, application areas and approaches to innovation.

The CROSSROAD project (www.crossroad-eu.net), an SSA funded by the European Commission (FP7-ICT-2009-4), aims to deliver a Research Roadmap on ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling, which will seek support by the contribution of the results deriving from other FP7 projects in this domain and by the involvement of the research community. Lasting the whole of 2010, CROSSROAD will create a shared vision to support policy and research in this domain.

The idea for CROSSROAD stems from the need for governments to regulate an increasingly interdependent and unpredictable world. As the current financial crisis has shown, future scenarios are likely to provide greater complexity, while citizens are becoming more vocal in monitoring and influencing policy decision.

Policy Context

During the last few years, ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling has been initiated by the European Commission in order to consolidate and advance research in a new, yet multi-disciplinary and fragmented domain. The objective and tasks of EU-funded programmes are derived from the global tendencies and needs of sustainable socio-economic development.

The idea for CROSSROAD stems from the need for governments to regulate an increasingly interdependent and unpredictable world. As the current financial crisis has shown, future scenarios are likely to provide greater complexity, while citizens are becoming more vocal in monitoring and influencing policy decision.

Description of target users and groups

The project is working already with the Validation Community, where representatives of all users groups are present:

  • Academic experts in fields related to Research on ICT for Governance Policy Modelling and experts with multidisciplinary profiles.
  • Industry experts, technology suppliers and users
  • Institutional stakeholders (international organisations)
  • Governmental Stakeholders: Governments and governmental bodies, Government Executives and external government consultants.
  • Members of web-based projects on collaborative governance (bottom-up). This grid includes various FP6/FP7 projects, National projects, like eGovernment projects, ICT projects, CIP projects, eParticipation projects.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The project approach is to identify and characterise the key research challenges appearing in the field of ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling in Europe and around the world in 2020 and beyond.

A review of the current State-of-the-Art (Deliverable 1.2) provides a detailed and clearly structured overview of existing ICT used for Governance and Policy modelling.

The  taxonomy, which now consists of 5 Research Themes (RTs) as broad thematic categories that contain and classify a number of research areas at lower levels, has been discussed and validated by the Experts Scientific Committee that closely follows CROSSROAD advancements, as well as by relevant EU-funded projects in this domain. In particular, the CROSSROAD Research Areas taxonomy brings together 17 Research Areas that contain more than 80 Research Sub-Areas.

Visionary Scenarios Design (Deliverable 2.1) in ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling has been developed that shows greater complexity and citizens' involvement in order to achieve the target of the better, participative, evidence-based and timely governance.

Subsequently, a Gap Analysis will assess the differences between today and possible future scenarios in the field of ICT for Governance and Policy modelling. On this basis, a detailed research roadmap for the transformation process will be developed.

The process of the roadmapping will be supported by online consultations, available from the project website: www.crossroad-eu.net.

The research work of 5 project partners is consensus-driven and based on collaboration with a wide Validation Community.

After the very fruitful State of Play & Visionary Scenarios Design Validation Workshop in Seville, IPTS on April 29-30, the next step of the Validation and consultation process was in July 6-8, during the Samos Summit on ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling, http://samos-summit.blogspot.com. Before the Large Validation Workshop in Brussels to be held at the ICT 2010 during the networking session, the research dissemination workshop is organised at the IFIP eGov 2010 Conference in August in Lausanne.

The CROSSROAD approach combines the method of technology roadmapping (TRM) with scenario-building techniques, starting from a main societal challenge, it looks beyond technology development to scientific research and socio-economic factors.

Main results, benefits and impacts

As it is mentioned above, the research work is consensus-driven and based on collaboration with a wide Validation Community, mostly using the Linkedin platform.

The impact of such projects, which are dealing with a very innovative topic, cannot be measured directly.

On the other hand, CROSSROAD has the key role in the establishment and structuring of the new research field of ICT for Governance and Policy Modlling, the evidence of which being confirmed at the first Summit on ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling at Samos, http://samos-summit.blogspot.com

There are already several deliverables, mentioned above, available to the general public from the project website, www.crossroad-eu.net.

The project is still ongoing, and the next steps planned before the end of the year 2010 are:

  • First draft of the Roadmap publication
  • Web-based Roadmap Consultation and Large Expert Workshop assessing the originality and nature of the identified research challenges
  • Final Roadmap publication
  • Policy recommendations towards stakeholders publication

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

Although the project is still running, we may share our initial experiences, related to the setting up of a community for the rather new research domain of ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling.

1. There is a lack of a common platform for regular meetings of experts from different research disciplines, related to such multidisciplinary fields as ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling.

2. The role of the social media in this situation may be significant at the beginning of shaping of the thematic community.

The project will be able to suggest more specific domain-related lessons learned after the presentation of the draft Roadmap to the public before the end of 2010.

Scope: International