Recommendation 17

Recommendation 17: Introduce integrated governance of location information processes at all levels of government, bringing together different governmental and non-governmental actors around a common goal

Implementation guidance Related information



  • The use and integration of location information in public sector processes requires the participation and cooperation of many different actors: not only governments at different levels and/or in different areas, but also private companies, non-profit and academic organisations and citizens can contribute to the integration of location information in certain processes, with the aim of providing more effective, transparent and participative digital public services integrated with the wider community.
  • Finding a common goal is all about creating a situation in which all parties could benefit. Having a common goal also improves the long-term stability and sustainability of the cooperation.
  • Governance needs to be aligned to the types of decisions taken, e.g. strategic, programme, financial, technical.




Stakeholder participation

  • Recognise the potential contribution of different types of actors, and optimally make use of the competences, knowledge and experiences of different partners.
  • The involvement of many different partners requires an approach to create and maintain effective partnerships between these partners.
  • Governance needs to take account of the voice of users of the outputs of the location activities, e.g. businesses, citizens, academic bodies, research institutions. This can be done through a number of means, including communications events, consultations, and including “users” in the formal governance arrangements through the establishment of a User Group, Business Forum etc.
  • Encourage online participation in decision making on place-based matters, for example in city planning decisions. Barcelona provides a good case study and involves the use of the Decidim open-source participation platform.

Goal orientation

  • The key to success is to bring together and unify different parties around a common goal or problem to be solved. In some cases, the basis for cooperation might be a legal obligation or a political decision. Also, the need to provide better or even new services to citizens and other actors might be a good incentive to collaborate.
  • Integrating the use of location information effectively in digital public services is a long-term continuous process that needs constant attention and occasional renewal.
  • INSPIRE and open data policies have been used as drivers for integration. However, the legislative and political obligations of these policies should not be seen as goals in their own right but rather as an opportunity to gain political and financial support to improve service delivery or decision making.
  • Once consensus has been established amongst the different actors, a more project management-oriented approach can be followed, determining well-defined goals that will be realised through an agreed sequence of activities. An important instrument within such a project management approach is the instalment of a small but efficient project task force with representatives from the different parties. In many of the EULF Best Practices such a task force or coordination group was established.

Fit-for-purpose governance and decision making

  • Over time, public administrations should adopt a flexible approach for governing the relationships and dependencies between different actors, drawing on a combination of different governance mechanisms as appropriate. Initially, more network-oriented forms of governance may be appropriate. When private actors are involved, more market-oriented forms of governance will be appropriate to manage the relationships with them. More hierarchal forms of governance, with agreed roles and responsibilities of different actors may be needed to formalise and guarantee over the long term the commonly agreed principles and decisions.
  • The type of governance often depends on how money is approved and flows and whether the governance is operating at the policy level, the programme level or both. If the governance body is managing a budget, decisions will naturally be focused on where and how that money is spent and whether investments are delivering what was intended. Strategic or policy decision making will operate at a different level but should also take account of the implementation feasibility and impact of decisions that have been taken.
  • Specialist governance groups may need to be established for particular aspects of the ‘location infrastructure’, either as location-specific groups or as part of wider ICT-related governance. Examples include groups on data standards, data specifications and metadata, groups to manage persistent identifiers, linked data governance etc.
  • Establish an independent chair and independent quality assurance for key location governance bodies to ensure interests are balanced and the group performs effectively
  • An example of integrated governance of data management is the development of an API programme reaching across both location data and digital public service data communities. In this case, merging governance of digital public service data and geospatial data is needed. This can be complemented with the use of common platforms catering for both ecosystems (i.e.: merging INSPIRE portals with Open Data Portals). Multichannel citizen engagement, cross-agency digital government and emerging IoT requirements are driving new demands for government data (including geospatial data) and services. A proactive API programme can support these demands and promote innovative delivery of government services. Such a programme includes:
    • Reframing the perspective on APIs among IT leadership. Move APIs from the technical domain to the realm of strategic digital government enabler as part of the development of a digital government platform.
    • Implementing a proactive API programme focused on progressively unlocking both the services and data available within current and legacy applications for integrating with internal and external systems.
    • Promoting APIs as a vital digital government asset. Identify opportunities to deliver innovative solutions that utilise internal and external APIs.
  • Align initiatives related to Smart Spaces from central and local governments as well as delivery partners in the private sector to take a place-based approach to smart cities and connected infrastructure and services and realise the value of Smart Spaces and interconnected systems.



  • Securing the necessary time from key relevant stakeholders in the collective governance, balanced with their other responsibilities
  • Covering all interests in the governance arrangements, including balancing ‘demand’ and ‘supply interests
  • Building governance arrangements based on distributed infrastructures involving many stakeholders entails challenges in overall management and guaranteeing everyone’s commitments
  • Maintaining flexibility in the governance arrangements to cope with the changing status of the work programme
  • Keeping the governance fresh and alive when new ideas and political priorities come to the fore
  • Balancing the long-term strategic focus and the short-term tactical focus


helpBest Practices


Bar chart dark blue 32LIFO Monitoring

The Location Information Framework Observatory (LIFO) monitors the implementation of EULF Blueprint recommendations in European countries. Read about the implementation of Recommendation 17 in the LIFO Country Factsheets or the LIFO European State of Play Report. Explore the results for selected countries at LIFO Interactive Dashboards -  Recommendations.


PuzzleRelated Frameworks: European Interoperability Framework (EIF)

EIF Pillars Recommendations
Underlying Principle 6: User centricity Recommendation 12: Put in place mechanisms to involve users in analysis, design, assessment and further development of European public services.
Interoperability Layer 1: Interoperability Governance Recommendation 20: Ensure holistic governance of interoperability activities across administrative levels and sectors
Interoperability Layer 2: Integrated Public Service Governance Recommendation 25: Ensure interoperability and coordination over time when operating and delivering integrated public services by putting in place the necessary governance structure.
Basic Component 6: External Information Sources and Services Recommendation 45: Where useful and feasible to do so, use external information sources and services while developing European public services.


PuzzleRelated Frameworks: UN-GGIM Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF)

Strategic Pathway 1: Governance and Institutions

Documentation Elements

Implementation Guide


Governance Model


Value Proposition

Institutional Arrangements

Actions Tools
1. Forming the Leadership  
Governing Board APP1.1: Steering Committee Charter
Geospatial Co-ordination Unit(s)  
Specialist Working Groups  
2. Establishing Accountability  
Governance Model

National Institutional Arrangements: Instruments, Principles and Guidelines

National Institutional Arrangements: Compendium of Good Practices

Foundational Guide to National Institutional Arrangements Instruments for Geospatial Information Management (Asia-Pacific)

3. Setting Direction  
Strategic Alignment Study APP1.2: Strategic Alignment Template
Geospatial Information Management Strategy

APP1.3: Guidance for Mission, Vision and Goals Statements

Future trends in geospatial information management: the five to ten year vision (third edition)

4. Creating a Plan of Action  
Change Strategy  
Country-level Action Plan APP1.4: Country-level Action Plan Template
5. Tracking Success  
Monitoring and Evaluation APP1.5: Monitoring and Evaluation Template
Success Indicators APP1.6: Success Indicators Example 
6. Deriving Value  
Value Proposition

FIG1.6: Value Proposition Canvas


Marker Small 2ELISE Resources

Type Resource Date
Study The Role of spatial data infrastructures in the digital government transformation of public administrations: Analysis of governance in different countries 2019
Webinar The Role of Geospatial for Digital Government Transformation 2019
Webinar The Role of Spatial Data Infrastructures for Digital Government Transformation   2019


helpFurther Reading


Version: EULF Blueprint v5 (draft)