FUPOL - Intelligent Tools for Policy Design (FUPOL)

Published on: 17/11/2011

FUPOL aims at a completely new approach to traditional politics. Major innovations like multi-channel social computing and crowd sourcing will change the way politicians communicate with citizens and enterprises and take decisions. The system will be able to automatically collect, analyse and interpret opinions expressed on a large scale from the Internet. This will enable governments to gain a better understanding of the needs of citizens. Likewise the software will have the capabilities to simulate the effects of policies and laws and to assist governments in the whole policy design process.

Policy Context

FUPOL will operate in the 7th Framework Programme of the EC. The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) bundles all research-related EU initiatives together under a common roof playing a crucial role in reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment; along with a new Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), Education and Training programmes, and Structural and Cohesion Funds for regional convergence and competitiveness. It is also a key pillar for the European Research Area (ERA).

Description of target users and groups

Target users in the context of the first step are local administrations, but the tools to be designed will be suitable for every level of policy design.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The management structure and procedures follow the internationally accepted PRINCE2 and P3O standard methodology to manage large scale projects.
PRINCE2 is a structured approach to project management. It provides a method for managing projects within a clearly defined framework. PRINCE2 describes procedures to coordinate people and activities in a project, how to design and supervise the project, and what to do if the project has to be adjusted if it doesn't develop as planned.

In this method each process is specified with its key inputs and outputs and with specific goals and activities to be carried out, which gives an automatic control of any deviations from the plan. Divided into manageable stages, the method enables an efficient control of resources. On the basis of close monitoring the project can be carried out in a controlled and organised way. Being a structured method widely recognised and understood PRINCE2 provides a common language for all participants in the FUPOL project.

P3O stands for Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices and brings together in one place a set of principles, processes and techniques to facilitate effective portfolio, programme and project management through enablement, challenge and support structures. These structures also bridge the gap between the strategy/policy makers and delivery.

Technology solution

The approach will build on the existing know -how in the consortium on integrated Web 2.0/Web 3.0 collaborative tools, policy simulation tools with scenario generation and visualisation. It will address issues related to the integration of the different components through advanced technical solutions and demonstrate an integrated ICT solution with a collaborative environment for policy modeling to generate different formal scenarios through simulations and scenario-based futures development.

The project will use the opportunity for innovation provided by new Web 2.0/3.0 applications, especially in areas where gathering, using and interacting with citizens' input creates a value added in terms of enhanced democratic processes, policy and regulatory development and increased quality of service delivery.

Technology choice: Standards-based technology, Mainly (or only) open standards, Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

The FUPOL project will generate a lot of benefits for governments, citizens and businesses alike:

  • politicians can get a better understanding of the needs of citizen and businesses; direct, better feedback from all political stakeholders through  multichannel social network based communication between politicians and citizens;
  • improved prediction of impacts of policy measures leading to more efficient implementation of government policies
  • better decisions through forecasting of the potential impact of political decisions increased engagement of citizens and wider use of ICT tools resulting in higher potential of innovation concerning interaction of citizens with the government.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

1. How multi-channel tools can be used for communication with the citizens.

2. How Information gathered from  social networks can be incorporated into policy design.

3. How the design-circle (policy introduction, feedback by citizens, adoption of policy, feedback...) influences citizen satisfaction.

Scope: Local (city or municipality)