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IPM - Interactive Policy Making: online surveys, questionnaires

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IPM is a multilingual online questionnaire management system that handles all steps involved in a survey life cycle: design, test, translation, launch, collection of replies, and analysis of results. It is available for free as Open Source Software to administrations, businesses and citizens within the European Union.

The objective of the Interactive Policy Making (IPM) initiative is to use modern technologies, particularly the Internet, to allow both Member State administrations and EU institutions to understand the needs of citizens and enterprises better. It is intended to assist policy development by allowing more rapid and targeted responses to emerging issues and problems, improving the assessment of the impact of policies (or the absence of them) and providing greater accountability to citizens. This system has been put in place to facilitate the stakeholders' consultation process by the use of easy-to-use and straightforward online questionnaires, making it easier both for respondents to participate and for policy makers to analyse the results.

Policy context

In April 2001, the European Commission adopted a Communication on Interactive Policy-Making (IPM - C (2001)1014), the aim of which was to improve governance by using the internet to collect and analyse reactions from citizens and enterprises across the European Union.

Description of target users and groups

IPM has been developed to give voice to the opinions of citizens and enterprises about new policy initiatives and to help the EU institutions to enhance the impact assessment of existing legislation.

Since 2005, IPM has been distributed free of charge to several Member State administrations.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

IPM is financed by the ISA Programme (formerly IDABC). The Directorate-General for Informatics of the European Commission is responsible for coordinating the development and the user community.

The objective of the IPM OSS release is to make it an attractive tool for administrations, businesses or private associations that need to conduct surveys in their fields of activity.

Technology solution

IPM is a customisable open-source, web-based application (online survey management system). Moreover, in the spirit of other OSS projects, IPM invites its users to play an active part in its developer's community.

Main results, benefits and impacts

This initiative is used by the European Commission to evaluate existing EU policies and to facilitate open consultations on new initiatives.

IPM can serve various purposes:

  • public consultations over the web
  • targeted or restricted stakeholder consultations
  • panel surveys (see European Business Test Panel at, a joint project between the European Commission and Member States aimed at evaluating the impact of new legislative proposals on business)
  • satisfaction surveys (e.g. staff surveys)
  • event and conference registrations


Track record of sharing

The IPM Open Source Software version is offered free of charge through the EUPL (European Union Public Licence) to public administrations, businesses and citizens of the European Union.

To download the OSS version and consult relative information, please have a look at the IPM page on Joinup.

Lessons learnt

  • Lesson 1 - Need to complement legal measures with ad hoc support team
  • Lesson 2 - Difficult to reach all possible target audience
  • Lesson 3 - Dissemination activities to be reinforced


Case Info

Start date:
31 December 2000
Operational date:
31 October 2001


Target Users or Group:
Administrative, Business (industry), Business (self-employed), Business (SME), Citizen
Benchlearning Community, eGovernment, eGovMoNet [eGovernment Monitor Network], ePractice, eProcurement Forum, IT-Governance, Meet Share Learn, National Interoperability Framework Observatory, Procurement, IT & Standards (PITS), Telemedicine & Chronic Disease Management, TEST Community, TestJavierFuentes
Case status:
Funding source:
Public funding EU
Geographic coverage:
EU Institutions
Implementation cost:
consultation, questionnaire, survey
My languages:
Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish
eGovernment, Open Source, Policy, Services for Businesses, Services for Citizens
Type of service:
IT Infrastructures and products
Type of initiative:
Network, Project or service
Return on investment:
Not applicable / Not available
Technology choice:
Open source software
Overall implementation approach:
Public administration
Yearly cost: