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The Europe Roundup: Patterns for Policy-Making 2.0

BY Antonella Napolitano | Saturday, July 16 2011

  • EU | Patterns for policy-making 2.0
    PdF Europe 2010 speaker David Osimo is working on the possible uses of collaborative government. His research results point to three categories that fit the policy cycle: definition, implementation and evaluation.

    In the definition phase, crowdsourcing is useful to identify innovative ideas, and filter them. Tools for discussion are probably the mainstream, but the paradigmatic case are idea-storms, like ideascale.com, very much used by the US government. But also wikis, such as the co-definition of the Expertnet project. Or commenting tools like co-ment.com.
    In the implementation phase, we refer to collaborative project that actually solve problems, either by identifying innovative solutions such as challenge.gov and simpl.co, or by leveraging distributed action such as criticalcity.org, and the collaborative tagging of cultural content in the Finnish case. These cases use largely social networking technologies, which are very useful in nudging action.
    The evaluation phase is probably the most used and popular. In this category I place apps like fixmystreet, for crowdsourcing the feedback over the city, as well as different feedback tools such as patientopinion. But I also place visualisation tools that make sense of open data.

    Osimo goes further, trying to produce a scheme of those new kinds of policy cycles: "The central circle is the policy making cycle. The middle circle are the typical tasks of policy-making related to each phase of the cycle. The external circles are the tools to be used."

    Do you want to help him with your feedback?

  • EU | Should we be able to re-use scientific data?
    The European Commission is asking citizens' opinion on the public consultation and preservation of scientific data.
    Accessing and re-using knowledge is a key objective of the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Innovation Union.
    Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda, said: "The results of publicly funded research should be circulated as widely as possible as a matter of principle. The broad dissemination of knowledge, within the European Research Area and beyond, is a key driver of progress in research and innovation, and thus for jobs and growth in Europe. Our vision is Open Access to scientific information so that all of us benefit as much as possible from investments in science. To accelerate scientific progress, but also for education, for innovation and for other creative re-use. For the same reason we must preserve scientific records for future generations".
    Interested parties are invited to express their views on the following key science policy questions:
    • how scientific articles could become more accessible to researchers and society at large
    • how research data can be made widely available and how it could be re-used
    • how permanent access to digital content can be ensured and what barriers are preventing the preservation of scientific output
  • Austria | Open data in Vienna
    The way to transparency and open government hasn't been easy in Austria: while the European PSI directive from 2003 was implemented into national law in 2005, many public bodies failed to respond to inquiries. The first significant steps of a movement can be traced about a year ago with the start of a national Open Knowledge Foundation group.
    Today the City of Vienna can show some significant work in this direction with the creation of an open data portal.
    As explained by Brigitte Lutz on the Open Knowledge Foundation blog:

    the city shares data for population, economics and science. Relevant data comes from around the areas of statistics, geospatial, transportation and economics. Personal data are not affected. An essential prerequisite for the usability of the records is as open as possible in their machine readable formats.
    The Data Catalog started with more than 30 machine-readable data sets and is continuously expanding. The entries are geo-referencing data, statistics and budget data. The starter pack included for example old material collecting points, kindergartens, hospitals, or short-term parking zones as geo-referenced data as well as a set of population statistics and data on accounts and financial affairs of the city.
    The data is published under a Creative Commons Licence.

    The open data portal includes a forum to communicate with the experts. Monthly sessions of information will be held and livestreamed.
    At the moment the data portal is available only in German.

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