30 Nov

Policy Compass at eChallenges e2015!

eChallenges e-2015 (hosted in Vilnius, Lithuania) attracted participation from senior representatives of leading government, industry and research organisations around the world.

The goals of eChallenges e-2015 were to promote ICT Entrepreneurship and Innovation, facilitate Information Society and Applied ICT related knowledge sharing between government, industry and research stakeholders, raise awareness of the current state of eAdoption in developing countries, stimulate rapid take-up of RTD results by the public and private sectors, and identify opportunities for ICT related research and innovation collaboration under Horizon 2020.

DSSLab NTUA, partners in the Policy Compass project, attended many sessions and presented a scientific paper titled “Lessons Learnt from the Use of Prosperity Indicators in Policy Making: Towards Community-Generated Indicators“.

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The respective presentation can be found here.

04 Sep

Policy Compass at EGOV / ePart 2015!

The annual international IFIP EGOV conference is the top-2 ranked core conference in the domain of ICT in the public sector and the public sphere. Each year, scholars from all over the globe present the most recent advancements and findings of research and innovations in e-Government, e-Governance and related fields of study.

The annual international ePart conference is the top-ranked conference in the domain of electronic participation and the 5th-ranked overall conference dedicated to information technologies in the context of public administration and the public sphere.

DSSLab NTUA and Brunel University, partners in the Policy Compass project, presented a scientific paper titled “Policy Compass: FCM-based Policy Impact Evaluation using Public Open Data“.

The respective presentation can be found here.

14 Jul

Policy Compass Workshop in the EGOV 2015 and ePart 2015 Conference!

Policy Compass, along with other Global Systems Science projects, organised a Workshop in the context of the dual EGOV / ePart 2015 conference, titled “Enabling Effective Policy Making – Coupling the Power of the Data with the Wisdom of the Crowd”. The main purpose of the Workshop was to disseminate the project’s platform and up to date results to all participating stakeholders, as well as stimulate discussion on all participating projects.

More than 20 participants with various backgrounds (i.e. researchers, practitioners, policy makers etc.) participated in the workshop, contributing to a live and interesting discussion.

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NTUA DSSLab, partners of Policy Compass, gave a presentation (supported by a corresponding workshop paper) titled “Policy Compass project – Open Data Driven Policy Analysis and Impact Evaluation”.

12 Jun

Policy Compass 5th Plenary Meeting @ Cambridge, UK

The 5th Plenary Meeting of the Policy Compass consortium, accompanied by a two-days technical one, was hosted by the Cambridgeshire County Council in Cambridge, UK between the 9th and 11th of June, 2015.

The participants had fruitful exchange of ideas on the upcoming milestones regarding the project’s platform, as well as on the plans for the Policy Compass pilots’ operation.

Past and future dissemination activities, as well as the project’s exploitation plan,  were also discussed.

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For future news and insights, stay tuned on our website and the project’s social media!

11 Jun

Policy Compass at EMCIS 2015!

The European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems (EMCIS) is an annual research event addressing the IS discipline with regional as well as global perspective. EMCIS 2015, held in Athens, Greece, brought together researchers from around the world in a friendly atmosphere promoting free exchange of innovative ideas.

Policy Compass, represented by Brunel University and DSSLab NTUA, organised a workshop in the context of EMCIS 2015. A demo of the (under development) Policy Compass platform was showcased to participants, followed by active discussions and exchange of ideas and opinions.

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In addition, both Brunel University and DSSLab NTUA presented scientific papers relevant to the Policy Compass developments and findings titled:

  • Navigation in Politics – Fuzzy Cognitive Map and Argumentation Approach for Policy  modeling and Analytics” and
  • Policy Impact Evaluation through Prosperity Metrics and Open Data Sources” respectively.
10 Jun

Policy Compass at 4th International Symposium on Operational Research!

The 4th International Symposium and 26th National Conference on Operational Research was held in Chania, Greece between 4th and 6th of June 2015 aiming to disseminate recent scientific advances in operational research and management science (OR/MS) and to promote international co-operation among researchers and practitioners working on OR/MS.

DSSLab NTUA, partners in the Policy Compass project, gave a project-oriented presentation titled “Policy Impact Evaluation Through Prosperity Metrics and Open Data Sources“.

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Participants were engaged in an active discussion on the project’s findings and advancements, as well as for the upcoming milestones and next steps.

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The respective presentation can be found here.

27 Apr

Blog Post #07 – Visualisation in Policy Compass

The increased availability of data has led to a significant evolution in new and impressive ways of visualising and analysing those data sets. There are endless ways of viewing, analysing, interacting with and understanding data. Users are becoming more and more familiar with tools allowing them to interact with data and visualisations.

Visualisations in Policy Compass provide the means to visualise any form of datasets uploaded from open data sources or modified through the use of indexes and metrics within the Policy Compass platform. These visualisations are available in the form of interactive graphs, bar charts, pie charts and maps. The platform provides all the tools needed to create and share interactive visualisations from open data available in Policy Compass and also through data mashups by mixing up different datasets in order to compare performance of different organisations. Visualisations also provide the ability to annotate graphs with the use of historical events from a pool of trusted historical events available in the Policy Compass platform.

The Policy Compass platform allows visualising datasets in the form of line charts, bar carts and pie charts. After the initial release, improvements and new functionalities are added within each subsequent release. The image below shows a visualisation created in Policy Compass with the title “Germany’s Labour Market 2002-2013” which describes the convergence of employment and unemployment in Germany between 2002 and 2013. Policies that affected the labour market are presumed to be part of the Hartz reforms.

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The above visualisation is annotated by three historical events which describe the effect of those events/policies on the data representing the employment and unemployment in Germany. The details below show the information of those historical events which are reflected with the corresponding colour on the above graph.

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In the second version of the platform which is expected by June 2015, the following important functionalities will be available:

  • An option will be added below the graph which will allow the visualisation of the same graph in the form of % by setting the initial point of the graph to 0. This will permit the visualisation of the increase or decrease of data over time having as the same point of initial reference.
  • Recommendations will be available when annotating graphs with historical events. When initiating the wizard and before one searches for relevant historical events, they will be presented with recommendations based on the date clicked on the graph, the datasets used, etc.
  • Visualise data over maps since the platform will support the storage of location data. Data will be represented on top of the corresponding locations on a world map with bubbles, maintaining the same colours as in the rest of visualisations for consistency. The size of the bubble will represent the data itself. A time slider will be available to show how data changes over time. An example is shown below.

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30 Mar

CfP: “Enabling Effective Policy Making – Coupling the Power of the Data with the Wisdom of the Crowd”

You are cordially invited to participate to the Workshop entitled “Enabling Effective Policy
Making – Coupling the Power of the Data with the Wisdom of the Crowd“.

The workshop will be held in conjunction with the eGov/ePart 2015 Conference. eGov is established as the major European event addressing eGovernment Research with the sponsorship of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP).

The purpose of this workshop is to present and discuss the up-to-date methodologies and findings of five of the projects constituting members of the Global Systems Science (GSS) cluster and promote active dialogue among the participants.

Important Dates

  • Deadline for the submission of papers: 01 June 2015
  • Notification of acceptance: 15 June 2015
  • Camera-ready paper submission: 15 August 2015
  • Workshop: 31 August 2015

Papers Submission Guidelines

  • Papers must be in English and describe original work.
  • Papers should not exceed 12 pages in total.
  • Papers will be peer-reviewed.
  • Authors should submit their contributions by email to the Workshop Organisers via email, sending their contribution to the following addresses askous_@_epu.ntua.gr and skous_@_epu.ntua.gr

Workshop Programme Committee

  • Prof. D. Askounis (National Technical University of Athens)
  • Prof. H. Lee (Brunel University)
  • Dr. Y. Glikman (Fraunhofer FOKUS)
  • Prof. J. Psarras (National Technical University of Athens)
  • Assoc. Prof. C. Koutras (University of Peloponnese)
  • Dr. S. Koussouris (National Technical University of Athens)
  • Dr. S. Mouzakitis (National Technical University of Athens)
  • Dr. F. Lampathaki (National Technical University of Athens)

For more details, please find the relevant CfP here.

02 Mar

Blog Post #06 – Policy Compass in the Leningrad Region

The Leningrad Region of the Russian Federation is one of two field trials for the Policy Compass project. The region’s Administration joined the project as an associate partner together with the e-Governance Center of the ITMO University – the only Russian project partners. The Leningrad region was chosen because of its strong interest and commitment to the project’s goals, as well as its long standing and successful co-operation with the ITMO University in the area of e-Government and Information Society development.

The focus of the aforementioned trial is the implementation of the Regional program “Development of the Information Society in Leningrad region in 2014-2018” which is the successor of a series of federal and regional programs devoted to the promotion of e-governance in various fields of public administration in the region in 2002-2013. The recognition of the importance of these programs for both the economy and society of the region is reflected in the level of interest and high importance given to this topic. There is a real need for harmonization of program goals, activities and indicators with the urgent and long-term interests of citizens and businesses. Among the decisive factors to include the Leningrad region as a pilot in the project were the presence of a rich history of related normative documents as well as precise socio-economic data. which reflected the result and impacts of previous projects.

Despite the fact that in recent years a lot of Internet-based instruments for bilateral G2G, G2B and G2C interaction tools, and jointly-used IT systems and data warehouses have been implemented, their effective use has evolved slowly and their impacts are still insignificant.

Until recently, the lack of available information about the results, and user-friendly tools for analyzing and forecasting the results of such Regional programs led to a loss of public interest in them. Under these circumstances, the Administration prefered the use of “comfortable” indicators that helped the preparation of positive reports; however, little actual benefit was brought to local citizens and business.

With the rapid development of open data and state-of-the-art tools to work with, this situation changed radically and the Policy Compass methodology and tools will help overcome problems such as:

  • The sometimes passive nature of citizens’engagement with policics and policy making due the lack of open socio-economic data and tools to analyze it;
  • Lack of civil servants motivation to meet the real needs of local citizens and business;
  • Lack of analytical support for policy-making processes.

Policy Compass offers the Leningrad Region’s citizens and policy-makers a novel and user friendly platform for analyzing various factual indicators and the ability to compare them against the planned ones both in their region, as well as in other regions within the Russian Federation and around the world.

The Committee on Information and Telecommunications Administration of the Leningrad Region is the most interested and involved department in the trial structure. In the context of the pilot implementation, the Committee with the support of the e-Governance Center, will offer metrics and data sets, propose schemes of their interrelations in the form of fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs) and try to use the Policy Compass tools to visualize, analyze, explain and improve expected outcomes of the previously mentioned Regional program.

To begin with, the simplified model will be used to analyze the relationship among aggregate indicators such as quality of life, quality of public services and functions, performance measures for the development of the information society etc. Furthermore, the gradually improved and wider set of tools for open government data analysis, results’ visualization and their collective discussion will provide appropriate conditions to involve a critical mass of citizens and policy makers in the processes of the open policy development. This should have a positive impact on the Program’s goals setting and prioritization, formation of optimal project portfolio and the selection of appropriate performance indicators. As a consequence, a radical increase in efficiency and effectiveness of the implementation of Regional programs and projects, as well as improving quality of life in the region are expected.

17 Feb

Policy Compass 3rd Plenary Meeting @ Fraunhofer FOKUS, Germany

The 3rd Plenary Meeting of the Policy Compass consortium, accompanied by a two-days technical one, took place in the Fraunhofer FOKUS premises in Berlin, Germany between the 9th and 11th of February, 2015.

The desirable advancements from the technological point of view, as well as the up to date achievements were mainly discussed. Fruitful discussions on the project’s publications and dissemination activities were also realised.

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