The Project

The main goal of Policy Compass is to develop a research prototype of an easy-to-use, highly visual and intuitive tool for social networks and eParticipation platforms, enabling citizens and public officials to easily create, apply, share, embed, annotate and discuss causal models, charts and graphs of historical data from trusted open data sources. The aim is to develop methods and tools that facilitate more factual, evidence-based, transparent and accountable policy evaluation and analysis.

Project Overview

The research question the Policy Compass project will address is whether and how open public data, social media, eParticipation platforms, fuzzy cognitive maps and argumentation technology can be integrated and applied to provide better tools on the World Wide Web for constructing, sharing, visualising and debating progress metrics and causal models of policies.

The aim is to provide easy-to-use tools for both the lay public, on social networks, as well as professional policy makers, to improve the quality and transparency of the policy analysis and monitoring phases of the policy life-cycle.

Policy Compass will make use of Europe’s increasing amount of public sector open and structured data resources to develop and integrate tools for:

  • Constructing prosperity and other policy metrics with an easy-to-use visual language for defining variables and functions over open data sources.
  • Providing graphs and charts visualising metrics for selected geographical regions (e.g. cities or countries) and time periods.
  • Annotating graphs and charts with political or policy events, such as the election of a new government or reduction of the tax rate.
  • Offering to policy makers and the general public causal models with an easy-to-use visual tool for Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCM).
  • Sharing and debating prosperity graphs and FCM causal models via widgets for popular social media platforms.
  • Summarising and visualising the debates in argument maps and conducting structured surveys about the policy issues, applying results from the European IMPACT governance and policy-modelling project.
  • Aggregating opinions on policy issues, to formulate a common position in a party or interest group, using delegated voting via the eParticipation platform Adhocracy.

By integrating these tools into an easy-to-use system, Policy Compass will make better use of Europe’s open public data resources and empower policy-makers and citizens (especially the younger generation) to better assess government policies in the policy analysis and monitoring phases of the policy cycle.

Technical Approach

Policy Compass will be realised as an online Web platform integrating the tools developed in the project.

Policy Compass Architecture-v1

Policy Compass High Level Architecture

The platform will provide an open API for integrating its data store and services into external platforms, and widgets for integrating its users’ interfaces into selected eParticipation platforms and social networks.

Project’s Results Piloting

The consortium will validate the Policy Compass results and developments through the operation of real case pilot scenarios on both regional (St. Petersburg through partner ITMO) and local level (Cambridgeshire through partner CCC).

Expected Impact

Policy Compass will simplify the way to utilize, interact, mash-up, visualise and interpret the increasing amount of international open economic data and wealth indicators from reliable international data sources. By doing so, Policy Compass will raise and objectify the European public discourse on how to measure growth in the economy and society, on how to develop holistic prosperity and progress indexes and explore the opportunities and limits of growth, resource consumption and technological progress.

The project aims also to facilitate more objective, evidence-based and transparent policy deliberations.