The CROSSROAD project announced on 20 September 2010 significant new steps towards the creation of Europe's first comprehensive research Roadmap of Future Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Governance and Policy Modelling, following a major international workshop at the Annual International International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) eGovernment conference in Lausanne, Switzerland on 30 August 2010.
CROSSROAD is a European Commission FP7 Support Action that aims to identify and characterise the key research challenges appearing in the field of ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling in Europe and around the world.
Prior to the Lausanne workshop, entitled 'ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling: The Research Landscape', the project identified and validated four Grand Research Challenges as part of its wider strategic planning approach to road mapping:
- Model-based collaborative governance, reflecting the future overcoming of today's micro-level and fragmented policy modelling, while existing econometric models are unable to account for human behaviour and unexpected events;
- Data-powered behavioural change, demanding tools that allow for progressive form of citizen engagement, permitting to engage citizens who are already interested in the policy making as well as those who are not and to deal with the information overload;
- Government Service Utility, reflecting the future of government services, co-delivered, tailor-made and citizen-centric;
- Scientific base of ICT-assisted governance, concentrating on the scientific base of the research field and calling for the collaborative effort of all the stakeholders to deliver a paradigm shift.
At the workshop, CROSSROAD gathered more than 50 experts representing academia, public administration and industry from around the world to assess the originality and nature of the four Grand Research Challenges and to launch the first pan-European online consultation process to rate these challenges. Discussions during the workshop emphasised that ICT-enabled governance will have to pursue the four Grand Challenges in a broader, multidisciplinary context in order to contribute towards the achievement of ambitious societal goals, such as:
- The inclusion of all groups of society, especially the elderly, disabled, socially and economically disadvantaged;
- The participation, involvement and collaboration of all citizens, with the proper role and responsibilities;
- The establishment of an open, transparent governance as a mean to support societal change to the better;
- The promotion of sustainable growth and development, as a transparent, collaborative effort between the public and the private sector;
- The adoption of personal quality of life as a key factor for social cohesion and prosperity;
- The further promotion of democratic processes and trust among social groups, supported by ICT.
Results from a questionnaire filled in by the experts at Lausanne demonstrate strong and growing consensus about the importance of using ICT to involve citizens in the creation and delivery of government services (highlighted as Priority 1), along with the need to overcome fragmented policy modelling (highlighted as Priority 2). The multi-disciplinary aspects of the scientific effort required were stressed, especially for seven neighbouring scientific domains: public administration management, human resources, law, sociology, software engineering, complexity theory and logics.
The consolidated results of this comprehensive validation exercise will be announced at the ICT 2010 Digitally Driven Conference in Brussels (27-29 September 2010), at the Networking Session on the Research Roadmap on ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling on 27 September 2010, where the Future Research Roadmap will be presented.