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Policy Compass

Funding body

Seventh Framework Programme and The European Commission

Investigator(s)

Principal investigator: Zahir Irani
Co-investigator: Dr Habin Lee
Co-investigator: Dr Vishanth Weerakkody
 

Project description

The Policy Compass project addresses Objective ICT-2013.5.4 (ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling). The main goal of the project is to develop a research prototype of an easy-to-use, highly visual and intuitive tool for social networks and e-participation platforms, called the Policy Compass, 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. The research question we want to address in the Policy Compass project is whether and how open public data, social media, e-participation 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. The 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.

• Constructing 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.

• Constructing 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, such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

• 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, the 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.