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Policy Management through technologies across the complete data lifecycle on cloud environments.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PolicyCLOUD (Policy Management through technologies across the complete data lifecycle on cloud environments.)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2021-12-31

Governments and policy makers are constantly looking for efficient ways for policy modelling, creation and implementation. During the traditional policy making cycle, which is divided into 5 different stages (a. agenda setting, b. policy formulation, c. decision making, d. policy implementation and e. policy evaluation), data is a valuable tool for allowing policy choices to become more evidence-based and analytical.
Relevant data sets can be obtained from open administrative and government data sets (statistics about populations, economic indicators, education, etc.), data related to social dynamics (e.g. online platforms, social media, crowd-sourcing, internet of things), cloud environments, big data and other data sources. Innovative data-driven approaches for policy making create opportunities for evidence-based policies, modernization of public sectors and assistance of local governance towards enhanced levels of trust.
Analyzing and linking available datasets and new data technologies and approaches, policy makers will be able to deeply understand how public policy and services interact with citizens and therefore to be more citizen-focused, taking account of citizens’ needs, preferences and actual experience of public services.

PolicyCLOUD overall objective is to deliver an integrated cloud-based environment for data-driven policy management. The environment will provide decision making support to public authorities for policy modelling, implementation and simulation through identified populations, as well as for policy enforcement and adaptation.
PolicyCLOUD technologies aim at optimizing policies across sectors by utilizing the analyzed inter-linked datasets and assessing the impact of policies, considering different criteria for population segmentation (i.e. area, regional, local, national), in order to ensure high impact of the proposed policies on targeted groups.

The PolicyCLOUD environment will produce a holistic methodology for policies modelling and management, based on data artefacts, and a toolkit allowing both stakeholders and engaged citizens to create policies by exploiting the PolicyCLOUD models and analytical tools on various datasets and contexts. PolicyCLOUD environment integrates a set of reusable models and tools, ranging from social dynamics and behaviour analysis, to situational knowledge acquisition, opinion mining and sentiment analysis, complemented with tools for data aggregation, linking and cleaning. This toolkit will allow stakeholders to specify the requirements and parameters to be considered during the collection and analysis of different datasets, thus tailoring policy making. Core to the environment will be the interoperability and reusability of the implemented models and analytical tools, that will leverage the data and analytical capacity offered by the cloud, using different datasets in a variety of use cases and scenarios.
In the first two years of the project, important technical, use cases oriented and communication/exploitation results have been achieved.

Technical results:
After the demonstration of the initial prototype, a second version of the specifications of the use case scenarios, datasets, technical requirements and user requirements have been produced, as part of the second iteration of the implementation process. The set of requirements includes an update of the relevant legal/regulatory and ethical/societal concerns requirements.
Updated version of the PolicyCLOUD conceptual model and reference architecture defining PolicyCLOUD five main building blocks (1) The Cloud Based Environment and Data Acquisition, (2) Data Analytics, (3) the Policies Management Framework, (4) the Policy Development Toolkit and (5) The Marketplace.
Second version of the technical design and second version of the software components and prototype.

Use case oriented results:
A complete PolicyCLOUD environment, integrating all the components implemented during the second year of the project and the cloud infrastructure has been delivered. This demonstrator was used in the experimentation sessions with stakeholders.
Definition of the experimentation methodology adopted and implemented in the co-creation and experimentation workshops with the stakeholders. Four workshops have been organized, one per use case, to demonstrate the system scenarios and collect stakeholders’ feedback as part of the evaluation process. The outcomes of the evaluation of the PolicyCLOUD technologies and the benefits they provide to the use cases, obtained in the co-creation & evaluation workshops, will feed back the final version of the architecture specification.

Communication, exploitation and business development results:
Continuous communication content production for the web and social media, which include news, articles, podcasts and videos. Implementation of the outreach and stakeholder engagement strategy via workshops and webinars. The ‘Data Governance Act and Data-Driven Policymaking: Impact and Practical Implementations’ webinar (February 2021) and the 'Evidence Based Policymaking in Europe Summit 2021 conference' (December 2021) are just two examples of it.
Regarding exploitation and business oriented activities, an updated version of the partners’ individual exploitation plans has been produced and the activities aimed at the joint exploitation have started.
PolicyCLOUD will deliver 6 services that will facilitate a data -driven policy management:
• A policy development toolkit: Automated tools enabling data manipulation, modelling and visualization.
• A data marketplace: Repository of exploitable data and knowledge for policy making scenarios.
• Cloud capabilities: Adaptable cloud gateways and APIs to obtain data from heterogeneous sources.
• Reusable models and analytical tools: Technologies enabling opinion mining, sentiment, social dynamics and behavioral data analysis.
• Policies management framework: Decision tool enabling the integration of data collection, modelling and simulation technologies.
• Ethics framework: Documented approach ensuring the provision of privacy and security for sensitive data.

These services will boost benefits for all the project stakeholders and the entire society in general. Five main impacts are expected:
• Enlarging the evidence-base for effective policy making. Extracting meaningful information from aggregated data sources, Policy makers will better understand the different situations and issues and consider parameters they were not aware of.
• Facilitating interoperability, reusability and scalability for efficient policy making through the application of PolicyCLOUD models and tools to different contexts and sectors.
• Realizing a social-centric approach considering legal and security aspects; taking account of citizens’ needs, preferences and actual experience of public services and analyzing social dynamics to increase citizen participation and engagement in the policy creation process.
• Promoting data-driven innovation; modernization of the public administration and public sector through the use of cloud, big data and data analytics technologies.
• Boosting the data driven economy; the policy development toolkit and the data marketplace are expected to have a direct impact in the increase of productivity.
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PolicyCLOUD outcomes
PolicyCLOUD use cases