Policy Cloud have presented a paper on the main research challenges and solutions to and for data-driven policy management at this year's AIAI event (Artificial Intelligence Applications and Innovations). The conference provided an opportunity for Policy Cloud, an EU project led by ATOS and a number of EU Partners and funded under the European Commission’s H2020 programme, to present its innovative approach and solutions to policy making. The project aims to harness the potential of digitisation, big data and cloud technologies to improve the modelling, creation and implementation of policy. In three years (2020-2023) the project will address challenges faced by many businesses and public administrations of improving how they make policy decisions by accessing and using data. Currently, four Policy Cloud pilot cases are focusing on specific and relevant policy challenges: Radicalicalisation, Food Value Chain, Urban Environment and Policies for Citizens.
The academic paper, which has been published in IFIPAICT volume 583, outlines Policy Cloud’s goal of supporting public authority decision making for policy modelling, implementation and simulation, as well as for policy enforcement and adaptation. It outlines several challenges and solutions on the best way to optimise policies across public sectors exploiting enormous quantities of data and the interoperability of diverse data sets. The seven research challenges outlined in the article are mostly technical challenges but also include some of the societal obstacles.
One of these relates to a low level of participation from citizens and citizen groups in the use of big data for creating evidence-based public policy. For Policy Clouds solution’s to be successful, a high level of trust must be created between citizens and policy makers. A potential solution could be to follow a user centred living lab approach with an engagement strategy based on incentivising citizens' engagement (e.g. social, cultural, political, etc.) with respect to exchanging and contributing information. This will allow policy makers to crowd-source relevant data and knowledge created by closed groups (i.e. communities evaluating proposed policies) and engaged citizens in order to analyse and propose which social requirements will become policy requirements.
The Overall Challenge & Digital Future for Europe
Also mentioned in the paper is the overall challenge that Policy Cloud aims to overcome, namely, providing a scalable, flexible and dependable methodology and environment for facilitating the needs of data-driven policy modelling, making and evaluation. The solution needs to aim at applying the properties of policy modelling and implementation across the complete data path, exploiting the collective knowledge from policy “collections” and data from other sources (e.g. sensor readings, online platforms, etc.). These data groups should be analysed and linked to potential determining factors for and impacts of policies (e.g. environment, radicalisation, migration, goods and services, etc.). This aligns with European Commission's data strategy in that Policy cloud will be a next generation tool for processing data in Europe’s single market for data, policy being a key sector, with common and interoperable data spaces.
The paper, which outlines a number of other challenges and solutions, was presented at the 16th Artificial Intelligence Applications and Innovations Conference. The conference is one of the main calendar events for members of the AI scientific community and had a high volume of submissions despite the current situation with Covid19 worldwide.
To read more from the AIAI2020 paper you can find it here: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-49161-1_13
You can find the PowerPoint presentation here: https://zenodo.org/record/4009089#.X0zaHsgzbIU