Contains definitions of terms used in eGovPoliNet partly based on DCMI Metadata Terms.

 Social Network Analysis (SNA)
Social Network Analysis (SNA) is focussed on the structure of relationships among actors (Hanneman & Riddle,2005). SNA maps and measures formal and informal relationships to understand what facilitates or impedes the knowledge flows that bind interacting actors, departments, organisations or other entities.
SNA is a method with increasing application in the social sciences and has been applied in areas as diverse as psychology, health, business organisation, and electronic communications. More recently, interest has grown in analysis of social media to understand social networks (Scott 1988). Visualising the interorganisational network by social network analysis enable the government and policy makers to describe and analyse interactions among actors. There is good tool support such as NodeXL (Hansen, Shneiderman & Smith, 2011).
Related terms: Social Network, Social Media
Hanneman, R. A., & Riddle, M. (2005). Introduction to Social Network Methods. from
Hansen, D. L., Shneiderman, B., & Smith, M. A. (2011). Analyzing socila media network swith NodeXL. Insigths from a connected world. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Scott, J. (1988), Social Network Analysis, Sociology (22:1) February 1, 1988, pp 109-127.
Stakeholders can be defined in the simplest terms as individuals or groups who affect or are affected by a policy, following Freeman’s (1984) classic definition of stakeholder as "any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organization's objectives."  In the public sector, “organisation” is understood to include a wide variety of political bodies, government institutions and other entities involved in the policy making process. Stakeholders can be both internal to the government (e.g., the government organisations responsible for policy implementation) or external to it (e.g., the industries, communities, or individuals to be affected by government actions or rules). Most private sector definitions mention similar stakeholder categories such as companies and their employees or external entities such as suppliers, customers, governments or creditors. In the public sector, the definition of stakeholder often emphasises categories of citizens defined by demographic characteristics, life stages, interest groups, or organisational boundaries (Bingham, Nabatchi, and O’Leary 2005; Ackerman 2004; Yetano, Royo, and Acerete 2010). Stakeholders can be involved at any point in the policy cycle from framing issues to evaluating results.
Various structured approaches exist to identify, select and prioritise relevant stakeholders (Bryson, 2004). These techniques focus attention on the interrelations of groups or organisations with respect to their interests in, or impacts on policies within a broader political, economic and cultural context. These techniques also provide ways for analysts to understand stakeholder power, influence, needs, conflicts of interest, and changes in stakeholder types or interests over time. Selection of stakeholders often rests on two foundational considerations: information and power or influence. Certain stakeholders should be involved if they have information that cannot be obtained in other ways or if their participation is necessary for successful policy implementation (Thomas, 1995).
Ackerman, John. 2004. “Co-Governance for Accountability: Beyond ‘Exit’ and ‘Voice.’” World Development 32 (3)
Bingham, Lisa Blomgren, Tina Nabatchi, and Rosemary O’Leary. 2005. “The New Governance: Practices and Processes for Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Work of Government.” Public Administration Review 65 (5): 547–558.
Bryson, John. (2004), "What To Do When Stakeholders Matter," Public Administration Review
Freeman, Edward. (1984), "Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach," Boston: Pitman
Thomas, J. C. (1995), Public Participation in Public Decisions, San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass
Yetano, Ana, Sonia Royo, and Basilio Acerete. 2010. “What Is Driving the Increasing Presence of Citizen Participation Initiatives?” Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 28 (5): 783 – 802.
 Stakeholder Engagement
Stakeholder engagement is a process which entails bringing in all parties involved in a policymaking process to ensure that they are represented in discussions in all elements of the policy cycle (Gains & Stoker, 2009). As representative democracy has evolved, particularly through the use of new Information and Communication Technologies, the approach to involving more stakeholders in policymaking has become apparent (Marinetto, 2003). It has emerged as a key challenge in the 21st Century in politically developed societies, as one of the central political innovations that is taking place (Newman, 2010). This is related to an increase in the desire for political institutions to show more openness and transparency in their activities, which is part of the process of building good governance (see, for example Sœbø et al, 2008). One primary example comes from the Directorate General CONNECT's (European Commission) Stakeholder Engagement Strategy/Approach.
Related terms: Governance, Policy Analysis, Public Policy, Public Value Management (PVM)
Gains, F., & Stoker, G. (2009). Delivering “Public Value”: Implications for accountability and legitimacy. Parliamentary Affairs, 62(3), 438–455.
Marinetto, M. (2003). Who wants to be an active citizen? Sociology, 37(1), 103–120.
Newman, J. (2010). Remaking Governance: Peoples, Politics and the Public Sphere. Policy Press.
Sæbø, Ø., Rose, J., & Flak, L. S. (2008). The shape of eParticipation: Characterizing an emerging research area. Government Information Quarterly, 25(3), 400–428. doi:10.1016/j.giq.2007.04.007
Theory is a generic term that generalizes the concept of thinking, or the results of thinking. A more specific definition of “theory” depends on the context, and the results might for example include generalized explanations of how nature works, or even how divine or metaphysical matters are thought to work.The word has its roots in ancient Greek: the word "theory" was used in Greek philosophy, for example, by Plato. It is a statement trying to explain how and why particular facts are related. It is related to words for θεωρός "spectator", θέα thea "a view" + ὁρᾶν horan "to see", literally "looking at a show" (see Greek Dictionary Headword).In modern use, theory  has taken on several different related meanings.
In sciences, a scientific theory is a unifying and self-consistent explanation of fundamental natural processes or phenomena that is totally constructed of corroborated hypotheses (Schafersman, 1997). A theory, therefore, is built of reliable knowledge -built of scientific facts- and its purpose is to explain major natural processes or phenomena. Scientific theories explain nature by unifying many once-unrelated facts or corroborated hypotheses; they are the strongest and most truthful explanations of how the universe, nature, and life came to be, how they work, what they are made of, and what will become of them. Since humans are living organisms and are part of the universe, science explains all of these things about ourselves.
Greek Dictionary Headword
Schafersman, Steven D. (1997), An Introduction to Science, Scientific Thinking and the Scientific Method, report of Department of Geology, Miami University January, 1997.
 Web 2.0
The term Web 2.0 (or Web 2) describes the second generation of the World Wide Web, focusing on the ability for people to interact, collaborate and share information online. It identifies the transition from static HTML web pages to an advanced Internet technology and including interactive applications (i.e.: blogs, wikis, RSS and social bookmarking).
Different studies about the Web 2.0 application for policy decision-making have been carried out. Petrik (2009) investigates how to utilize ICT and Web 2.0 technologies and e-democracy software for policy decision-making. It introduces a cutting edge decision-making system that integrates the practice of e-petitions, e-consultation, e-rulemaking, e-voting, and proxy voting. The work of Di Maio (2011) focuses on the e-government policy-making. The author points out that despite in the recent time the objective of increasing transparency and citizen participation in policy-making has been high on the agenda of most countries, states and cities, in most cases, the use of technology much more upstream in the policy-making process, is still missing. Di Maio argues that “the advent of Web 2.0 has increased the appetite for even greater and more effective engagement, also in view of the shifting attitude in Internet use, with more people creating content through blogs, wikis and social networks of all sorts. […] Open government initiatives have provided the platform for more systematic engagement, by promoting the provision of more information, by pushing departments and agencies toward innovative ways to involve citizens in discussions about city planning, budget formulation, trash management, environmental monitoring and so forth” (Di Maio, 2011).
Related term: Web 3.0, Social Media
Petrik, Klaus (2009), Participation and e-democracy how to utilize web 2.0 for policy decision-making, presented during the 10th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research: Social Networks: Making Connections between Citizens, Data and Government (Puebla, Mexico)
Di Maio, Andrea (2011), Where technology should be used to improve policy-making, and is not
O'Reilly, Tim (2007), What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Communications & Strategies, 65(Q1), 17-37
 Web 3.0
While the focus of Web 2.0 (see related term) is on social networking, social bookmarking and media sharing, with the special accent on users’ creativity, interaction and production of different content for the web, a new trend in the World Wide Web has emerged, based on semantic web technologies and distributed databases: Web 3.0. Web 3.0 features a growing tendency of increasing machine-readable contents on the web and therefore providing more intelligent search and automatic collection and interpretation of data (Aghaei et al., 2012). The new trend focuses on data and links between them, the so-called linked data sets (Aghaei et al., 2012), interpreting the Web as a giant Database and allowing computers to organise online data and draw conclusions from them (Varlan, 2010).
The Web 3.0 consolidates semantic web technologies and knowledge representation applied on the top of the web, powerful enough to reason about data, with the social computing platforms that allow exchange of data among humans and machines as well as between them (Varlan, 2010).
Aghaei et al argue already a tendency of a new phase - Web 4.0, which represents the symbiosis between computers and humans (Aghaei et al., 2012). An example of possible Web 4.0 applications are powerful user interfaces based on mind control (e.g. WebOS as argued in Farber, 2007). Aghaei et al argue that the web starts behaving as an operating system equipped with the possibility of highly intelligent reactions (Aghaei et al., 2012).  The Web 4.0 will enhance the quality of online relationships, content management and collaboration to a level that is considered to be intelligent (Farber, 2007).
Policy-making officials can successfully use this emerging trend of open and linked data in the web to obtain useful information about the citizens, industry and government, and evaluate the impact of different policies (De Faria Cordeiro, 2011).
Related terms: Web 2.0, Semantic technologies, Open Data, Open Linked Data, Social Media
Aghaei S., Nematbakhsh M. A., Farsani H. K (2012), Evolution of the World Wide Web: From Web 1.0 to Web 4.0, International Journal of Web & Semantic Technology (IJWesT) Vol.3, No.1, January 2012.
De Faria Cordeiro, K., Machado Campos, M. L., Borges, M. R. S., (2011), Empowering Citizens and Government with Collaboration on Linked Open Data, proceeding in Workshop on “Semantics in Governance and Policy Modelling”, May 30, 2011, Extended Semantic Web Conference 2011, p. 34-37.
Farber D., (2007), From Semantic Web (3.0) to the WebOS (4.0).
Nova, Spivack (2011), Web 3.0: The Third Generation Web is Coming.
Varlan S. E., (2010), Advantages of Semantic Web Technologies in the Knowledge Based Society, Analele Stiintifice ale Universitatii "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" din Iasi - Stiinte Economice, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 2010, pp. 417-422, July 2010.
 Wicked problem
The term Wicked probelm was originally introduced in 1973 by Host Rittel and Melvin Webber in their acticle on “Dilemmas in a general theory of planning” in Policy Sciences journal (Rittel and Webber, 1973)  According to the authors, wicked problems have ten particular characteristics, among them are (i) no definitive formulation, (ii) solutions to wicked problems can be only good or bad, not true or false, (iii) no template to follow when tackling a wicked problem, although history may provide a guide, (iv) every wicked problem is a symptom of another problem, etc. The interconnected quality of socio-economic political systems illustrates how, for example, a change in education will cause new behavior in nutrition.
Wicked problems are typically social or cultural problems that are difficult or impossible to solve because of a lack of knowledge, or knowledge is contradictory, or too many people, opinions and other problems are involved. For example poverty is linked with education, nutrition with poverty, the economy with nutrition, and so on.
Strategies to solve wicked problems are difficult to formulate and can hardly be approached to with the traditional policy-making or problem-solving methods used in policy-making. In a paper published in 2000, Roberts identifies the following strategies to cope with wicked problems (Roberts, 2000):

- Authoritative: These strategies seek to tame wicked problems by vesting the responsibility for solving the problems in the hands of a few people.
- Competitive: These strategies attempt to solve wicked problems by pitting opposing points of view against each other, requiring parties that hold these views to come up with their preferred solutions.
- Collaborative: These strategies aim to engage all stakeholders in order to find the best possible solution for all stakeholders. Policy making and Wicked problems are directly related as the problems needed to be addressed by public policy making are complicated by nature and need effective policies across government departments as well as industry sectors. According to the Australian Government (Australian Public sector commission, 2007) there is no quick fix for wicked policy problems. They follow Roberts approach to put emphasis on authoritative strategies including efficiency and timeliness, competitive strategies including the creation of new ideas and innovation and finally collaboration by higher stakeholder commitment (cf. Roberts, 2000).
Australian Public Sector Commission. 2007. Tackling Wicked Problems. A public policy perspective.
Rittel, H, W., and Webber, M., M. 1973. Dilemmas in general theory planning. Policy Sciences, 4: 155-169 
Roberts, N.C. 2000. Wicked Problems and Network Approaches to Resolution. The International Public Management Review. 1: 1-19.