Future scenarios of ICT solutions for governance and policy modelling

The modern world is facing global challenges while at the same time becoming more and more interconnected, dynamic and complex in nature. Accordingly, appropriate methods and tools for successful open and collaborative public governance and public policy making supported by innovative ICT are increasingly becoming important. Along the demands for the implementation of good governance principles and the adoption of open government, policy officials need concise and reliable information to conduct policy making in an efficient and effective way. Likewise, the engagement of the citizenry as well as of civil society organisations (CSOs) and of representatives of the business and voluntary sectors have become imperative.

In the international and inter-disciplinary researcher network eGovPoliNet, we have developed visionary scenarios to envisage how ICT-supported open and public governance and policy making might emerge in the years to come. The scenarios sketched the interactions, environment, technological developments and other relevant aspects of potential futures of ICT-enabled public governance and how policy modelling could be deployed thereby.

Six visionary scenarios on ICT solutions for governance and policy modelling developed within eGovPoliNet are as follows (including brief outlines):

Scenario 1 - Using air quality monitoring data to track and improve publick health. This scenario describes how ICT can be used to help governments and communities improve and assure public health. It focuses on exploring real-time data and providing added-value services to citizens. The key is networking data and providing it to users according to their needs.

Scenario 2 - Policy decision-making using intelligent simulations and exploiting open and big data sources. The scenario stresses the need for integrated and combined approaches of social and formal simulation to better inform policy decision-making therewith including approaches of data science, and wider stakeholder engagement. It suggests freely accessible technology platforms that offer different tools and building blocks for quickly and easily building simulation models.

Scenario 3 - Public/private innovation policy scenario. This scenario brings forward visions on how to make the process of drug development less expensive, safer, less dominated by big pharmaceutical players, more integrated, and more successful in reducing the time-to-market. New governance models and a change of paradigm to involve citizens proactively thereby exploiting the potentials of ICT are proposed.

Scenario 4 - Optimising emergency response. This scenario describes how real-time simulations and mobile networks can be used in the future to organise personalised evacuations and other emergency responses to properly and promptly assess emergencies, thus increasing the effectiveness of the emergency response teams and reducing the impact on the affected population.

Scenario 5 - Using smart and mobile ICT for developing governance and policy. Many technology companies are currently developing mobile and wearable devices. It is expected that in the future, such devices become increasingly available, affordable and used in everyday life. This scenario describes how mobile and wearable devices together with the development of Internet of Things can become powerful tools for supporting automatic data collection and mobile participation in the future.

Scenario 6 - Information warfare impact on developing governance and policy modelling. Together with the technology development in governance and policy modelling and governmental provision of open and transparent strategy, the threats of this new approach were discovered, especially information warfare threats from external or internal interferences. This scenario describes challenges with respect to appropriate decision-making processes that will be open and transparent and at the same time protect against information warfare threats.