eGovPoliNet – Experiences from Building a Policy Informatics Research Community




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Policy-making in the digital age is an area which needs knowledge that can be found in communities that traditionally do not connect with each other. The creation of a research community is a challenging endeavour and needs to ad-dress both physical and online elements. In communities, groups of people share some common interests and are often facilitated by interacting with each other through the Internet and face-to-face meeting (Stewart, 2010). The activities should results in a sense of feeling of belonging to the communities. In this paper we outline the community-building activities of creating a policy informatics community which were part of the FP7 eGovPoliNet project. The eGovPoliNet project community organized community building event and provided a platform for sharing experiences and knowledge, which addresses the fragmentation of research communities, as well as the fragmentation among different disciplines, by building a common network where research-ers from different disciplines and countries can interact. The aim was to en-gage different stakeholder groups to work together in exchanging ideas and information. The focus was on e-Government, information systems, complex systems, public administration and policy research and social simulation re-search communities, although persons from other research communities were also involved.

The eGovPoliNet community building process consisted of three phases namely: Initiating (period 1), Growing (period 2), and Sustaining (period 3) In the initiating phase (period 1), the European and international multidisciplinary research landscape was outlined by identifying the key players in terms of ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling R&D and by determining the targeted communities. The growing phase (period 2) focused on developing the community by organising events by the project members and involving key players. New members were attracted by organising community building activities at various conferences, organising tracks, workshops, panels and PhD Colloquia. The sustaining phase (period 3) focused on maintaining the community through collaboration type events and PhD colloquia which resulted in further growth of the community. Finally, plans for future sustainability of the community were formulated. Community building is a time-intensive process, as people should gain a sense of belonging to the community. Different type of activities are appealing to different people. Following-up activities is essential, which involves people creating content and organizing events.



egovernment, research community, policy informatics


Brooks L., Janssen M., Papazafeiropoulou A. (2018) eGovPoliNet: Experiences from Building a Policy Informatics Research Community. In: Gil-Garcia J., Pardo T., Luna-Reyes L. (eds) Policy Analytics, Modelling, and Informatics. Public Administration and Information Technology, vol 24. Springer, Cham


Research Institute

Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)