The deliverable (D6.2) presents a prototype for a policy‐oriented modelling and simulation tool that allows users, through a web‐based, user‐friendly interface, to build a systems model of a public policy problem situation using a graphical representation of the involved actors, the key variables, control flows and causal dependencies. A quantitative dynamic simulation model of the structured problem is used to simulate the system behaviour and responses to changing external factors and policy interventions over time. The tool supports the design of policy options and integrated impact assessment in terms of social, economic and environmental impacts.
The proposed modelling and simulation approach aims to provide: (i) better understanding and transparency by clarifying and sharing the modelling assumptions; (ii) an evidence‐based policymaking by bringing facts and abstractions from scientific and experts’ knowledge into the modelling process; and (iii) incorporation of the newest management technologies into public decision‐making processes, including: cognitive strategic thinking, scenario planning and participation.
The design of an ICT tool for policy makers from the different EU policymaking levels that assists public decision‐making processes through participatory modelling of a public policy problem, simulating and visualising the consequences of possible future scenarios and the societal impacts of alternative policy (decision) options.
1‐ User‐created policy scenarios: Models and simulations are often perceived as black boxes, unintelligible to the users. Allowing users to build “own” models for the policy problem to ensure that policy decisions are based on deep understanding and transparency. 2‐ Integrated, customizable and reusable models: Defining proper modelling standards, procedures and methodologies to allow model interoperability to create more complex or wider perspective models using existing components or models (blocks) and to ensure long‐ term thinking by incorporating time aspect into the simulation model. 3‐ Engagement of decision‐makers and stakeholders (even without domain expert skills) in a participatory modelling process. 4‐ Easy access to information and knowledge creation in order to reduce uncertainty: integration to other work packages to support problem structuring using inputs from WP4 and WP5. It is of interest to see how the information obtained from open data sources and analysis of political discussions on social media and blogs (all available within the Sense4us toolkit) contribute to increased problem understanding. 5‐ Model validation: in order to ensure the reliability of the model and, consequently, of policies. A model is valid if it is built using the most relevant components and sub‐models and is able to reproduce historical behaviour. 6‐ Interactive simulation: the use of animations and visualization techniques to display the model operational behaviour graphically as the model runs over time. 7‐ Output and feedback analysis: learning from output analysis, being able to provide a feedback on the simulation process or on the initial modelling assumptions and thus synthesizing new knowledge on the system, when ultimately, a satisfying result has been achieved or when a complete understanding of the system has been gained.
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