Policy Modelling and Simulation

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Much has been written about the complexity of public policy decision‐making problems. Those responsible for creating, implementing and enforcing policies are required to make decision about ill‐defined problems occurring in a rapidly changing and complex environments characterised by uncertainty and conflicting strategic interests among the multiple involved parties [1] [2].

“Policy Modelling and ICT‐enabled Governance”, has emerged as an interdisciplinary umbrella term for a number of research fields, technologies and applications with a common goal of improving public decision‐making in the age of complexity and has recently gathered significant attention by governments, researchers and practitioners. It brings together two separate worlds: the mathematical and complexity sciences background of policy modelling and the sustainability, service provision, participation and open data aspects of governance [3].

The ability to detect problems and emergencies, identify risks and reduce uncertainties on the possible impacts of policies are among the key challenges facing the policymaking process. Simulation and visualization techniques can help policy makers to anticipate unexpected policy outcomes. The focus of this study is the prescriptive policy analysis, the impact assessment (IA) carried out at early stages of policy development. This study is done as part of the decision support framework for policy formulation1 described in D6.1.

In order to conduct a robust and relevant IA that implements the principle of sustainable development, it is required to determine the social, economic, environmental, organizational, legal and financial implications of a new policy [4]. In addition, there are certain key aspects which should be present in order to define the scope of the policy analysis, including:

(i) Objective(s) of the policy analysis, (ii) Space or Geographical area: (global, regional, national, sub‐national and local), (iii) Time (short, medium and long‐term), (iv) Types and sectors of the related governmental activities, (v) Power (participation of actors), and (vi) Engagement of stakeholders.

The impact assessment of policy proposals remains a challenge, since the effects of the alternative policy options are delayed in time and the ultimate impact is affected by a multitude of factors. The following questions have to be dealt with in a transparent manner and from early on in the decision‐making processes:

 What is the main purpose(s) of the policy?  What is the context of the policy (Influencing factors)?  What are the relevant ways of intervention (policy instruments)?  What are the relevant impacts which require further analysis?  Who are relevant stakeholders and target groups which should be consulted?  What are appropriate methods to assess the impacts and to compare the policy

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