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The network for innovation in European public sector information

Delivering knowledge from the thematic network and the workshops

The main value of the Share-PSI 2.0 project is the knowledge gathered and exchanged between the thematic network members but also all the domain experts and entrepreneurs that have interacted and exchanged their expertise during the project workshops. Common challenges, problems that persist but also new opportunities in the domain of PSI have triggered a dynamic interaction which mainly focused on the implementation of the revised PSI directive. The project also managed to spread this knowledge, mainly through the following means:

Knowledge exchange between project partners

During the workshops but also through bilateral cooperation between members of the thematic network and workshops participants, many experts in the domain have exchanged information, knowledge and expertise to face common problems and meet common challenges. Success stories, both in technical and policy-related aspects, have been exchanged and re-used during this process. Such stories are gathered in the project wiki.

Knowledge transfer to workshops participants

An extensive amount of knowledge, addressing both technical and policy-related issues, is gathered and delivered to the participants of the project workshops through the presentation of the partners’ case studies and the selected papers.

Knowledge delivered to all interested parties and the public through a list of Best Practices that derive from the gathered stories.

Knowledge delivered to all interested parties and the public through the W3C Best Practices (practices developed by the Data on the Web Best Practices Work Group) in the light of the project workshops and other discussions.

Towards the end of the Share-PSI 2.0 project, knowledge will also be delivered to all interested parties and the public through the local implementation guides.

In the following text, we describe the workshops organised by the Share-PSI 2.0 project and illustrate their impact. We also explain how knowledge was gathered during the workshops and we describe the process of delivering the Best Practices, i.e. how the gathered knowledge is translated into Best Practices, how we ensure that the Best Practices related to the project objectives and how the consensus on Best Practices is achieved.

In the context of the Share-PSI 2.0 project, a Best Practice is viewed as a commonly accepted method, technique or group of tasks that could be used, applied or followed to overcome some PSI or open data related challenge or that optimizes efficiency or effectiveness of publication or reuse of PSI or open data. Over time, best practice could evolve, be improved or be replaced with other best practice as more knowledge is gathered or new findings become evident.

The process of distilling best practices is based on the process that was outlined in the project's Description of Work and depicted in Figure 1.

A diagram shows arrows labelled Partners' case studies and submitted papers pointing to the workshops, from which come individual reports and consensus on best practice. This in turn leads to country-specific implementation guides
Figure 1: Share-PSI 2.0 Information Flow

The starting point is the content of the workshops in the form of case studies contributed by the network partners and additional experience and suggestions contributed in submitted papers. This initial knowledge has been translated into best practices through the following process:

Step 1: Collect stories from the Share-PSI 2.0 workshops, keep notes and produce reports about important discussions.

Before each Share-PSI 2.0 workshop, the consortium assigned responsible persons for moderating sessions and taking notes of the discussion i.e. notes from the oral presentations, workshop sessions, bar camps etc. Starting from the second workshop, in order to better capture the experiences behind each presented use case, each session facilitator was asked to focus on three key questions:

  1. What X is the thing that should be done to publish or reuse PSI?
  2. Why does X facilitate the publication or reuse of PSI?
  3. How can one achieve X and how can you measure or test it?

Step 2: Rewrite the stories to fit the best practices template.

Consortium members were responsible for analysing the stories and the notes kept from the previous workshops and for writing down the first draft of the best practices. In addition they were asked to link them to the elements from the PSI Directive.

Step 3: Internal Peer Review of the first draft set of the best practices by an Editorial Board formed by a few members of the consortium.

The Editorial Board worked during Summer 2015 and after a thorough analysis of the raw material it created a collection of proposed Atomic Best Practices (deleting duplicates, interlinking the stories, enhancing the writing) to be taken into consideration in the subsequent consensus-building step. The term 'Atomic Best Practice' was used to indicate a difference from the stories, and to highlight the fact that each best practice should have a single focus and be capable of standing alone (although it may refer to others).

Step 4: Consensus building process on the elaborated Atomic Best Practices.

The process of determining the best practices is based on consensus of the network partners as shown in Figure 1. The main criterion is the opinion of and the consensus among the network members. This consensus was reached using a voting process. The rationale for using the voting among the network members was that the network brings together a community of main experts from a majority of countries in Europe and their opinion should be leading in identifying the best practices as was the intention expressed in the Description of Work. Thus, in September 2015, the coordinator set up an online form that listed all the atomic best practices and for each one asked partners to indicate which of the following applied (they could check more than one box):

they are also published on Share-PSI 2.0 Website. These best practices will be further verified by cross-referencing them with the country-specific implementation guides that are being developed and enhanced in the final phase of the project.

The best practices that did not reach the 80% support threshold and for which more evidence is needed (e.g. application of proposed approach/tool in different country) are also available on the Wiki.

Figures 2 & 3 present two examples of this process (a) Evidence converted to best practice document, and (b) Evidence converted to candidate best practice document.

Diagram showing how evidence was collated for one specific BP fromn the workshops, the stories collection, the consensus and publication
Figure 2 Developing the Best Practice: Enable quality assessment of open data
Diagram showing how evidence was collated for one specific BP fromn the workshops, the stories collection, the consensus and publication
Figure 3 Developing the Candidate Best Practice: Publishing Statistical Data In Linked Data Format

From the analysis presented above, it is obvious that the published Share-PSI 2.0 best practices have collected evidence from more than one workshop. Table 2 Evidence for Best Practices: From Workshop to Recommendation extensively details what workshops contributed to which best practices.

A series of 5 workshops have been conducted, each one covering a theme of particular interest to the partners under the overall theme of PSI Directive implementation. Each partner of the network (bar one) presented at least one use case, most of partners contributing multiple use cases. There were also joint sessions organised by two partners, and the participation of external contributors to each workshop was also considerable. Table 1 summarises the five workshops. Detailed reports per workshop are available for each one: Samos, Lisbon Timişoara, Krems and Berlin.

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