Contains definitions of terms used in eGovPoliNet partly based on DCMI Metadata Terms.

A policy is a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual (Oxford Dictionaries). A policy is defined as a relatively stable, purposive course of action followed by an actor or set of actors in dealing with a problem or matter of concern (Anderson, 2003). A policy is a guiding principle used to set direction in an organisation and it can be a course of action to guide and influence decisions. It should be used as a guide to decision making under a given set of circumstances within the framework of objectives, goals and management philosophies as determined by senior management (Anderson, 2005)
Related terms: Policy Analysis, Policy Governance, Policy Informatics, Policy Lifecycle, Policy Model, Policy Modelling, Public Governance, Public Policy
Oxford Dictionaries, Available here
Anderson, J. E. (2003). Public policymaking: An introduction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, pp. 1 – 34
Anderson, C. What's the Difference Between Policies and Procedures?, Bizmanualz, April 4, 2005.
 Policy Analysis
Policy analysis provides a tool with which to analyse the construction, formulation, implementation, evaluation, and reconstruction of policies and their frameworks. Policy analysis in a decision-making process in which conflicting interests are at stake may be difficult if such an analysis is made during a decision-making process in a ‘network’ (or ‘policy network’) (de Bruijn & ten Heuvelhof, 2002). The parties involved have conflicting interests and are interdependent; no party is able to impose its will hierarchically upon the other parties. Conflicting interests are a strong incentive for the parties involved to criticize the outcome of the analysis if it fails to meet their interests. The many empirical studies in this area give a picture of unpredictable and, sometimes chaotic decision-making environment (de Bruijn & ten Heuvelhof, 2000). This is because the stakeholders in a network hold different views about the nature and the seriousness of a problem, about the aims pursued, about the authority of the information available and about the need to make a decision.
De Bruijn, J. & ten Heuvelhof, F., 2000. Networks and Decision Making. Lemma, Utrecht.
De Bruijn, H. & ten Heuvelhof, E., 2002. Policy analysis and decision making in a network: how to improve the quality of analysis and the impact on decision making. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 20(4), p.232–242.
 Policy Governance
Policy Governance is an integrated set of concepts and principles that, when consistently applied, allows governing boards to realise owner-accountable organisations (Carver, 2011). It is a model of governance created by Carver and often referred to as “Carver governance” or the “Carver model”. The model designed "to empower boards of directors to fulfill their obligation of accountability for their organisations and to enable them to focus on the larger issues, to delegate with clarity, to control management's job, to rigorously evaluate the accomplishment of the organisation" (Carver, 2013). Ten Policy Governance principles (International Policy Governance Assosiation) form a complete governance system, which enables boards to provide strategic leadership in creating the future for their organisations . Policy Governance is designed to ensure accountability of the Board to the owners or shareholders and of the CEO to the Board (The Governance Coach, 2013).
Related terms: Governance, Policy
Carver, John, and Miriam Carver. 2011. Reinventing your board: A step-by-step guide to implementing policy governance. Vol. 18. Wiley., The Policy Governance® Model
International Policy Governance Assosiation. 2013. Principles of Policy Governance
The Governance Coach. 2013. What is Policy Governance?
 Policy Informatics
Policy informatics is the "transdisciplinary study of how computation and communication technology leverages information to better understand and address complex public policy and administration problems and realise innovations in governance processes and institutions" (Center for Policy Informatics). This approach seeks to strengthen the connections among scholars and between scholars and practitioners who share an interest in how policy relevant information and data are used to formulate, implement, and evaluate public policies (Kamensky, 2012). Policy informatics also encompasses exploration of the implications of new analytical tools and data sources for conducting policy relevant research. The core intellectual focus is to advance research and practice that can enhance our understanding of complex policy and managerial problems.
The latest innovations in information and communications technology and information collection and dissemination capacity are changing the ways in which analysis can support public policy decisions. Policy informatics emphasises theories and research concerning decision-making, complexity theory, and visualisation of quantitative and qualitative information, collective intelligence, behavioural economics, and persuasive technologies. For example, availability of large quantities of data, often on whole populations, promoted by open data and social media raises new questions about how analyses are conducted (Helbig et al., 2012). Data visualisation tools expand ability to display and disseminate complex temporal and spatial information. Together, these innovations bring ample opportunities and challenges for developing new theories on complex dynamic social systems and new approaches that might be suitable for analysing how policies affect them (Johnson and Kim, 2011).
Centre for Policy Informatics, Arizona State University
Kamensky, J. (2012). Policy Informatics is Bridging the Gap Between Researchers and Politicians, Government Executive
Helbig, N., Nakashima, M. and Dawes, S., (2012), Understanding the Value and Limits of Government Information in Policy Informatics: A Preliminary Exploration. In Proceedings of the 13th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research. pp 291-293. College Park, MD. ACM Digital Library.
Johnson, E. and Kim, Y. (2011). Introduction to the Special Issue on Policy Informatics, The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, Volume 16(1)
 Policy Lifecycle
The policy lifecycle is a description of a standard approach to understanding the way in which policies are made in a given political context. In democratic societies, a basic representation of the policy cycle (cf. e.g. Howlett and Ramesh 1995; OECD 2003, p. 34) is:

- Agenda setting, which refers to the process by which issues are raised and selected for attention by governments
- Policy formulation (or consultation), whcihrefers to the process by which policy options are formulated within government
- Policy decision making (legislation), which refers to the process by which governments adopt a particular course of action or non-action
- Policy implementation (the task of the executive): refers to the process by which governments put policies into effect
- Policy evaluation (or monitoring), which refers to processes by which the results of policies are monitored by both state and societal actors, the result of which may be a re-conceptualisation of policy problems and solution
This cycle enables to identify five broad areas that divide up the process of policymaking. Each one requires a slightly different constituency, and logically imply a different approach to how and why they should be involved in the process. For example, at the agenda-setting and consultative stages of the policy cycle, representativity (of the general populace) is not in question, as policy makers need to talk to those who are directly engaged in the given policy area. Policy decision making (and legislation) is in  representative democracies a field that has traditionally been left to elected representatives, although the Swiss tradition of direct democracy provides some insight into how this might evolve in a more interactive societal framework (cf. e.g. Rossel and Finger 2007). Additionally, some attempts at online rule-making in local contexts have been carried out to great success in the United States (Carlitz and Gunn, 2002). The monitoring phase is an interesting sphere where potentials lie for greater participation from involved stakeholders as well.
R. Carlitz and R. Gunn (2002). 'Online rulemaking: a step toward E-governance' Government Information Quarterly 19(4): 389-405.
M. Howlett and M. Ramesh (1995). Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems, Oxford University press.
OECD. Open Government: Fostering Dialogue with Civil Society. OECD Study, 2003
P. Rossel and M. Finger (2007). Conceptualising e-governance. In: Proceedings of the 1st international conference on Theory and practice of electronic governance (ICEGOV 2007), ACM, New York, pp. 399-407
 Policy Model
Policy models can be used mathematically or non-mathematically for different purposes, such as to investigate analyses and predict and understand the conditions under which a specific phenomenon or event may occur (Clarke & Primo, 2007). Most political models in the modelling literature address voting, election forecasting and government formation. Morton (2004) notes that a model’s developmental cycle progresses from non-formal to formal and finally to empirical. Non-formal models have been used to rationally evaluate the construction of new theories (Hamza, 2013).
Political models are classified into five categories: foundational, structural, generative, explicative and predictive (Clarke & Primo, 2007) where a model can occupy one (or more) of the categories. The most common type is the prediction model (Hamza, 2013).
Different policy models exist, such as a bargaining model (Diermeier et al., 2003), a model of parliamentary electoral competition (Quinn & Martin, 2002), formal model of the politics of delegation in a separation of powers system (Volden, 2002; Hamza, 2013), the spatial model and the bargaining model of collective choice (Banks & Duggan, 2000).
Several simulation modelling trials have been performed. However, most of these models were developed by computer science or statistics researchers (Johnson, 1999). The main objective of these models is to simplify the complexity of the decision-making process in a political environment for politicians (Hamza, 2013).
Banks, J., & Duggan, J. (2000). A bargaining model of collective choice. American Political Science Review, 94(1), 73–88.
Clarke, K., & Primo, D. (2007). Modernizing Political Science: A Model-Based Approach. Perspectives on Politics, 5(4), 741-754.
Diermeier, D., Eraslan, H., & Merlo, A. (2003). A Structural Model of Governmment Formation. Econometrica, 71(1), 27-70.
Hamza, K. (2013). The Impact of Social Media and Network Governance on State Stability in Times of Turbulence: Egypt After 2011 Revolution. Institute for European Studies. Brussels: Vrije Universiteit.
Johnson, P. (1999). Simulation Modeling in Political Science. American Behavioral Scientist, 42(10), 1509-1530.
Morton, R. (2004). Methods and Models: A Guide to the Empirical Analysis of Formal Models in Political Science. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Quinn, K., & Martin, A. (2002). An Integrated Computational Model of Multiparty Electoral Competition. Statistical Science, 17(4), 405–419.
Volden, C. (2002). A Formal Model of the Politics of Delegation in a Separation of Powers System. American Journal of Political Science, 46(1), 111-133.
 Policy Modelling
Policy modelling means to identify areas that need intervention, to specify the desired state of the target system, to find the regulating mechanisms, policy formation and implementation, and to control and evaluate the robustness of interventions (John, 1998). The methodological difficulty is to bridge the gap between policy practice, often expressed in qualitative and narrative terms, and the scientific realm of formal models. Furthermore, policy making in complex social systems is not a clear-cut cause-effect process but is characterised by contingency and uncertainty (Kingdon, 1984). To take into account technological, social, economic, political, cultural, ecological and other relevant parameters, policy modelling has to be enhanced and supported by new ICT-oriented research initiatives. Recent developments move in the direction of advanced ICT tools for policy modelling, prediction of policy impacts, development of new governance models and collaborative solving of complex policy problems (Loveridge, 2007). These tools enable the modelling of policy initiatives taking into account relevant parameters and performing social simulations to forecast potential impacts of proposed policy measures.
A particular challenge in policy modelling is the relationship between large-scale quantitative data and formal policy models (Sabatier, 2007). This is a twofold issue: First, providing knowledge discovery and data mining techniques for large and heterogeneous databases is an urgent requirement for policy analysis in general. Second, to connect these large databases to formal models constitutes a methodological gap in the existing state-of-the-art.
Related term: Policy model
John, P., 1998. Analysing Public Policy. London.
Kingdon, J. W., 1984. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. Little, Brown, Boston.
Loveridge, D., 2007. Foresight. The Art and Science of Anticipating the Future. Routledge, New York.
Sabatier, P. A., 2007. Theories of the Policy Process (2nd edition). Westview Press, Boulder, CO.
 Policy Network Analysis (PNA)
The Policy Network Analysis (PNA) school has developed a series of micro-level analyses. These analytical frameworks have been used to develop a series of hypotheses about how policy-making outcomes are influenced by the structure of a network and the interactions that occur within a network, including the inclusion and exclusion of certain interests in the policy-making process (Rhodes, 2006). PNA starts with the assumption that - to achieve particular goals - actors within policy networks must exchange resources with each other (Rhodes, 2006). The power-dependent relationships that emerge from this set of interactions define, which actors will become core members of a network; which actors will be positioned in this network with occasional, albeit typically limited, influence; and which actors will be completely excluded from the network (Rhodes, 2006; Hamza, 2013).
Both, network governance school and policy network analysis mainly focus on network governance, however, they look at it on distinct levels. PNA is more concerned with micro-level examinations about the relationships among policy-making outcomes, the structure of a network and the inclusion or exclusion of certain individuals or groups from the network in question (Fawcett & Daugbjerg, 2012). Network governance school has been engaged in a set of macro-level examinations of the changing nature of state-society relationships (Hay & Richards, 2000).
Related terms: Network, Network Governance School (NWG), Network Theory, Networked Governance, Policy Analysis, Policy Governance, Policy Model, Policy Modelling, Public Governance, Public Participation, Public Policy, Social Network, Social Network Analysis
Fawcett, P. & Daugbjerg, C., 2012. Explaining Governance Outcomes: Epistemology, Network Governance and Policy Network Analysis. Political Studies Review, 10(2), p.195–208.
Hamza, K., 2013. The Impact of Social Media and Network Governance on State Stability in Time of Turbulences: Egypt After 2011 Revolution. PhD Thesis. Brussels: Vrije Universiteit Brussel Institute for European Studies.
Hay, C. & Richards, D., 2000. The Tangled Webs of Westminster and Whitehall:The Discourse, Strategy and Practice of Networking within the British Core Executive. Public Administration, 78(1), p.167–76.
Rhodes, R.A.W., 2006. Policy network analysis. In M. Moran, M. Rein & R. Goodin, eds. The oxford handbook of public policy. New York: Oxford University Press. p.425–447.
Provenance refers to the origin or source of an information (Munroe et al., 2006). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it may also refer to the history of the ownership or location of an object, especially when documented or authenticated. In policy development, provenance is used to provide evidence as to the views and background information for the creation of a public policy. In the OCOPOMO project, provenance is e.g. ensured through the establishment of traces and links between sources of information (the scenarios and background documents) provided by the stakeholders of a policy domain, and the simulation models developed by policy experts (Lotzmann and Wimmer, 2012). The links show the evolution of formal elements of a simulation model from the description of the real-world section (the scenarios and background documents, i.e. informal artefacts) which is subject of the model. Along the traces of a policy development process, two perspectives are important in policy modelling (see Lotzmann and Wimmer 2013):

- the perspective of the model developer, who is interested in traceability in order to understand or to keep track of the structure of the simulation model code,
- the perspective of the stakeholder not directly involved in model development, for whom provenance is essential in order to gain confidence in model results (and the simulation method as such) by unveiling the "black box" simulation model.  
Related terms: Traceability, Evidence
Munroe, S.; P. Groth; S. Jiang; S. Miles; V. Tan; J. Ibbotson; and L. Moreau. 2006. "Overview of the Provenance Specification Effort". University of Southampton Institutional Research Repository ePrints Soton
Ulf Lotzmann, Maria A Wimmer. Provenance and Traceability in Agent-based Policy Simulation. In: Proceedings of 26th European Simulation and Modelling Conference - ESM'2012, 2012
Ulf Lotzmann, Maria A. Wimmer. Traceability in evidence-based policy simulation. In: Webjørn Rekdalsbakken, Robin T. Bye, Houxiang Zhang (Editors) Proceedings of 27th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS), 2013
 Public Governance
OECD defines public governance as "the formal and informal arrangements that determine how public decisions are made and how public actions are carried out, from the perspective of maintaining a country’s constitutional values in the face of changing problems, actors and environments" (OECD 2005). Similarly, UNDP argues the "exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels". This understanding includes "mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences” (UNDP 1997). Governance in this context includes the "State, but transcends it by taking in the private sector and civil society. All three are critical for sustaining human development:

- State creates a conducive political and legal environment
- Private sector generates jobs and income
- Civil society facilitates political and social interaction - mobilising groups to participate in economic, social and political activities." (UNDP 1997)
Source of figure: UNDP
Good governance therewith promotes constructive interaction among all three actors. (UNDP 1997)
Related terms: Good Governance
OECD (2003). Promise and Problems of E-Democracy, Challenges of online citizen engagement, OECD study Available here
UNDP (1997). United Nations Development Programme, Governance for sustainable human development, UNDP policy document, New York, 1997.
 Public Participation
Conceptually similar to 'stakeholder engagement,' public participation is the mechanism by which citizens (and sometimes, also more generally 'residents') of a territory can be engaged in decisionmaking processes (OECD 2001; Brodie et al, 2010). Whereas stakeholder engagement may well refer to entities that are not only individuals, public participation often refers specifically to the way in which individuals can be brought into the processes surrounding policymaking (Barnes et al, 2007). This can be through various mechanisms and tools, notably voting, consultation, and support for monitoring of policies. Many public institutions across the world have been engaged in debates around how public participation is evolving due to various societal and technological transformations (e.g. European Commission, 2005; Shahin et al, 2009).
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2001), Citizens as Partners. (J. Caddy & C. Vergez, Eds.), pp. 1–253
Brodie, E., Cowling, E., Nissen, N., Ellis Paine, A., Jochum, V., and Warburton, D. (2010), Understanding participation, pp. 1–50
Barnes, M., Newman, J., and Sullivan, H. (2007), Power, Participation and Political Renewal: Case Studies in Public Participation, Policy Press.
Shahin, J., Soebech, O., & Millard, J. (2009), Participation in the European Project: How to mobilise citizens at the local, regional, national, and European levels (No. QG-31-09-153-EN-C). Committee of the Regions, pp. 1–185
Brussels: Committee of the Regions, doi:10.2863/14653 European Commission. (2005), The Commission’s contribution to the period of reflection and beyond: Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate (COM(2005) 494 final), pp. 1–12, Brussels: European Commission.
 Public Policy
Public Policy is a "set of interrelated decisions taken by a political actor or group of actors concerning the selection of goals and the means of achieving them within a specified situation where those decisions should, in principle, be within the power of those actors” (Jenkins, 1978). Public policy can be considered as: (i) a process; (ii) series of decisions; (iii) limited by internal and external constraints of government’s capacity to implement the decisions; (iv)as goal-oriented behaviour.
A public policy is "a document drawn up by governmental actors to present both their vision of an issue calling for public action and, to some extent, the legal, technical, practical and operational aspects of this action" (Turgeon, 2011). Public policy refer to "the process through which elected representatives decide on a public action designed to deal with an issue considered by certain actors, whether governmental or non-governmental, to require some kind of intervention".
Public policies in modern political systems are designed to accomplish specified goals or produce definite results, although these are not always achieved (Anderson, 2003). Public policies emerge in response to policy demands, or those claims for action or inaction on some public issue made by other actors—private citizens, group representatives, or legislators and other public officials—upon government officials and agencies.
Related terms: Policy, Policy Analysis, Policy Governance, Policy Informatics, Policy Model, Policy Modelling.
Jenkins, William (1978). Policy Analysis: A Political and Organizational Perspective. London: Martin Robertson
Turgeon, J. and J.-F. Savard (2012).“Public Policy,”in L. Côté and J.-F. Savard (eds.), Encyclopedic Dictionary of Public Administration, [online],
Anderson, J. E. (2003). Public policymaking: An introduction. Boston: Houghton
 Public Value Management (PVM)
Public Value Management (PVM) has emerged from a critique of New Public Management (NPM) (Stoker, 2003). It shares with more traditional approaches the idea that the public sector differs from the private. It rejects NPM’s assumption that democratic governance resembles consumer choice in the market, and is sceptical of insights drawn directly from the private sector (Moore, 1995). Three main categories of values can be observed:

- Legal values comprise the belief in legislation as the guiding principle in governance structure. The rule of law is an important legal value. Governance structures must behave in accordance with the laws that have been democratically agreed. Similarly, citizens should be protected from abuse by (administrative) courts (Considine & Lewis, 1999; 2003).
- Economic values include a variety of values, such as effectiveness, efficiency, flexibility and customer orientation. Governance structures attempt to maximise output while minimising inputs. These economic values can be compared with the business values of private sector companies (Pollitt & Bouckaert, 2004).
- Democratic values include transparency, accountability, openness and social equity. Subsequently, a governance structure should not be a closed organisation but must be open to citizens criticism and respond to their wishes or needs. Citizens must be able to influence or participate in decision-making processes during the course of policymaking. The state should treat all citizens in an equal manner with respect to not only legal equity but also real equity in everyday life (Thompson et al., 1991).  
Considine, M. & Lewis, J., 1999. Governance at ground level: the frontline bureaucrat in the age of markets and networks. Public Administration Review, 59(6), pp.467-81.
Considine, M. & Lewis, J., 2003. Bureaucracy, network or enterprise? Comparing models of governance in Australia, Britain, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Public Administration Review, 63(2), pp.131-40.
Stoker, G., 2003. Public Value Management (PVM): A new resolution of the democracy/efficiency tradeoff. Manchester: Institute for Political and Economic Governance (IPEG),University of Manchester.
Thompson, G., Frances, J., Levacic, R. & Mitchell, K., 1991. Markets, hierarchies and network. The coordination of social life. London: Sage Publications.
Pollitt, C. & Bouckaert, G., 2004. Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
Moore, M., 1995. Creating Public Value: Strategic management in government. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.