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How should Knowledge4Policy evolve?

We’ve just launched our first community on Knowledge4Policy. Let’s use it to build a better platform.

Reposted from Knowledge4Policy, where the launch of its first knowledge community means it can finally host its own blog. Please comment on the original post on K4P. More: Submission Guidelines — Knowledge4Policy

TL:DR; take the survey (more options below).

Hitting “publish” on this, my first blog post on Knowledge4Policy (K4P), is a special moment for me. I’ve helped create a few online communities for the European Commission (I launched my first in February 2002, so I just missed that particular anniversary), but K4P may be the most important.

As Stephen Quest, Director General of the JRC, put recently, evidence-informed policymaking is not a Nice2Have for democracies:

“Strong science for policy ecosystems, connecting an independent scientific community and its knowledge effectively to policymaking processes, are fundamental to our democracies… Ultimately, a democracy cannot work without some kind of consensus on the facts”

Another key requirement for democratic policymaking is transparency: What science are governments basing decisions on? Who is advising them?

As a public website supporting evidence-informed policymaking at EU, national and regional levels, Knowedge4Policy has an important role to play (see About K4P).

And we need your help shaping its future.

What should we build next?

This post goes live a few days before we launch the first knowledge community on Knowledge4Policy, convened by the Evidence-Informed Policy Making Competence Centre (EIPM). As its name suggests, the focus will be on discussing evidence-informed policymaking. Within that, I will focus on how Knowledge4Policy should evolve to better support its mission and members, as a continuation of the K4P audience research programme.

For example, which community features should we develop next? Today you can submit your personal profile and knowledge, as well as comment on blog posts like this one (see Help > Community). But we’re just getting started — plans for new community features include:

  • enabling comments on all knowledge (as an option)
  • integrating with Teams to create Closed Working Groups, where members and EC scientists can work together while respecting EC transparency law
  • allowing Members to not just submit knowledge, but also manage profiles of their organisations and projects.

Those may be good ideas, but are they the best? There are plenty of non-community features we could add instead:

  • more Knowledge Services to fill our policy coverage gaps
  • improve knowledge management (site search engine, machine learning…)
  • reinforce K4P’s policylayer, which synthesises scientific knowledge specifically for policymakers
  • provide “evidence-for-policy as a service” using linked data or APIs
  • train publishers in Writing for (policymakers on) the Web
  • improve the site’s design language.

What are your priorities for K4P?

That’s just a sample of the ideas in our backlog. Our resources are far from infinite, so please help us decide. Ideally, take a look at the (two page) K4P briefing paper, and then take your pick:

  • take the survey
  • comment to this blog post, and/or write your own*
  • or simply use the feedback form at the bottom of any page
  • you can message me directly via my profile*
  • we’d appreciate you sharing this blog post.

We’re also looking for any other useful insights, so please contribute* good practices by similar sites around the world, any relevant audience research, or indeed anything else relevant to knowledge brokerage, online or otherwise.

I look forward to reading you.

(*) requires becoming a community member (click ‘Login’, above; help is available).



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Mathew Lowry

Mathew Lowry

Piloting innovative online communications since 1995. Editor: Founder: Personal Hub: