TUE 11:30 AM Parallel Session: Public Policy Process


Full Report: Presentation No.1: A New System Dynamics Model for the Analysis of the Paper Digitization Process in the Italian Public Administration, by S. Armenia


In a transition period from paper to all-digital, a very costly process, society faces many challenges. The systemic variables (cost, documents, and the users themselves) in this great challenge construct the systemic problem as well. In the analysis of this case study, in which the Italian Public Administration was used as a paradigm and the focus of the research, we conclude that the “new” technology grounds pleonasm, which consequently increases the archives’ mass tremendously. These two insights formalize the dynamic hypothesis of the study (a causal loop diagram) which shows how various factors (social and psychological) can establish policy postponement and/or opposition and, moreover, a greater impediment to organizational change.


Furthermore, in the state of the diffusion of the “new technology”, the basic assumptions are that paper and digital documents must be present at all times and that archiving costs are constant. However, as technology advances, digital documents have a limited life cycle, thus both formats of documenting information must be kept. Each format has its strong points and its weak points. Digitizing all documents needed (which implies that all initial investments for record-keeping are now lost) is a time-consuming process. While space is saved, the cost and the time needed to retrieve records is reduced and efforts for the preservation of the environment are obvious.


The current normative situation defends the integrity of information (issues of fraud, privacy, and clarity) and shows the difference in productivity between paper users and digital users as technological learning increases over time. Still, there is a tendency to hesitate before rapid change which hangs over not only the Italian Public Administration but every developing society. The acceptance of an all-digital process in any organization can be increased by word of mouth and advertising by effective users. As the effective users’ numbers increase, the potential adopters’ numbers are driven down affecting positively the adoption rate of the all-digital process. Ultimately, the change that would come with the total digitalization of an organization/administration would be fundamental for its prominence.



Presentation No.2: A Feedback Theory of Trust and Confidence in Government, by I. J. Martinez-Moyano


When the status of a system (a society) is a safe environment, then that society is separated into two ends: the Low End, which almost never trusts the government, and the High End, which almost always (no matter what) does. From the government’s end - a form of infrastructure - a competitive role adjacent to the public is an expected function.


The public’s trust in government entails that the government will act the right way (a behavior), acting on its behalf. This condition is based on the public’s confidence in the government, where confidence is associated with performance (an outcome). Then the outcomes that are anticipated and the expectations that rise due to the confidence in the body of government, are legitimate and expected to efficiently change the system. Consequently, trust and confidence are conditions that interact closely enough but have a major distinction between them.


Among others, the quality of information is a crucial factor that drives the public’s perception-formation process, a process that expects the government to get the job done and in the right way. Thus, often the effect (performance/an outcome) is influenced by its own cause (trust/a behavior), a classic illustration of a feedback loop. Similarly, public policy can be influenced under conditions of uncertainty.



Presentation No.3: A Field for Interactive Learning on Climate-Energy Transition (FILCET): Concepts and Structure, by E. Campos-Nanez


The complexity of the Climate-Energy Crisis (CEC) is a macro-problem. In the Climate-Energy transition and its interrelationships between climate change, energy policies, and innovative strategies in pursuing a sustainable development, systemic learning can be used. Thus, the subject itself has created the opportunity for knowledge interaction and awareness in energy issues such as global warming.


FILCET (Field for Interactive Learning on the Climate-Energy Transition) is designed to be a communication tool for sensitizing energy users, educators, policy makers, and energy innovation networks. Understanding the problem, the perception in CEC will be renewed, technologies and investments will be affected, and overall demand will be influenced – if not shifted. In particular, FILCET’s is a learning strategy to find ways to manage risk (by analyzing concepts and methods of system thinking), inform and examine communication applications of complex problems, and challenge (approach models on regulating CO2 emissions) and explore new learning approaches (build models) on climate change. FILCET’s extensive use in the educational world and in State plans is capable of leading to sustainable development in energy issues.


Evangelia Maragos


<Back to the Synopsis>