How Can We Close the Gap?
Public authorities have noticed the gap between program strategy and implementation. Implementation tends to get lost in the delivery and underestimation of time, costs and risks.
The interest on how to close the gap at a local, regional and national level has gathered over 12,000 European authorities on Interreg’s Policy Learning Platform to share their current successful practices across four topics:
• Research and innovation
• SME competitiveness
• Low-carbon economy
• Environment and resource efficiency
Policies and processes have a story behind why they were put in place. Authorities share their reasons to improve regional policies as well as talk about their experience in the program and the difficulties encountered.
Interreg’s purpose to humanize regional policies by connecting different authorities through multiple stories is one of the reason’s why SEAI’s Monitoring and Reporting Program was such a good fit for Interreg’s Good Practices database.
Despite the facts and figures of energy consumption, authorities such as Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) realised an effective implementation goes beyond the statistics.
A low-carbon economy starts with passing the baton to the people they serve: the public; the Monitor and Reporting Programme know the bodies and schools they serve by name and make the energy performance results personal. Similar to how organisations focus on the ‘users’ in a software design process, authorities must focus on the people they serve in policies.
This human-centred approach to a big data volume project has grown public-interest. The ability to humanize this complex process by having the public bodies enter their data and encourage a feedback loop between SEAI and the bodies and schools they serve is critical for strong implementation.
Implementation becomes a bottom-up approach, which is how SEAI has been able to track 96% of Ireland’s energy consumption. A nominated person in each public body and school inputs the data, however, SEAI has an assessment process to maintain data quality.
SEAI offer guidance and a clear actionable direction for the public. SEAI provide a baseline to the public sector’s target of 33% energy efficiency improvement by 2020. After providing a scorecard and analysis of each public body’s performance, they help identify the gap to the 33% target and have partnership programs, energy management training and mentoring and advisors to encourage strategic interventions in energy efficiency.
SEAI presented the M&R program to the Interregional partners of the EMPOWER project who were impressed with the system. The Irish program is now published in the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform Good Practice Database.
“This approach taken by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland can be highly recommended, as the centralised tool adoption (adapted from a commercially available tool) means that all public bodies are reporting the same data, which can all be compiled effectively,” reports Simon Hunkin, an Interreg Europe Expert and Thematic Expert .
As a proud partner of the M&R programme, Ultan Technologies’ congratulates SEAI for this accomplishment. Our SensorCIS software has helped SEAI close this gap between policy strategy and implementation: By capturing the data from the people who make the direct impact and send it to the decision-makers; who connect back to the people with new strategies based off the public performance.
SEAI and our SensorCIS technology created a feedback loop to bring people into this critical process and show that they are the central focus of major policies.