All this means that some indicator producers are undertaking double work, are applying different methodologies, using different data sources or presenting the indicators in very different ways. In addition, it can be difficult for other users such as policy makers or the public in general to use these indicator sets. In this project, ICEDD is in charge of elaborating proposals for streamlining the information sources and indicators that exist at Community level (the European Environment Agency, Eurostat, the Joint Research Centre and the DG Environment of the European Commission) by applying a streamlining exercise, by elaborating a streamlining methodology and by defining more clearly the functions, responsibilities and roles of each knowledge centre participating in the indicator production process, structuring and coordinating their analyses and making available the streamlined information in a readily accessible form.
The fundamental principles underpinning the streamline exercise are to review and analyse the data flows needed to underpin indicator production, to show if there is multi-purpose use of the same indicators in many reports or if there is policy synergies with streamlining potentials, and to identify institutional responsibilities. Furthermore, there are substantial synergies between different policy objectives so there is potential to streamline policy-relevant indicators that can serve several policy objectives simultaneously. It is also very important to economise the indicators production process by fully sharing indicators and establishing clear responsibilities and roles in the data collection, treatment, management, assessment and publication processes. Indicators relevant to more than one theme/sector will not be repeated in the different sets so indicators will be shared. The streamline proposals will also be applied at the institutional level in order to optimise institutional co-operation at the EU level, so that information needs, responsibilities and roles are mapped and clarified and duplication is avoided.
ICEDD is elaborating proposals to streamline the indicators to be more manageable and accessible, requiring some difficult decisions about including or excluding potential indicators. These proposals are discussed with the stakeholders (both data and indicators owners). In particular, the streamlining proposals should allow the EU organisations, with either a mandate or role to gather data and to produce indicator-based reports and services to work together on a common approach so as to avoid duplication and where there are similar needs, to use the same indicators for many purposes. Where common data are used, a division of tasks between the relevant indicator producers will be discussed in order to avoid double work, avoid differences in methodologies, and avoid confusion on indicator ownership. This then means that the indicator producers should agree upon, and share production criteria. This activity should facilitate the creation of indicator teams within and between the relevant organisations with different tasks in the indicator production process. The overriding objective of the discussions would thus be to develop as far as possible a common set supported by a shared system of relevant environmental data information in which all interested parties would co-operate and play a role.
This project is led by Sogeti working with ICEDD as subcontractor.