D5.2 Policy Dialogue Protocols

D5.2 Policy Dialogue Protocols

Project Acronym I3
Grant Agreement Number 688541
Project Full Title I3 Impact Innovate Invest
Document Type Deliverable
Document & WP No. D5.2 WP5
Document Title Policy Dialogue Protocols
Partner T6ECO
Release date
Document Control Page                 
Title Policy Dialogue Protocols
Creator Simona De Rosa
Review status Action Person Date
Quality Check Shenja van der Graaf 24.10.2016
Internal Review F6S and EK 21.10.2016
Distribution Public
Revision history
Version Date Modified by Comments
V0.1 18.07.2016 Simona De Rosa Initial document structure
V0.2 05.08.2016 Simona De Rosa Draft sent to partners
V0.3 05.09.2016 Egidijus Jarasunas Feedback and F6S inputs
V0.4 20.10.2016 Simona De Rosa Draft version for the internal review
V0.5 21.10.2016 Simona De Rosa Final version for quality review
V1.0 24.10.2016 Shenja van der Graaf Final , submission

Table of Contents

Table of Contents ………. – 3 –

List of Tables ………. – 3 –

List of Figures ………. – 3 –

Executive Summary ………. – 4 –

Relation to other documents ………. – 7 –

Introduction ………. – 8 –

i3 policy dialogue ………. – 9 –

1.1    Summarizing and redifining the strategy ………. – 10 –

1.1.1   Details about stakeholders’s identification ………. – 11 –

1.1.2   Definition of the topics for policy dialogue: first inputs ………. – 17 –

A framework for the policy dialogue ………. – 19 –

1.2    Protocols and tools to implement ………. – 20 –

1.2.1   Roundtable with experts ………. – 21 –

1.2.2   Focus group ………. – 22 –

1.2.3   Public multi stakeholder forums ………. – 24 –

1.2.4   The survey ………. – 24 –

1.2.5   Online discussions ………. – 25 –

1.3    Next steps ………. – 26 –

Conclusion ………. – 27 –

Appendix ………. – 28 –

Bibliography ………. – 33 –

List of Tables

Table 1. List of stakeholders to engage in the i3 policy dialogue ………. – 14 –

Table 2. Final list of stakeholders to engage in the policy dialogue ………. – 17 –

List of Figures

Figure 1. Policy Dialogue Process ………. – 11 –

Figure 2. Protocol for tools (source: Akoh et al., 2012) ………. – 21 –

Executive Summary

Impact Innovate Invest- i3 – is a Coordination and Support Action that addresses the topic of ICT19-2015 Technologies for creative industries on Convergence and Social Media. Following the European Council conclusion that stated “Europe needs an integrated approach from research and innovation to market deployment”[1], i3 will support research results from lab to market, making innovation happen.

However, as stated in the Description of Action (DoA), i3 will implement also a systematic policy review and analysis applying methods that can be effectively used to solve policy issues in the domain addressed by the specific ICT19 topic. In this sense, a policy dialogue will be organised in order to develop new research agendas, issues for a regulatory framework and coordination policies in Convergence and Social Media.

The aim of the deliverable is twofold. Firstly, the aim is to continue the work already done in D5.1, defining stakeholders to engage and identifying preliminary topics to discuss with them. Secondly, the aim is also to provide the final definition of a policy dialogue that will allow addressing regulatory, normative and technical aspects within the convergence and social media sector through protocols and tools.

In line with this, the deliverable provides a detailed list of stakeholders that will be engaged, the issues that will be preliminary discussed and the protocols that will be used. Hence, this deliverable has to be considered as a step forward compared to D5.1 but also a guideline for future activities foreseen by the i3 strategy.

The deliverable is divided in two chapters.

Chapter 1 starts with a brief summary on the reasons why to have a policy dialogue within the i3 lifetime and then it follows with a description of the strategy that was presented in D5.1. However, the current deliverable intends to provide a deeper level of details that was achieved within the consortium after the submission of the previous deliverable. Particularly, this chapter provides a careful identification of the stakeholders to engage. Indeed, starting from the work done in the previous deliverable, it is now possible to better understand figures and stakeholders to engage. In addition, also topics that will be preliminary discussed with stakeholders during the first focus groups are here presented. Such topics have been identified with the support of i3 Advisory Board.

Chapter 2 provides a detailed overview of the protocols that will be followed and the tools that will be utilised. Indeed, according to the strategy, different levels of engagement will be requested to participants and different tools will be created accordingly to derive policy recommendations eventually.


Abbreviation Expression
AB Advisory Board
AVMSD Audiovisual Media Services Directive
BEUC Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs
DG Directorate General
DoA Description of Action
DSM Digital Single Market
EBU European Brodcasting Union
EC European Commission
EDIMA European trade association representing online platforms
EP European Parliament
ERGA European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services
EU European Union
FOSS Free and Open Source Software
I3 Impact Innovate Invest
ICT Information Communication Technologies
NEM New European Media
NGOs Non-Governmental Organisations
OA Open Access
SME Small Medium Enterprise
SPSS Statistical Package for Social Science
TV Television
UGC User Generated Contents

Relation to other documents

This document is related to other i3 documents as follows:


  • Description of Action
  • 2 Coordination and Engagement Plan
  • 1. Policy Dialogue Concept Paper


  • 3. Dialogue Intermediate Working Group Report
  • 4. Policy Dialogue and Final Report and Recommendation


As a matter of fact the European Commission is particularly interested in the regulation of the Media sector as a crucial field of innovativeness for the European society.

In order to achieve a common understanding on the main topics related to the specific sector of Social Media and Converge, the EC is very much engaged in public consultations to define the policy-making process.

In line with this i3, as a support action financed by the call ICT 19-2015, intends to support the need of discussion in order to enhance policy making according to real needs and expectations coming from relevant stakeholders involved in the field.

In this sense, i3 will lead a policy dialogue process.

Policy dialogue, indeed, is a complex process and to be productive should follow at least two main characteristics: it should engage several and different stakeholders and it should be based on a well defined protocol.

In order to respect these two main rules defined by the literature and by the practice, i3 has defined the protocol that it will follow as well as tools to be used. More in detail, i3 provides the overall approach, the framework that will lead all the activities and the tools that will be implemented.

The first relevant point that emerged within i3’s investigation is the need to have a wider discussion. For this reason, i3 intends to put together a stakeholder community based on a variety of figures from both the private and public sector (e.g., policy makers, entrepreneurs, investors, and projects’ participants engaged in the field). The variety itself will allow to deliver policy recommendations aimed at inspiring next policy initiatives launched by the European Commission.

Secondly, it is crucial to clearly select and specify which tools will be used according to different stages of the policy process in order to have a clear understanding and plan.

The current deliverable intends to provide an update in respect to the previous D5.1 on the definition of the policy dialogue, correcting the strategy, where needed, and giving more details about protocols and tools that will be applied.

i3 policy dialogue

The Social Media and Convergence sector is actually playing a key role in the political agenda of the European Commission (EC) due to the massive relapses on the economic, social and cultural life of the European Union (EU).

The attention to the sector is particularly high due to the fact that “new technologies and media services – such as digital television, satellite radio, mobile content applications, video on demand, and new inter-net services – are fundamentally transforming media environments and media use” (Klimkiewicz, 2010, p.xi). Of course, this phenomenon affects very much the everyday life of European citizens from both a social and an economic perspective.

From a political perspective, the state of the art of the Convergence and Social Media sector as derived from the analysis of academic sources, EU documents and public reports from institutions confirm that, as described in D5.1, there is a relevant need to define a common media policy by harmonising the differences in the media systems and rules between the Member States in order to improve policies to regulate institutional behaviour and improve the opportunities of market actors and citizens.

Transformation such as changes from traditional broadcasting services in new media opportunities, or the massive use of the Internet in the production of new solutions for media, or the emergence of the so–called “user generated content” (UGC) are just a part of the issues that are shaping current practices, requiring new responses and solutions.

In this sense, indeed, traditional broadcast services are evolving fast, supporting the creation of even more connected devices and the availability of broadband connections. As a matter of fact, these innovations clearly affect also consumers’ habits and possibilities. Among new solutions’ needs, new possibilities for connections between devices are crucial due to the fact that this new “fluid” system is disrupting traditional services and is helping the diffusion of on-demand services.

In order to follow progresses and transformation, one of the most relevant EU’s initiatives to support and to enhance the sector can be traced in the creation of a Digital Single Market (DSM) for the audio-visual and media sector. Since the 1980s the Commission adopted a strategy to create a free access on online activities with fair competition and data protection and the removal of some economic and legal barriers, particularly about contents. Nowadays the achievement of a DSM is even more urgent and important.

In addition to the strategy for achieving a DSM, the EC is very active in opening public consultations by engaging several stakeholders interested by the sector in several topics of discussion. Among the others, it is possible to recall the public consultations on the Directive 2010/13/EU called the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), a consultation on Media freedom and Pluralism and, finally, a consultation on Convergence. Recently, the EC has launched a consultation on Media Pluralism and Democracy. As stated on the EC website “The purpose of the public consultation is to feed into the second Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights which will take place on 17-18 November 2016. The Colloquium will explore the multiple links between a free and pluralist media space on the one hand and democracy on the other hand. The freedom of media and a plurality of voices in society and in the media are indispensable preconditions and essential safeguards of well-functioning democracy. Freedom and pluralism of the media are enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental rights, and are at the core of the basic democratic values on which the Union is founded[2]”.

As written in D5.1, consultations are a very important instrument in order to enhance the dialogue with interested parties, gathering feedback for further legislative decisions.

In order to enhance the dialogue between the EC and relevant stakeholders on the topic of Social Media and Convergence, i3 intends to provide an additional instrument of dialogue. The strategy for policy dialogue has been discussed in D5.1, identifying a first overview of stakeholders to involve. However, as a policy dialogue needs to fit with major issues and stakeholders’ needs, this deliverable intends to be a step forward to the previous one redefining the strategy according to further sources and deeper investigation and analysis.

1.1 Summarizing and redifining the strategy

In line with the need of discussion between institutions, citizens and industry in the Social Media and Convergence sector, i3 has developed a strategy for policy dialogue. The aim of the policy dialogue is to engage stakeholders in the definition of guidelines to provide to the EC for further legislative actions in the sector.

As emerged in the debate about responsible innovation, new technologies are somehow creating an “institutional void” that needs to be filled with new types of governance. As stated by Haier and Wagenaar (2003) “emblematic of the move from old models of governing to more decentralised and open-ended governance, which takes place in new places – markets, networks and partnerships as well as conventional policy and politics”.

From this prospective, i3 aims to empower new solutions to discuss relevant topics through the instrument of policy dialogue. The aim is to let stakeholders’ needs come out and translate them into policy recommendations, influencing policy makers and their actions.

The policy dialogue process has been described in detail in D5.1 and the overall descriptive approach is available on the i3 website[3]. Therefore, the scope of this chapter is twofold. Firstly, the aim is to provide a summary of the envisaged strategy. Secondly, to clarify the stages of the policy dialogue that i3 will follow during the project life-time.

As described in D5.1, the i3 strategy consists of five following steps, Figure 1.

Figure 1. Policy Dialogue Process

  1. Stakeholders Identification. M5-10.

The first step is related to the stakeholder analysis, namely the selection of actors that will be involved in the policy dialogue, taking into account the diversity of the groups to be engaged. This step has been achieved and results are presented in the following paragraph.

  1. Definition of the topics for policy dialogue. M 11.

The definition of topics based on a survey submitted to the i3 Advisory Board and a further consultation with selected stakeholders.

  1. Data gathering and evidence-based analysis. M11-12.

The stakeholders engaged in the previous step will provide information and sources on the selected topic. Then the i3 consortium will conduct an evidence-based policy analysis.

  1. Policy dialogue through forum of discussions and open platform. M12-24.

It will be implemented through three multi-stakeholder forums of discussion and a final event that will be disseminated using the greatest possible number of channels. In addition to these forums, also online surveys and online discussions will be used to gather feedback. Main results will be disseminated on websites, also in the view of reaching the attention of stakeholders not yet engaged.

  1. Analysis of results and policy recommendations. M24-30.

The results of the previous steps will be used to provide information and recommendations, supporting policies in the media sector at European level, “Trying to influence European actions in supporting policy that can effectively enhance the link between research and business opportunities in the media sector” (D5.1). The data gathered from the previous steps will be analysed with qualitative methodologies.

1.1.1 Details about stakeholders’s identification

Policy dialogue starts from the identification of relevant stakeholders to be engaged as result of literature review and analysis of the concrete practices put in place from the EC in public consultations.

The literature review was based mainly on academic sources while the analysis of current practices was based on the review of stakeholders already engaged in the public consultation on the sector by the EC.

The analysis has been conducted proceeding in a separation between “formal” (e.g. the European Institutions, authorities, etc.) and “informal” stakeholders (e.g., citizens, NGOs), on the basis of the grade of their participation (direct or not) in the policy process.

The matching between the two approaches was crucial in order to determine all stakeholders relevant from different perspectives, opening the target of actors to engage. Indeed, one of the i3’s aims is to keep the debate as wide as possible. In this sense, the matching between two different sources gave us the chance to understand the complexity of the target that should be involved in i3 activities.

Hence, through the work of comparison and matching it was possible to derive the following Table 1, contained in D5.1.

Stakeholders to engage
European institutions
  European Commission


To select DGs:

DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology

DG Competition

DG Education and Culture

DG Enterprise and Industry

DG Internal Market and Services

DG Trade and DG Research and Innovation

  European Parliament
National authorities
  Member States
  National competent authorities To select:

Government, Parliament, Ministries, regional entities etc.

  Public broadcaster
Regulatory institutions
  Media regulators
Media interest groups
  To decide
Media companies
  Multinationals Private broadcaster


Radio operators

Film producers

Film distributors, Newspaper publishers

Network operators

Content providers

Cinema, film and TV – producers, distributors

Sport Related Entities

Print and Publishers


Cable and satellite operations

Telecom companies

Website/ Podcasting To decide:


Collaborative Projects

Social Networking sites

Content communities

Virtual realities

Academia and research
  Academics or experts
Other entities
  European projects financed under the call ICT 19-2015
  Associations on Digital, Internet et alia
Citizens Crowdfunders
  Program Makers

Table 1. List of stakeholders to engage in the i3 policy dialogue

Table 1 contains the first picture of stakeholders that i3 intended to engage in the policy dialogue and it has its own preliminary foundations in the DoA, asking for the inclusion of policy makers, entrepreneurs and citizens. In addition to these categories, further subjects have been integrated according to results from the literature review and to the observation of current practices promoted by the EC.

Indeed, other subjects such as projects financed under the call ICT 15-2016 in the field of Social media and Convergence, NGOs and many other have been identified as potential stakeholders to be included in the dialogue.

However, as the aim of the current deliverable is to provide a deeper information on the subjects that are going to be invited to take part to the policy dialogue, further refinement of Table 1 has been conducted.

Thus,Table 2 identifies the number and the kind of actors that should be engaged. This list, even if still open to modifications, will provide guidelines to the i3 consortium in the next phases.

The table is the result of a joint effort between the i3 consortium and the Advisory Board (AB), which has integrated and modified Table 1, according to their own expertise and knowledge in the sector. In this sense, Advisory Board has directly added stakeholders and modified some category that was identified by the consortium.

The following Table 2 provides an overview of stakeholders we are going to engage. Of course real participation to i3’s process will take into account of their availability.

Stakeholders to engage
European institutions
  European Commission


At least 1 official member from each unit:

DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology

DG Enterprise and Industry

DG Internal Market and Services

DG Research and Innovation

  European Parliament 2 members of the EP working on the field
National authorities
  National competent authorities Members from:

Government, Parliament, Ministries, regional entities from at least 10 different European countries engaged in the sector

  Public broadcaster 1 exponent for each public broadcaster from at least 10 different European countries
Regulatory institutions
  Media regulators 1 exponent from ERGA (European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services)
Media interest groups
  1 exponents from New European Media (NEM)
Media companies
  Multinationals 1 representative from EBU (European Bradcasting Union)

1 journalist from national or EU news agency eg. Euronews

Media Deals http://www.media-deals.org/





Private broadcaster

Website/ Podcasting To decide:


Collaborative Projects

Social Networking sites

Virtual social worlds

Content communities

Virtual game worlds

Streaming companies (Netflix, Amazon)

1 representative from EDiMA (European trade association representing online platforms)


Academia and research
  Academics or experts 2 scholars experts in the field
Other entities
  European projects financed under the call ICT 19-2015 All the project still on-going at the time of policy dialogue
  Associations on Digital, Internet et alia iStart, Digital research & entrepreneurship hub

Digital Europe


BDVA, Bid Data Value Association

5G PPP , 5G Infrastructure Private Public Partnership

Citizens Crowdfunders European Crowdfunding Network


  Customers BEUC  (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs)
Information Technology
  Software companies Representatives from companies that make platform for collaborative work, social media marketing tools, tools for managing multiple social media accounts and others
  Hardware companies Mobile phone manufacturers
  Telecom providers Local or Int’l providers eg. Progimus Vodafone
  Connected devices IoT expert
  Social media analytics Data scientist
  Intellectual Property Cybercrime specialist

Table 2. Final list of stakeholders to engage in the policy dialogue

1.1.2  Definition of the topics for policy dialogue: first inputs

In addition to the list of stakeholders to engage, a further step has been done on the definition of topics to be discussed in the policy dialogue.

The strategy, indeed, foreseen that at M11 a meeting with a selected pool of stakeholders will be organized to identify the main topics that will be further discussed in the next phases of the policy dialogue, together with all stakeholders identified so far.

The plan is to provide the selected pool of stakeholders with ideas about what seem to be the most important topics of discussion, but just as hints for reflections; indeed, stakeholders will be free to change the topics they want to discuss or to confirm the ones proposed from facilitators.

The topics that are going to be proposed at the first meeting have been identified as main results emerged from the literature review and then discussed with the Advisory Board.

Advisory Board members, indeed, were engaged in a survey[4] in order to identify relevant topics.

The discussion was based on the following two topics emerged as relevant issues through literature review and desk analysis:

  • Market barriers that reduce economic opportunities in the field for Social Media and Convergence industry;
  • Research ideas that are not adequately supported in terms of economic resources to go on the market;
  • Making EU copyright rules fit for the digital age
  • Regulating access on the basis of community standards
  • New Technologies and Future Trends
  • Limitations: Legislative and political
  • Disruptive business models
  • Data protection
  • International cooperation and relationship between EU and USA in the digital and social media topic
  • Evolution of social media

Starting from these issues, stakeholders engaged in a meeting that will be organized in M11 will provide insights about the relevancy on the topics and will be invited to discuss what are the most relevant topics for them. Once collected all information, an evidence based-analysis will follow, in order to investigate and analyze what emerged. Information collected so far will be integrated in the next step.

Only after that, an online platform for policy dialogue, a survey and dedicated forums of discussions will be launched.

Further details about next steps will be provided in the next D5.3, Policy Intermediate Working Group Report, according to the stage of the development of the i3 project.

A framework for the policy dialogue

The development of policy recommendations is, as already stated, one of the aims of the i3 project. Policy recommendations will be delivered at the end of the project, as result of the policy dialogue conducted over the project lifetime with a broad range of stakeholders

However, in order to be productive, the policy dialogue should be based on two main elements: from one side, clear evidence has to inform the shaping of policies, from the other side, who is affected by the policy’s implementation has to accept to implement it (Souter et al., 2010). In order to gather evidence and to seek consent, several procedures have been identified by the literature and applied in the practice.

Procedures that can be used for policy dialogue are fundamental to facilitate the dialogue among different stakeholders that should take part in the discussion. However, even if different procedures have been identified to collect inputs from stakeholders at national, regional and global level, the best ones and their positive aspects are still need to be fixed.

In this sense, the current chapter intends to be a kind of guideline about the main procedures and protocols that will be used to facilitate consultations among stakeholders by the i3 consortium.

Before going in depth in the discussion of main tools to implement the policy dialogue, the reference framework needs to be clarified. Indeed, according to the literature, policy making intends to be an adaptive and iterative process (Swanson and Bhadwal, 2011). For this reason, the approach followed by i3 is based on the “continuous learning”: lessons learned during consultations will always be adapted to the next step. In other words, “the principles of adaptive policy making suggest the importance of continuous learning—feeding back into the learning process in order to make it more efficient, result oriented and responsive to changing circumstances. Every activity feeds back into the process itself. The policy practitioner may set goals he or she intends to accomplish and then choose to disband afterwards, but there is no natural, prescriptive end point. The important thing is to view any multistakeholder collaboration as a process rather than as a one-time event or a series of events” (Akoh et al (2012).

In this way the policy dialogue process will constantly change according to the engagement of the practitioners. In line with this, the variety of people involved will make a wider discussion possible, sharing concerns and issues that will be a benefit for the overall debate. Indeed, as stated by Akoh et al (2012) “With input from multistakeholder forums, decision-makers can build more robust, adaptive solutions to problems and opportunities.”

Now that the theoretical baseline that will drive the i3 process for policy dialogue was discussed, procedures and tools will be identified and explained.

1.2 Protocols and tools to implement

As summarized in the previous chapter, i3 has delivered an established methodology for policy dialogue organized in different steps. However, the aim of this chapter is to describe a protocol and the tools that will be used and followed in order to define the intended policy recommendations.

As a matter of fact, tools for policy making can generally be used independently or separately of each other in a modular way. In this sense, who is in charge of the policy making process can design its own process as it best fits with the scope of the consultation.

Even if tools and techniques intend to be modular and free to be used for any possible implementation, a preferred protocol exists where each tool or instrument has its own place. According to Akoh et al. (2012) “There may be some constraints with regard to the order in which they are used, along with prerequisites for which tool should be implemented earlier. Some tools should be used sooner rather than later. For instance, while online discussion lists can run continuously throughout a policy process, or in some cases outlast one (thereby remaining as a legacy dialogue platform), a mapping of the policy landscape may be required first, in order to identify participants who should be invited to the online discussion forum. We have made recommendations on how each tool could be approached by including a timing and duration’s section in its description, along with suggestions for the next tool to likely be used. However, this decision remains solely the prerogative of the policy practitioner”.

In line with this, Figure 2 shows the protocol that should be followed during a policy dialogue, respecting the preferable order of tools and activities.

Figure 2. Protocol for tools (source: Akoh et al., 2012)

Following the approach provided by Akoh et al., i3 will adapt the protocol described above.

The main steps of the I3 protocol could be described as follows:

  • a discussion with experts in the sector to discuss the state of the art in the Social Media and Convergence sector and collect main suggestions about topics to discuss during the policy dialogue;
  • the policy dialogue will start through surveys, multi-stakeholder forums of discussions and online debates based on open platform in order to discuss selected topics;
  • Once the consultation stage will end, a final public multistakholder event will be organized to collect last feedback;
  • All contents collected during the final event will be integrated in the policy recommendations and delivered to the EC.

During all the policy dialogue, the i3 website will be used as a preferred channel to communicate the state of the process, disseminating results and engaging interested people.

The next paragraphs will provide details about the tools to run the policy dialogue.

1.2.1  Roundtable with experts

In the i3 process experts will play a relevant role and they will be engaged above all in the preliminary phase of the policy dialogue. Looking at the literature about policy dialogue, the best option to organize a roundtable is to have a restricted meeting through the participation of a small group of influential experts in the field and aware of policy issues.

In the case of i3, experts that will take part in the roundtable will be the pool of experts engaged as Advisory Board (AB). The AB members have been selected in order to cover different areas of expertise in the media sector, from academia to industry. In line with this, the variety of skills present in the board will allow to have a wide discussion also in this preliminary stage.

According to the toolkit for policy making provided by Akoh et al., 2012 “The experts roundtable allows issues experts and thought leaders to discuss trends, frame issues, and identify information gaps, critical uncertainties, and policy challenges in a particular policy context and on policy issues that concern a wider public. Their input, while important, should not be taken out of context or in isolation, but complementary to the objectives of the wider policy dialogue. Because contributions are not made in public (see procedures section), the policy practitioner would be required to adopt practices that tactfully introduce an expert’s advice into the process. Advice could provide direction and support to the policy dialogue, usually at the beginning and throughout the process, and steer dialogue toward achieving public consultation objectives. Sometimes the experts group could play an advisory function, in which case the practitioner would be responsible for constantly engaging and keeping them informed about the process”.

Adopting such inputs for the i3 protocol, experts will attend a roundtable, foreseen in M9, and be asked to provide first insights and inputs about current policies in order to identify issues to discuss during the policy dialogue. The roundtable will take place in a small group and in a form of a private discussion facilitated by the i3 consortium. Even if a closed session could seem to be misaligned with the spirit of policy dialogue, “closed sessions may be necessary in the early stages leading up to a public process, to create a trusted space for government officials to explore with experts what the current policy issues are and the challenges of those positions” (Akoh et al., 2012).

Following main instructions provided by Akoh et al (2012) for organizing roundtables, objectives, outputs and timing and duration have to be planned in advance.

Particularly, experts groups should be able to achieve the following objectives:

  • To provide expert input where one is required to fill information gaps, articulate critical uncertainties, and suggest changes that address policy challenges;
  • To generate buy-in among influential figures who may themselves become ambassadors for the policy change.;
  • To identify unconventional and non-traditional ways of addressing certain policy concerns.

Regarding the expected output from the AB it is important to notice that no publicly available documented output is expected from this activity. On the other hand, who leads the discussion has to keep track of the debate using minutes of the meetings about points discussed and major views of the group; then, a final report should be delivered. The I3 consortium is able to carefully lead experts’ roundtables thanks to a huge experience in facilitation methodologies acquired in other European projects. Indeed, all partners, and particularly, T6 Ecosystems, iMinds and Eurokleis, have all needed skills to lead and manage working groups.

Timing and duration will depend on the experts’ availability. The roundtable can be organized in one or in multiple sessions, according to the scope. However it is better to have meetings lasting not longer than three hours.

I3 will incorporate these instructions for the first roundtable. The suggestions of the experts will be incorporated in the next step, according to the previously described learning approach.

1.2.2 Focus group

Once relevant topics with the help of the AB were identified, a focus group will be launched in M10. Such interaction, as already said, will allow to have a pool of defined topics that will be further discussed.

The Focus group will be the tool that i3 will use for the first event in order to select the topics. According to Akoh et al (2012) a focus group is a very useful tool “to explore perceptions, attitudes and trends within a community or group of people organized around a geographic space (city or regional), theme or profession. A focus group can be useful in triangulating the data from a survey, to assist with ensuring a rigorous approach to gathering evidence to support policy dialogue. A focus group can provide more information from another angle or perspective”.  As stated by Gibbs (1997), although a focus group can be organized according to several methodologies, the important characteristics that should have to be productive are two: it should be fast and interactive.

In addition to these two important rules, as stated by Akoh et al (2012), “the key to a successful focus group event lies with the quality of the moderation—the ability to steer the discussion, from start to finish, toward productive outputs. This should not be mistaken with controlling the dialogue, which may tend to muzzle participants and restrict them from fully participating in the discussions. Rather, it is a facilitative function that draws all stakeholders into the discussion through probing and, sometimes, leading questions. A moderator’s role is to enhance the debate. The moderator should commence with a clear description of the process, including how the outcome from the dialogue will be used. For instance, how will the reports, policy briefs or minutes that may emerge from the process be disseminated or used? How can the participants be involved in the process beyond the event? It is also important to state clearly where the focus group activity lies in relation to the entire policy process and how its inputs can contribute to the desired policy objective”.

Even if the moderator is crucial, it is also important to pay attention to the number of people taking part to the discussion. The group should be of around 10 to 12 people. Then, a group of people taking notes should always be ensured.

The main objective that has to be achieved is the “understanding of public opinion, to foster in-depth discussion on an issue of public importance, and to generate evidence and consent on steps to take” (Akoh et al., 2012).  The expected output of the focus group can be summarized as follow:

  • Raw notes from the focus group process. The outcome of this dialogue is usually text-based, qualitative data;
  • A description of the process flow, facilitator’s reflections and insights. Outputs from this exercise could go directly into policy landscape map or directly into a policy brief or white paper.

Focus group timing changes according to the group and to the level of discussion, however three hours are generally sufficient. To gather feedbacks and points of view from all participants, facilitating methodologies can be adapted.

About the design protocol that it is the best to follow, experts, among others Akoh et al 2012, suggest to organize the focus group after a survey or after the mapping of the policy landscape, but prior to the large multi-stakeholder event, due to the fact that results from focus groups could be used as background information to the multi-stakeholder event.

According to these suggestions, i3 will structure a first focus group, collecting all needed information and will pay attention to all main rules listed so far. All other face-to-face interactions will be managed through public multi stakeholder forums.

1.2.3  Public multi stakeholder forums

As envisaged by the i3’s overall strategy, the core of the policy dialogue will be achieved during three forums of discussion and, finally, during a final event. These four meetings will be organized in a form of a Public multi stakeholder forum.

This tool is the most used in order to have different kinds of stakeholders discussing the same issue in a collaborative way in order to promote cohesion and common understanding that will lead to final delivery of decisions or recommendations.

As argued by Akon et al (2012) “Bringing together various stakeholders to participate in a structured but engaging dialogue is a useful exercise in the policy-making process. This tool is helpful both for gathering evidence and securing consent, because it helps to seek broader public input and it could be used to generate support around policy issues. Consultations of various kinds are the bedrock of an open and inclusive policy process”.

The preferred form is to have a face-to-face public forum, where both decision-makers and other stakeholders are on the same level and are treated equally. It is important to plan a well structured forum, addressing two main issues in particular: firstly, the forum has to be considered within a continuous process and not as a single event; secondly, it is crucial to engage stakeholders interested in the topic from different perspectives.

In the i3 process, the multi stakeholder forum will not be limited to one single event but it will be repeated three times. A final forum will be organized to share results of the previous forums and collect final feedbacks from participants. Moreover, i3 will be active in the engagement of stakeholders from both private and public sectors as well as from civil society in order to ensure a real openness.

1.2.4 The survey

Online surveys are a good tool to create a baseline about stakeholders’ opinions and to collect knowledge on the main subject of interest or about related issues. Web-based surveys are also a useful tool due to the fact that they are cheap and they have the potential to attract a huge number of people. It is important to notice that surveys are also used by the EC in public consultations when asking participants to fill in pre-defined questionnaires.

Generally, main aims of the survey are “to generate evidence of current and potentially future policy issues and concerns and to provide another source of data that can be used for triangulating the evidence, either ready or intending to be generated from the process of mapping the policy landscape” (Akoh et al., 2012).

About the timing and duration, the design of the survey can take around one week, then it should be tested for a week more. Once validated, the survey should be disseminated for three or four weeks. When the data collection will start also the analysis can start.

Following the also well-established approach used by the EC, i3 will use the survey in parallel to open discussions.

As a matter of fact the definition of the survey and the methodology to be used to analyze results is a complex phase. Following this, the i3 survey will be structured adopting questions based on a likert scale and some open questions. Replies from the likert scale will be analyzed through statistical programs (such as SPSS) while open questions will be analyzed through qualitative methodologies. The web tool that probably will be used for the questionnaire is SurveyMonkey but at the moment it still need to be defined.

1.2.5  Online discussions

Nowadays, online discussions are a common way to communicate with large groups of people, to organize exchanges among them and to increase networking activities. Above all, these tools are very useful to understand in depth the point of view of stakeholders about policy issues and to disseminate gathered information.

Indeed: “They are very practical administrative tools useful for asynchronous consultations, for agenda setting prior to in-person consultations and for eliciting evidence and consent. Technologically, an online debate space can be as simple as a hosted forum on a private server or one running free and open-source mailing list software—and these could potentially be integrated with social media. Whatever technical model is employed should appeal to the community and also address the technical or Internet constraints with which members of the community may be faced” (Akoh, 2012).

According to this, an online platform can be a very useful tool to manage an open debate, facilitating policy process and gathering data from discussions. One of the issues is about the promotion of the participation due to the fact that, in order to be consistent, a large number has to contribute to the debate. In addition, it is is also important to constantly summarise discussions to keep track about what was said.

At the same time, this kind of tool is able to provide relevant outputs such as a summary and detailed documents to be used in coordination with other tools.

Time and duration for the discussion on an online platform depends on the needs of the policy dialogue. However, a proper dialogue discussing four issues can takes around a couple of weeks. It is important to mention the start and end date in order to motivate people to be part of it.

Regarding the kind of tool to use, it is important to notice that to foster and enlarge the discussion to the widest public, i3 is going to launch, in addition to the online platform, an open discussion on twitter, with a dedicated hashtag, involving as many people as possible. On twitter information and discussions will be launched through the i3 twitter account[5].

1.3 Next steps

In the view of what was presented in deliverable D5.1 and considering the discussion presented in this deliverable, the timeline of all the activities envisaged for the policy dialogue is presented here in its final version.

Starting from results gathered by the Advisory Board on the topics for policy dialogue, a focus group with a selected pool of stakeholders will be organised in November 2016 (M11).

Following, the focus group will start a period of data gathering and evidence based analysis. Then all other tools will start. Particularly, the multi stakeholder forums should be organised in M12 (December 2016) – M18 (June 2017) – M24 (December 2017). In parallel, the online platform for policy dialogue will be opened and shared with the stakeholders and the survey will be disseminated to selected stakeholders.

Finally, a final public multi stakeholder event is planned at M28 (April 2018). Such event will be crucial to gather final feedback from attendees about what shared so far and integrate results in the final report that will be delivered at the end of the project, M30 (June 2018).

The work-plan here presented, however, could be subject to small modifications related to general needs of the project. i3 will try to respect the following schedule but will also try to link the policy dialogue with other relevant events foreseen by the engagement plan, D3.2., in relation to other work packages.


The relevance of Social Media and Converge within the EC’s agenda reflects the importance of the topic itself for both the private and the public sector as well as for European citizens and the civil society.

This is one of the main reasons why a constructive policy dialogue focused on the main issues related to the topic has to be considered as a crucial instrument to influence the policy-making process.

Starting from this assumption, i3 has built a strategy to run a policy dialogue to be followed until the end of the project that could really influence policy lines promoted by the EC, giving new sources of information and new evidence from different stakeholders’ perspectives.

In order to produce policy recommendations that could be useful to influence policy decisions, the strategy has to be performed according to a solid protocol. Indeed, literature on the topic confirms the need for a clear and well-established approach as the only way for generating solid and consistent results. Following literature’s recommendations, i3 has defined in this deliverable its own protocol for the policy dialogue. The protocol is based on the most relevant instructions provided by the literature, respecting processes and timing for the envisaged activities.

The protocol, as said, will be performed under the framework of the “continuous learning” approach, so that each step will influence and provide input to the next one, influencing continuously debates and discussions until the end of the process. The protocol has defined the framework together with the tools and the procedures that will be followed in order to implement it.

Regarding tools, experts roundtables, focus groups, a survey and multi stakeholder forums have been selected as the most appropriate for the project’s aims. Each tool will allow the i3 consortium to collect and analyse specific content. Results will be gathered and included in the production of the final policy recommendations.

Obviously, all these activities are based on two preliminary tasks: a literature review about the state of the art of the topic and a stakeholders analysis to understand who has to be present in all the stages.

In this sense, the aim of this deliverable was twofold. On the one hand, it intended to complete the strategy discussed in D5.1 presenting protocols, tools and redefining the timing for activities. On the other, this deliverable has reported a next step of the stakeholders’ analysis and preliminary topics that will be discussed during the policy dialogue with the stakeholders.


Introduction to the survey

As part of i3, the partner T6 Ecosystems srl is conducting a survey addressed to the Advisory Board members of the project.

The purpose of this survey is related to the strategy definition for policy dialogue in order to integrate your valuable viewpoint in the deliverable.

As stated in the Description of the Work, “the work package 5 Policy Dialogue and Recommendation is dedicated to answer to to the task identified in the workprogramme to facilitate research and policy exchange in Convergence and Social Media. Key decision makers able to take effective decision will be invited to Policy Dialogue. Starting from a Policy Concept paper and with regular release of report of the Dialogue meeting and specific working group the Dialogue will engage also external contributions coming from the community. The Dialogue will engage itself with running decision to be taken at EU level and side of the final report to be published, will seek to be influential in the relevant policy drafting for Convergence and Social Media”.

In line with this, one of the first steps indicated by the DoW is the identification of stakeholders that have to be engaged in the policy dialogue and the topics that will be discussed with selected stakeholders.

The survey will take about 20 minutes to be completed. Please answer all questions from your viewpoint.

Please answer each question providing your answer in the designated space.

In case some questions are not applicable to your situation, or show aspects you think are not relevant for Convergence and Social Media, please list us your suggestions/opinions to help us improving the questionnaire. Feel free to add comments after the text of the question where you think they need to be improved.

Please, notice that you can reply to this survey in a written form filling the questionnaire until September 24th.

Thank you for the time you dedicate to this survey.

In case you need any support or clarification please contact Simona De Rosa

Identifying stakeholders to engage in policy dialogue

One of the aim of D5.2 is to provide in detail the list of stakeholders that will be invited to attend the different stages of the policy dialogue.

At the moment of the writing, the attached list provides an overview of the already identified stakeholders. The aim is to have a complex list of stakeholders in order to mix different perspectives and approaches.

I kindly ask you, using revisions, to add, modify or cancel the list of stakeholders to the table below.

Please, insert kind of stakeholders, but also names if you are able to provide it, in order to define a list that could contain a satisfying group of interested parties that will contribute to a successful dialogue on Convergence and Social Media.

Stakeholders to engage
European institutions
  European Commission


At least 1 official member from each unit:

DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology

DG Enterprise and Industry

DG Internal Market and Services

DG Research and Innovation

  European Parliament 2 members of the EP working on the field
National authorities
  National competent authorities Members from:

Government, Parliament, Ministries, regional entities from at least 10 different European countries engaged in the sector

  Public broadcaster 1 exponent for each public broadcaster from at least 10 different European countries
Regulatory institutions
  Media regulators 1 exponent from ERGA (European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services)
Media interest groups
  1 exponents from New European Media (NEM)
Media companies
  Multinationals 1 representative from EBU (European Bradcasting Union)


Website/ Podcasting To decide:


Collaborative Projects

Social Networking sites

Virtual social worlds

Content communities

Virtual game worlds

1 representative from EDiMA (European trade association representing online platforms)


Academia and research
  Academics or experts 2 scholars experts in the field
Other entities
  European projects financed under the call ICT 19-2015 All the project still on-going at the time of policy dialogue
  Associations on Digital, Internet et alia iStart, Digital research & entrepreneurship hub
Citizens Crowdfunders
  Customers BEUC  (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs)
  Program Makers

Please feel free to add any consideration about the list in order to give us the opportunity to define a correct set of stakeholders to invite to the policy dialogue.

Defining topics for Policy Dialogue

In addition to the list of stakeholders to engage, a further step is related to the selection of topics that will be discussed.

Actually, the strategy foresees that i3 will organize a meeting with a selected pool of stakeholders to select the main topics that will be further discussed in the next phases of the policy dialogue together with all stakeholders identified so far.

However, the idea is to start a meeting providing already some input about the most important topics of discussion. Such topics intend to be just hints for reflections; indeed, stakeholders will be free to change the topics they want to discuss or to confirm the ones proposed at the beginning.

Aim of the survey is to provide to stakeholders during the first meeting topics that have been selected together with advisory board.

Topics related to Convergence and Media Sector identified so far through literature review are the following two.

  • Market barriers that reduce economic opportunities in the field for Social Media and Convergence industry
  • Research ideas that are not adequately supported in terms of economic resources to go on the market

Do you agree that stakeholder should discuss about the fact that Market barriers reduce economic opportunities in the field for Social Media and Convergence industry?

Please attribute a value from 1 to 6 where 1 is “totally disagree” and 6 is “totally agree”


Do you agree that stakeholder should discuss about the fact that Research ideas that are not adequately supported in terms of economic resources to go on the market?

Please attribute a value from 1 to 6 where 1 is “totally disagree” and 6 is “totally agree”


Considering your experience on the field, please list 3 topics that should be presented to stakeholders for defining the final list of issues to discuss for policy dialogue

  1. ____________________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________________

Please add any other consideration or suggestions, if any, to improve the topics selection



Akoh, B., Egede-Nissen, B., Creech, H. 2012. Toolkit on Internet Public Policy Dialogue: Tools for the Practitioner. International Institute for Sustainable Development. Available at http://www.iisd.org/library/toolkit-internet-public-policy-dialogue-tools-practitioner

Gibbs, A. (1997). Social Research Update 19: Focus groups. Guildford: University of Surrey, Department of Sociology. Retrieved from http://sru.soc.surrey.ac.uk/SRU19.html

Hajer, M., Wagenaar, H. (Eds.). 2003. Deliberative Policy Analysis: Understanding Governance in the Network Society. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Klimkiewicz.,B. 2010. Introduction: Harmonizing European Media Policy: Supranational Regulatory Trends and National Responses. In Klimkiewicz B. & Klimkiewicz B. (Eds.), Media Freedom and Pluralism: Media Policy Challenges in the Enlarged Europe. Central European University Press.

Souter, D., MacLean, D., Akoh, B., & Creech, H. (2010). ICTs, the Internet and sustainable development: Towards a new paradigm. Winnipeg: IISD. Retrieved from http://www.iisd.org

Swanson, D., & Bhadwal, S. (Eds.). 2011. Creating adaptive policies: A guide for policy-making in an uncertain world. Sage,IDRC. Available at http://www.iisd.org/publications/pub.aspx?id=1180

[1]Available at: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/139197.pdf

[2] Available at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/fundamental-rights/opinion/160519_en.htm

[3] D5.1 it is available at http://www.i3project.eu/dissemination/

[4] The survey is available in the Appendix.

[5] Official Twitter account of the project: EU_I3