caENTI final scientific periodic report (March 2008 - February 2009) - Executive summary
The caENTI is a consortium of eigth universities and seven territorial actors. As a general objective, it aims to integrate present research projects on territorial intelligence tools, so as to give them a European dimension.
To do so, it works out three activities of comparative research coordination:
- Tools for and by actors
- Fundamental methods
- Governance principles
It includes two dissemination activities: the Internet portal http://www.territorial-intelligence.eu and annual international conference.
The WP6 “Tools for and by actors” carries out the caENTI objective. On the one hand, it is fed upstream by the WP4 “Fundamental Methods”. This WP provides technological solutions coming from research generic tools. On the other hand, it is fed by the WP5 “Governance principles” that evaluates these solutions acceptability, by referring to sustainable development.
The caENTI also aims to make data sets applicable to multi-disciplinary research activities and to territorial development.
Since the caENTI beginning, the research activities and technological developments about the tools were led according to three axes about the information contents, their analysis tools, and the uses of these tools within the territorial multi-sector partnerships.
About contents, the wp6c group harmonized the guide, the repertory and the territorial indicators of Catalyse observatories. Wp6f integrated the guide in an on line accompaniement file. Then Wp6i drafted the specifications of the European portal of territorial actors on the bases of the conclusions of Wp4i.
About uses, the wp6g draft guidance notes and started studying the uses of the observation tools by actors within development partnerships. Then, we create a group wp6u to draft detailed specifications on documents, protocols and uses from experimentations.
About tools, contant progress were made by wp6p, that harmonized and update tools of data and spatial analysis (pragma, anaconda and sitra), then wp6d, that integrated them, and wp6s, that integrated tools with contents, protocols and uses in TICS.
From March 2008 to February 2009, the WP6 “Tools for and by actors” aimed to draft the specifications of:
- A Territorial Information System adapted to the needs of the territorial actors of sustainable development and of the community, that is to say a “Territorial Intelligence Community System” (TICS).
- A European portal of territorial indicators, as a part of this system.
- A European Observatory of Elementary School on the basis of the French “Observatory of Rural School” experience.
Its objectives also consisted in following tools experimentations and in structuring a base of territorial intelligence projects, starting from the caENTI ones.
The coordination group wp6c “Contents” harmonized the specifications (themes and questions) for the European guide of diagnosis and evaluation, the services repertory and the selected territorial indicators, by synthetizing the contents defined and used by the different Catalyse observatories, between them and with the available European standards. Then, they deepened the guide contents meanings whilst taking into account the different national contexts.
The accompaniment file is a traditional tool used to improve the quality of human services. Information it includes must be useful for the person’s multi-sector accompaniment. The coordination group wp6f drafted in 2007 the main specifications of the file, and its structure to manage the individual follow-up, on the one hand, and global diagnosis and evaluation with structured indicators on the other hand. In the file, the guide is always useful; it gathers the individual multi-sector indicators requested for the territorial observation.
The coordination group wp6i aimed at working out a portal of information at the attention of local actors. Concretely, it is a question of allowing the visualization of data characterizing the socio-economic environment of people to increase the comprehension of territories, of their dynamics and of their problems with the help of a webmapping tool. Our work focused on the contextual and geographical data gathering (administrative cuttings and statistics), on the study and the implementation of the representation modes of online mapping information, and finally on the study and implementation of the representation and storage techniques of information and meta-information. The effective information gathering showed the difficulty to make information gathering (cost, variability of sources, absence of metadata, lack of harmonization). It generates difficulties to spread territorial information.
The group wp6p updated the methodological and technical specifications of the Catalyse software in 2006: the data analysis tools Pragma, Anaconda and Nuage, and the territorial indicators system (TiS), to use them in a way conform to the contents specifications, by improving their accessibility as PC tools and by developing online versions. It also coordinates the software development.
In 2007, the group wp6d organized a small team of researchers and engineers composed by twelve persons to design the specifications for the processing and editorial chain from data to results. They started developing the specifications to get more friendly, free, multi-platform and multi-language versions of the Catalyse Toolkit. They also focused their activity on conceptual specifications of the Territorial Intelligence Community System and the online versions in the prospect of this specific Territorial Information System.
In 2006, the group wp6g started defining the use and implementation of the Catalyse tools in the development partnerships, in order to draft guidance notes for the Catalyse Tools use. It specified the contents meaning, the data analysis protocols and the specific governance for the territorial observation uses in participative partnerships.
In Huelva 2007 conference we created a specific group wp6u to follow up the experimentations that were in augmention with new onservatories. It was also in charge to draft the specifications of an on line repertory of the territorial intelligence actors, especially development partnerships, that will aims at describing and analyzing their uses in matter of observation. It made a form to collect information an started with Catalyse observatories.
In 2008, the group wp6s drafted the specifications regarding the design of the Territorial Intelligence Community System, a concept that emerged within the caENTI coordination research activities framework on the basis of the Catalyse method. Its research activities were organized according to four integration axis:
- Integration of the data processing software, with articulated cross-platform and on line multilingual versions with a blog for download and documentation. A specific contents management system for the Catalyse observatories prefigures the TICS.
- Online editorial process from data gathering to results publishing with the definition of the main documents, data modelling and metadata.
- Data processing protocols for statistic and spatial analysis: global phases and stages, and then a detailed one for each question.
- Integration of the actors uses according to the Catalyse governance and the actors experiences.
The objectives of the coordination activity European Observatory of School (OES) are to study the transferability to the other European countries of the method that is experimented in France by the Observatory of Rural School (ORS): follow-up of a students troop to valuate the specificities of the territorial impact on success, knowledge of the territories and of their links with school, social territory representations and mobilization of the local actors. This group suggested a faisability study of the critical analysis of ORS based again on the same general principles. The methodology is based on the analysis and interpretation of the school follow-up of significant samples of pupils from different types of geographical environments. The information come from surveys made with the pupils, their parents and their teachers their entire curriculum long. The group transfered the old ORS database in a new epragma system. It also organized many seminars that allowed to gather and publish intersting papers on the European educational system.
The WP4 studied the fundamental methods, generic tools and research design in territorial information analysis within the social sciences and humanities. It aimed at improve their diffusion of the methods within the social sciences, to increase the use of territorial indicators, and to define the concept of territory in the multi-field context of the integrated approach. During the two first period five groups worked on five complementary topics.
The wp4m firstly made an inventory of the analysis methods of territories used by researchers, so as to identify those that can allow designing tools that can be used by territorial actors. Thus, the wp4m worked on data analysis, spatial simulation, mapping and GIS and territorial observation.
The wp4i identified the main sources of territorial information available for the researchers and focused on socio-economical and environmental information available on Internet at different territorial scales in Europe. A second step was launched, it consists in a confrontation of this territorial information with people’s needs, via the Catalyse method.
The wp4p tried to answer the two following questions : What are the projects funded by the UE (research and action) that we can consider as Territorial Intelligence projects? Which GD information is relevant for Territorial Intelligence? We found few projects and the GD answered that all information is on Eurostat.
As far as the wp4t is concerned, it specified the definitions and approaches of the territory concept in the disciplinary sub-sets of social sciences. This reflexion led to the implementation of a survey on the European teams that work on territory and on the methods they use.
Territorial competitiveness (wp4c) is an integrated and proactive approach to shape the future of territories and regions. Territorial competitiveness strategies can indicate how to explore potentials for development and employment and at the same time support an enhanced quality of life, by helping to meet the challenges of sustainable development.
At the beginning of the third period, WP4 made to pre-synthesis.
The confrontation of the steps led by wp4m and the wp4t led to a new questioning on the links between territorial knowledge and fundamental methods. Eventually, two levels were distinguished, the one of methods, paradigms and scientific positioning that can make progressing the territories knowledge and the processing methods of territorial information one. Thus, according to us, territorial knowledge is based on the idea territory is not only a material spatial reality but also an actors system, with its memories, its representations, its tensions and its projects. From this basis, any step of territorial knowledge should meet territorial actors, as well as their needs and their suggestions. Nevertheless, the territorial intelligence specificity lays in the scientific vision it has on the territorial issue. This scientific look is transverse and pluri-disciplinary, it is devoted to help actors and is planned to be enriched by actors. Territorial intelligence builts a collective knowledge, which object is territory and which subject is community. Beyond the mere production of tools, it reformulates the relation between researchers and actors and explicitly inscribes it in the sustainable development prospect.
Wp4i and Wp4c worked together on territorial information and indicators. Research activity on territorial indicators helps to reveal the vulnerability and a sustainable development approach. Regarding the environmental indicators, they were included in this reflexion. The local conditions and the local resources are territorial intelligence indicators nevertheless, the economic indicators are not relevant for territorial actors. The essential problem is that territorially-based actors want to position and maintain their region utility in reference to a set of measures and indicators that are conceptually suspect and often empirically weak.
It is directly not possible to integrate most of the indicators into the GIS application.
Then WP4 made its synthesis.
Among the methods of territorial data processing, we should particularly mention Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and territorial observation. The GIS are a system to capture, store, analyse and manage data and associated attributes which are spatially referenced on the Earth. The system is described by an indicators set that are shared by a community. It replaces the observation tools in the heart of the actors systems in tension in a given territory, that is to say in the governance heart. Besides the indicators of territorial intelligence allow a modern spatial analysis, taking into account the local conditions, the knowledge-based society and the community cooperation considered as a network. In general, this information is not as relevant as the actors need, in our vision of sustainable development.
The main general objective of the caENTI WP5 is the analysis of the application of the sustainable development governance principles to territorial research-action. It consists in deliberating on ethical and methodological principles that should be respected by research protocols of social sciences and humanities, so that the research results favour territorial governance and the territories sustainable development.
During the project first phase the WP5 elaborated the document “Application of the governance principles of sustainable development to territorial research-action” (deliverable 40). This paper is based on the auto-assessment of the research processes the caENTI members led and on the debate about the principles that inspire the research activity practice, in order it really contributes to the governance development. In order to contextualise this debate, the group set itself the initial objective of reaching a consensus on a basic conceptual framework concerning territorial governance, sustainable development and territorial intelligence. Given the importance of this approach for all the participants, the group also agreed on its vision of action-research. Based on the conclusions of this initial work, during the second period the debate entered greater depth and the group drew up action-research protocols inspired by these principles. The result of this debate was the caENTI Quality Letter on Action-Research Favouring Territorial Governance of Sustainable Development (deliverable 47). This work was presented and debated during the International Conference of Territorial Intelligence of Huelva in October 2007, with successful results. During the last caENTI period we focused on the practical aspects of the principles of the quality letter application and in particular on those regarding the information and communication technologies use in the research processes performed within the WP6 framework. The group dealt with the elaboration of the Catalogue of participative research-action methodologies -and especially on those suitable to be applied to territorial intelligence development projects- (deliverable 48), with the elaboration of the Catalogue of technological tools –and especially on those suitable to be applied to territorial intelligence development projects- (deliverable 49) and on the elaboration of a Video: “Research is at territories intelligence service.” This video articulates the WP5 and WP6 (WP6u) work as it presents the uses of the caENTI tools by the caENTI actors. It is subtitled in English and French (deliverable 50).
The Wp3 objective was to contribute to the visibility of all caENTI activities and to disseminate its results towards the greatest number. Wp3 also provided the caENTI with a protected Extranet (Intra-consortium website) and a cooperative workspace (CooSpace). The first version of the territorial intelligence portal was born on March 2006, accompanying the caENTI start. A new version, more “Territorial Intelligence oriented” was presented during Huelva 2007 in October. At the end of the caENTI project, the territorial intelligence portal is ready, well indexed in the web and constitutes a solid base for the network of territorial intelligence in order to pursue its activities. Wp3 also set up blogs allowing covering live international conferences of territorial intelligence and the Catalyse Community allowing to download tools and to consult a multilingual online documentation.
During caENTI, three international conferences on territorial intelligence were organised with the caENTI support. The University “1er decembrie 1981” of Alba Iulia organised the first one from September 20th to 23rd 2006 on the theme Region, identity and sustainable development. The second one was organized by the University of Huelva, from October, the 24th to the 26th 2007 on the theme Territorial Intelligence and Governance, Participative research-Action applied to territorial development. The last one was organized by the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, from October, the 15th to the 17th 2008 on the theme Tools and methods of Territorial Intelligence. The audience evolved from 100 during the first one up to 225 researchers during the third one and the number of published papers increased from 44 up to 83.
During caENTI, the WP1 was mainly in charge of the financial coordination activities, what mainly implied to follow-up the consortium expenses and to gather financial data (in terme of expenses and efforts) from the participants at the end of each mid-term period, and in a more detailed way at this end of each reporting period. Besides, the WP1 dealt with legal issues, in particular when we had to organise the consequences of a caENTI partner withdrawal from the partner when it had to cease its activities. Moreover, the WP1 organised the project scientific coordination meetings and annual international conferences with the local caENTI partners. It also coordinated the translation of most of the caENTI reports and deliverables. Lastly, the WP1 worked on the caENTI innovation and dissemination issues and wrote the mid-term and periodic reports on this issue.
As general prospects, the caENTI started a process that will go on after the end of the coordination action. We should think to the future. On the basis of the progress and results, we defined the tasks that shoudl be made on the short term:
- Develop and update tools
- Follow up and develop experimentations.
- Maintain and widen the prototype of the European portal of territorial indicators.
- Feed the Catalyse Community website with new versions and documentation.
- Continue to draft specification of the territorial intelligence community systems.
- Publish the base of territorial intelligence actors
- Publish on line the European repertory of research teams for which territory is an object.
The reseach on fundamental methods and tools will be published in reviews and continue.
The works on the governance principles generate debates on the ICT use and on the participative methods the caENTI will not be able to conlude.
To ensure the continuity of the caENTI actions, we started an action of foreshadowing of a network of excellence in territorial intelligence, supported by the French National Center of Scientific Research, aims at constituting a virtual laboratory at the international scale.
Three research activities are presently foreseen:
- Making a multi-disciplinary syntheiss of territory sciences
- Developping territorial information and disseminating the territorial observation and spatial analysis methods, especially towards vulnerable people and territories
- Improving the contribution of territorial information systems to an equitable governance and to sustainable development, through a better integration in the territorial decision-making process
Three dissemination activities have already some foundation:
- The Journal of Territorial Intelligence
- A project of European master in territorial inttelligence
- The international federative website territoriesnet.org
The sixth International Conference of Territorial Intelligence Tools and methods of territorial intelligence that took place in Besançon (France) in October, 2008, was successful. Many participants want to be members of the next network of excellence and more than 12 teams offered to organize seminars and coordination meetings for preparing this project.
The next international conference of territorial intelligence, Territorial Intelligence and culture of development will take place in Salerno (Italy), from 4th to 6th November, 2009.
- caENTI first scientific periodic report (March 2006 - February 2007). By Jean-Jacques GIRARDOT (caENTI Scientific coordinator, University of Franche-Comté)
- caENTI second scientific periodic report (March 2007 - February 2008). By Jean-Jacques GIRARDOT (caENTI Scientific coordinator, University of Franche-Comté)