SEPA successfully applied to the LIFE+ Programme for matched funding to support Scotlands environment web partnership initiative. The project was achieved through the following set of actions which have been summarised. Extract from the LIFE+ Project Document - Detailed Technical Description of the proposed actions.

 

Action

Workstream

Action 1

Project Management by SEPA

  • organisation and control of the project;
  • develop an execution plan for project implementation;
  • project coordination;
  • reporting to the European Commission;
  • manage resource including recruitment where necessary.
Project Management
Action 2

Project Monitoring & Evaluating

  • assessing progress;
  • capturing and examining project risks and issues;
  • reviewing stage status.
Project Management
Action 3

Audit

  • an independent auditor will be appointed to verify the financial statements provided to the Commission in the final project report;
  • this audit will verify compliance with relevant national legislation and accounting rules and will certify that all costs incurred respect the LIFE+ Common Provisions.
Project Management
Action 4

Identifying public interests in environmental data

  • this action will identify the type of environmental information which may be of greatest interest to public users of the Scotland’s environment website. The public are one of the key target audiences of the website;
  • this action will result in an improved understanding of the public’s interests which will inform both the development and design of the site.
Public Engagement
Action 5

Create partnership

  • create partnerships with Scotland’s environment web users and data providers to:
    • identify priority environmental information needs;
    • identify the associated data sets;
    • identify partners to contribute data and interpretation;
    • explore how partners want to be able to comment on, review, analyse and interpret data sets;
    • explore how Scotland’s environment web can be used as a resource to educate, inform and influence partners and the wider public; and
    • explore how partners can contribute to communicating environmental messages to the wider public.
Science
Action 6

Identifying gaps in data availability

  • using the information collected under Actions 4 and 5 together with further analysis, this action will identify the data gaps which need to be filled and develop an annual timetable for delivery of data sets to the project;
  • the partnership will identify and prioritise the data needs of the project, and help to specify the data analyses tools that will be needed to meet the environmental information priorities.
Science
Action 7

Fill environmental data gaps

  • this action will identify mechanisms to acquire the missing data identified in Action 6, establishing business processes with partners to provide data to Scotland’s environment web on an on-going basis;
  • this action also supports Action 15 which will develop the applications to present data and information in new ways. The scientific/policy issues associated with the provision of data will be discussed with partners to establish business processes and standards which will support the systems to transfer data.
Science
Action 8

Presenting data analysis, interpretation and review

  • this action will analyse and interpret the data made available to Scotland’s environment web and assimilate it in order to provide a single and coherent view of Scotland’s environmental condition;
  • data gathered from multiple sources may need to be further manipulated in order to create a comprehensive picture of the environment. For example, it is likely that air quality information and data will be available from a range of providers but the different sources of data will use different ‘currencies’ (e.g. concentration data and annual emission values);
  • simple descriptions of the environment will be produced that are meaningful and understandable by a wide range of audiences;
  • a range of analytical tools will be developed to interpret a wide range of different data sets so that an understanding of the wider environment can be progressively developed.
Science
Action 9

Prioritise environmental problems

  • this action will establish agreed, transparent methods for prioritising environmental problems across a range of environmental themes for Scotland;
  • the methods will produce a ranked list of environmental problems in Scotland;
  • the prioritisation will be carried out using available scientific data, transparent criteria and expert judgement.
Science
Action 10

Defining the effectiveness of measures

  • this action will develop an understanding of the costs and effectiveness of measures and interventions which are undertaken to protect and improve the environment;
  • measures to be assessed will include regulatory/enforcement intervention, advice, guidance and engagement with customers including NGO’s and the public.
Science
Action 11

Promote public involvement in monitoring

  • public engagement in environmental monitoring, or “Citizen Science” , involves members of the public in the process of collecting and recording environmental data and observations;
  • this action will list areas for public involvement in environmental monitoring, develop publicity campaigns and promote, and launch new website information and tools to support citizen science projects.
Public  Engagement
Action 12

Initiate the public debate on environmental priorities

  • This action will explore how and where the added value of high-quality on-line information provision and presentation can add significant value to the public’s interest and ability to engage with debate on environmental priorities;
  • Scotland’s environment web will explore how it can help to improve public debate on environmental priorities within both existing plans and processes (local public engagement) as well as a national electronic public debate, through the website;
  • options for holding an electronic public debate will be explored, and will consider both existing discussion forums and new opportunities. Through these activities this action will open up the discussion on Scotland’s priority environmental problems with the wider public, among whom there is a mixed range of understanding of environmental issues and priorities.
Public  Engagement
Action 13

Promote public involvement in protecting and improving the environment

  • this action will promote positive action by the public to protect and improve the environment. It will do this linking closely with the activities in Action 11 (public monitoring) as many existing and potential public engagement projects do not make the distinction between monitoring and action thus encourage both types of activities in the same project;
  • in addition this action will look at how, why and to what extent engagement in public engagement projects leads to increased stewardship of the environment;
  • this action will list areas for public involvement in action, develop publicity campaigns and promote and launch new website applications to support public action projects.
Public  Engagement
Action 14

Establish a standard for the information architecture

  • a series of standards to cover Scotland’s environment web architecture will be deployed. These will cover:
    • Scotland’s environment web style guide for web developers and editors;
    • Scotland’s environment web data standards (Web Map Service Gemini 2 base);
    • Scotland’s environment web dynamic library technical guidelines;
    • Scotland’s environment web compliant application standards.
Information Systems
Action 15

Develop applications to support new information

  • in response to the information analysis, data gap analysis and prioritisation, applications to support the new environmental information requirements will be developed. These will require a data model and supporting database and a user interface;
  • it is anticipated that the complexity of these applications will vary from complex to simple and that, during the timescale of the project, an example of each of these will be required.
Information Systems
Action 16

Delivery of information and Best Practice

  • this action complements the science/policy work undertaken in Action 7 (fill data gaps). It will establish the IS processes which make data available on Scotland’s environment web by accessing data held by different organisations. In some situations data may be transferred to a Scotland’s environment web partner, and then displayed on the website (Data Custodian);
  • this action will develop the information architecture and delivery mechanisms to meet the range of European and international obligations. It will implement the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) principles of maintaining data as close to source as possible, ensuring that up to date information is available from a single source to meet reporting requirements such as those specified by INSPIRE and WISE (Water Information System for Europe).
Information Systems
Action 17

IT Systems Development

  • a suitable IT platform will be built, supported and deployed to achieve the project deliverables and in particular the applications developed under Action 15;
  • once information has been delivered it is essential that it can be maintained as required by those responsible for it. There is the anticipation that partners will be able to customise the presentation of their information and web pages.
Information Systems
Action 18

Addressing users' guidance needs

  • this action will undertake a “guidance needs” analysis to define the guidance requirements of Scotland’s environment web users;
  • a guidance package will be developed (including e-learning and online tutorials) and a series of training sessions delivered;
  • focus groups will be established composed of members from Scotland’s environment web partners and the wider public. These groups will assess the user interface of the web site and associated applications and feedback on its usability.
Information Systems
Action 19

Networking with other projects

  • members of the Scotland’s environment web team and partnership management groups actively engage with other LIFE+ projects;
  • information about the project will be exchanged with other LIFE+ projects and will look for any potential synergies that could be taken forward.
Communications
Action 20

Notice Boards

  • notice boards describing the project and containing the "LIFE+" logo will be displayed at strategic places accessible to the public, such as the head offices of all the engaged partners.
Communications
Action 21

SEWeb project website

  • a section on the Scotland’s environment web website will be created that will work as the focal point for information about the development of the LIFE+ project;
  • the web site will be the project’s primary communication channel, and will also deliver the different data and information applications, tools and functionalities.
Communications
Action 22

Layman's report

  • a layman’s report of Scotland’s environment web will be produced in paper and electronic format, presented in English language. This will be a summary report that introduces the Scotland’s environment web (LIFE+) project, its objectives, actions and results to the general public.
Communications
Action 23

Dissemination of information about SEWeb

  • this action considers what communication tools will be used to publicise the project as a whole and proposes an initial implementation plan for these communication tools. Dissemination will be a constant factor throughout the project;
  • publicity events and public surveys will be focused upon supporting the individual project actions;
    • communications tools to be used include:
    • digital brochures and newsletters;
    • videos or podcasts;
    • an e-networking group;
    • road shows and presentations;
    • press articles;
    • a national conference (in Scotland);
    • an international conference.
Communications
Action 24

After- LIFE Communication Plan

  • the plan will set out how the dissemination and communication of results will continue after the end of the LIFE+ funded project.
Communications
Action 25

Project Evaluation

  • defining the measures of success which the Scotland’s environment web project will be evaluated against will take place at the start of the project during 2012. The established measures of success will be reviewed regularly to ensure they are relevant and appropriate to the project;
  • the end of Project Evaluation Report (Action 1) will draw on the findings of the assessment of the project’s achievement of the Scotland’s environment web partnership vision and blueprint, and the overall impact of Scotland’s environment web on Public Engagement, influencing public awareness and action undertaken to improvement the state of the environment.
Project Management

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