TROPICO is organised in eight scientific work packages that follow a four-step sequential design (see figure): The first pillar studies the institutional conditions and individual drivers and barriers of collaboration (WP 2 and WP3). The second pillar investigates the practices of open and innovative collaboration in and by governments in policy design (WP4 and WP5). The third pillar examines service delivery inside governments and between governments and external actors such as stakeholders and citizens (WP 6 and WP7). The final pillar focuses on the consequences and effects of innovative collaboration based on ICT for legitimacy and accountability as well as government efficiency (WP8 and WP9).
Work Package 2
explores the institutional conditions shaping collaboration in and by governments, incl. formal rules and norms embedding administrative traditions and cultures, ‘collaboration trajectories’ (any reform attempts over the past decade), as well as the regulations for data protection and data sharing, and freedom of information as crucial conditions for exploiting ICT in collaboration.
Work Package 3
seeks to explain what drives civil servants’ willingness to collaborate with the private sector in a policy delivery setting. Our work examines the extent to which local civil servants consider economic, environmental and social criteria and the ICT dimension when awarding a contract to a private company. Furthermore, it measures how much these criteria are worth to them. To investigate these topics, a discrete choice experiment among local civil servants responsible for waste collection in Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Norway and Spain is currently conducted.
Work Package 4
studies the emergence and nature of innovative collaboration practices inside governments, examining the actors and means and how they are linked in collaborative policy design. Hence, it focuses on actor constellations and actors’ capabilities (e.g. formal authority, salience, expertise, means of collaboration (incl. timing, formality, intensity), especially also the application and suitability of ICT, and the institutional conditions shaping these actors and means.
Work Package 5
contributes to an enhanced understanding of success factors of e-participation initiatives involving governments, key stakeholders, societal groups, and users. It will analyse information systems but also the challenges stemming from political, administrative and cultural contexts of online democratic engagement.
Work Package 6
studies whether and under which conditions collaborative public management arrangements deliver more innovative public services, particularly the potential of ICT to manage and overcome the tensions between collaboration in networks and managing single organisations.
Work Package 7
examines whether and under which conditions these different types of partnerships result in innovative service delivery and to what extent this is influenced by partnership features (management, leadership and trust), the drivers and level of participation of individual stakeholders and users, and the application of ICT tools to foster collaboration and user involvement.
Work Package 8
is to analyse the impact of collaboration on legitimacy and accountability and to develop assessment tools to measure those for collaborative governance.
Work Package 9
focuses on the effects and impact of innovative collaborative practices on public sector efficiency, conducting a meta-assessment on red tape and an innovative measurement of efficiency effects of novel collaboration practices.