Governance in the Information Era: Theory and Practice of Policy Informatics
A growing appreciation for the roles that complex governance networks play in the design and execution of public policies has combined with the advancement of a suite of meso-level policy and governance theories and frameworks and the expansion of computational power and capacity to now make it possible to design
computer simulation models that provide governance informatics to stakeholders. Governance is the means by which an activity or an ensemble of activities is controlled, directed or steered. Governance informatics is predicated on the assumption that by building the capacity to describe governance processes of heterogeneously interacting agents in complex inter-organizational environments, network managers will enhance their situational awareness to adaptively manage the wicked problems surrounding the accountability and performance of inter-organizational governance networks. Policy tool selection and design considerations may also be rendered using governance informatics platforms. In this chapter we define governance within the context of multi-scale, multi-agent interorganizational networks. The critical element of our approach to governance informatics projects is described. These elements include: setting boundary conditions, stakeholder participatory modeling sessions, development of scoping models, ongoing visualization of governance design, development of pattern-oriented, agent-based models and continuous stakeholder engagement. Opportunities and challenges for engaging stakeholders in this work are addressed. Implications for future research and applications are drawn.