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Funding evaluation of data products

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Subject area/Theme

User Engagement/Economy

Best Practice:

To foster user acceptance of GMES* data products, funds shall be made available to allow a thorough product evaluation focusing on the users’ specific needs. The evaluation shall be made by the pertinent user(s) or an independent third party acting on behalf of the user organisation(s).

Explain why is there a need for this Best Practice?

Users are often reluctant to integrate GMES* data products into their operational procedures, unless the usefulness of the new data product for reporting requirements has been positively evaluated. This evaluation is not trivial, especially when the GMES* data products are going to be used as input data for modelling.

Provide an example application(s):

The project "GSE Forest Monitoring" provided funds for a sensitivity study comparing the usefulness of a new GMES* product on forest indicators with operationally used statistical data for modelling dry deposition rates of atmospheric acidifying components into forest ecosystems. This study was conducted by an independent consulting company. The results show that the GMES* product considerably increases the accuracy of dry deposition modelling at a local scale. Only by this sensitivity study, an acceptance of the user regarding the new GMES* product could be reached.

How widely deployed is this practice(if applicable)

Providing users with resources for independent evaluation of GMES* products is not a common practice within GMES* projects.

Owner (Originator) Contact Information:


Submitter Contact Information:

Detailed Description of Best Practice

To date, GMES* projects often provide only very limited, if any, funding for service provider independent data product evaluation. This clearly limits the acceptance of GMES* products on the user side.

If users involved in the projects evaluate the data products themselves, but receive no or too little funding to recover their costs of doing so, this evaluation will not be conducted with adequate depth, cf. Funding users' participation in product development. E.g., questionnaires sent to users to evaluate products, in several cases showed a low return rate. During appraisals of project outcomes, users tended to simply rate everything "good", rather than reflecting on the products in detail, so they quickly got the papers off their desk.

External data product evaluation is an alternative, provided the evaluator is widely accepted throughout the user community. In any case, allocating a sufficient amount of the project budget for evaluating data products either by the respective users or by external entities should, thus, become mandatory for future GMES* projects.

)* Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, the European contribution to GEO.


Editor's Comments:

Reviewed.  -- H. K. Ramapriyan


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