This method will enable the collection of micro data directly from the beneficiaries and ‘end-users’ of public policies implemented through S3. It is intended to assist in understanding how well-suited measures were to the needs of firms, research institutes, universities, as well as civil society organisations such as NGOs. It allows also for cross-regional analysis of satisfaction and can inform the RIS3 update process. It could also be used for defining baseline values of satisfaction as well as target values. The method requires a well-designed online survey questionnaire. The questionnaire has to be general enough to capture all types of EU regions and policy measures, and specific enough that it is able to quantify overall satisfaction of beneficiaries. Multi-language functionalities and a strong dissemination strategy among end-users is needed.
One tool that can be used in monitoring and evaluation is the use of online surveys. The mapping exercise identified only four regions that applied online surveys for monitoring and evaluation purposes. In none of the cases was it indicated that surveys were used for measuring beneficiaries and end users’ satisfaction in the public policies implemented through S3. By measuring their satisfaction levels, it is possible to adjust the policies according to the opinions of stakeholders who are most affected by the policies. To encourage regions to conduct these surveys, a ready survey template could be provided for them on the Online S3 platform. The template would save the policymakers a lot of time and also allow for cross-regional analysis of beneficiary satisfaction at the EU level.
The method will consist of online survey templates that are used for measuring satisfaction in RIS3 policies. For this purpose, two types of survey templates could be provided: one for measuring satisfaction in one individual policy, and another one for measuring satisfaction in multiple policies and the whole strategy at once. The templates consist of general well-defined questions that are applicable to all EU regions and policy measures. They could also be translated into all official EU languages.
The templates could be given in two forms. First, as downloadable templates that can be transferred to any survey platform manually or be distributed physically. Second, as a ready online survey that is automatically generated for the user by an app as part of the survey platform. The first option allows the user to choose any survey platform and to easily modify the templates. However, the second option saves time for the user since they only need to distribute the link to the survey. To help with the distribution, instructions could be given, for example, regarding the right channels, stakeholders, etc.
The surveys would be used for the constant development and adjustment of public policies. The idea is it that when regions implement or plan public policies based on their smart specialisation strategies, they simultaneously distribute surveys to stakeholders in order to receive feedback on them. The feedback from the surveys is then used to adjust the policies. Additionally, the surveys are distributed periodically to ensure constant development of the policies. This also allows regions to follow the development of stakeholder satisfaction regarding policies over time.
The surveys are an effective way to improve stakeholder participation in RIS3 strategies. They are easy to create and distribute, and they allow regions to receive direct feedback from the stakeholders on policies, an area that has been somewhat neglected previously. By creating a ready survey template, regions will likely use surveys since the regional policymakers do not have to spend their own time on creating them. Additionally, by providing a common template it is possible to compare the results between regions and to use the data, for example, for academic and development purposes.
This method requires well-though-out survey templates for measuring satisfaction in RIS3 policies. The questions should be applicable to every EU region and to a wide range of possible policies. Also, the survey should assume that the participant does not know what RIS3 means and what the implemented RIS3 policies are. Therefore, a clear but concise description of the strategy and the individual policies should be given.
In addition to background information, the questions of the survey could cover multiple aspects such as:
- Communication (i.e. Did the participant know about the policy or strategy?)
- Effect (i.e. How is the participant affected by the policy?)
- Satisfaction (i.e. Does the policy or strategy please the participant?)
- Improvement (i.e. How would the participant like to improve the policy or strategy?)
Most of these aspects could be measured, for example, using a Likert scale and open-ended questions. Overall, the survey should give a sufficient view of the end users’ opinion regarding the region’s RIS3 and its policies.
Relevant data sources:
- Already applied surveys in RIS3 context, for example, by regions or studies
- Google (with API)
- Webropol, SurveyMonkey, ZEF, etc.
To measure satisfaction in implemented policies:
- Download a suitable template
- Study it and modify it to suit the respective policy/policies
- Host it on a survey platform
- Advertise the survey to stakeholders
- Analyse the results carefully
- Adjust the results based on the results
- Repeat periodically to maintain a constant development