Mapping the mood: average negative blue map, top and positive red map, bottom feelings for each country Image: Science/AAASTwitter users who post messages such as “Yay, its the weekend!” might not be engaged in the most stimulating of conversations. But these kinds of tweets can provide sociologists with a map of peoples moods around the world.Scott Golder and Michael Macy at Cornell University in New York gathered 509 million tweets from 2.4 million users in 84 different countries. They and analysed the messages using linguistic software that looks for positive or negative emotions within the text. They found that people tend to wake up in a good mood, which deteriorates as the day wears on. People tend to also be happier at the weekend, when the morning good-mood peak tends to be delayed by two hours, suggesting a lie-in. People are less positive during the winter, when the hours of daylight are shorter.None of these results are particularly surprising, but Golder and Macy suggest that using global tweets allows them to confirm previous studies that only looked at small samples of American undergraduates who were not necessarily representative of the wider world. Traditional studies also require participants to recall their past emotions, whereas tweets can be gathered in real time.The Twitter approach has also been tried before, but this is the first time researchers have gathered data on a global scale. While peoples moods seem to be consistent across countries and cultures, Golder and Macy did identify a shift in weekend moods in the United Arab Emirates, where the work week runs from Sunday to Thursday. Their results were published today in the journal Science.

via One Per Cent: Twitter mood map reveals the worlds emotions.

 

Monitoring and evaluation of any policy is based on belief that citizens or taxpayers must get more for less which can only be achieved through relevant policies and their effective implementation. European Commission started discussion on Monitoring and Evaluation for Common Agricultural Policy post 2013 which will lead to preparation of regulations and other implementing legislative. But more important than legislation proper and transparent policy preparation is which must be supported with strong evaluation. Both planning and evaluation are framed with culture and culture is basically responsible for citizens and taxpayers happiness.

Monitoring and Evaluation of the CAP post 2013

Monitoring and Evaluation of the CAP post 2013

Europe needs to focus its development plans to smaller number of objectives with clear performance indicators and to fewer measures with clear understanding of targets to be achieved. This may lead to less common objectives and indicators which will show performance of the policy on European level while member states should be able to design their own specific objectives and plans. This may lead to more flexible evaluation procedures at the program level while better presentation of achieved on the European level. This will not hurt evaluation quality but may only simplify procedures being too costly and complicated at the moment.

Fever indicators will not hurt the quality of evaluation but will lead to better innovation and especially to clearer focus of evaluators and implementing authorities. Selecting of indicators on the other hand needs to be carefully done in the whole process of programing and evaluation in order to represent performance of the program.

Content of evaluations and timing do not need to be clearly defined in early stages of policy preparation. Content of evaluations needs to be designed later in end of the planning and in implementing phases of the program. This will improve quality of evaluations being more focused to thematic and territorial impact of interventions while still having guiding and monitoring purposes. More intensity needs to be focused to scoping as a first stage of evaluation which should be led by program objectives and needs of each Member state in order to achieve its competitiveness.

Agricultural policy achieved a great lesson by introducing common evaluation guidelines but this system need to be further developed especially by developing clear understanding what are the European Union level evaluation needs and what can must be used and managed at the Member state level. Common monitoring and evaluation framework needs to become a guideline in a greater deal than regulation leading towards clear definition of our common indicators and having more flexibility on member state level to be able to use results of evaluation for planning and implementation purposes.

 

This year it is the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the SEA Directive in the European Union and the entry into force of the SEA Protocol to the Espoo Convention. That makes this years’ “Special Conference on Strategic Environmental Assessment – International Association of Impact Assessment SEA Prague II 2011” a good opportunity to reflect on the overall performance of SEA systems, introduce the latest innovations in our profession and outline the next decade of environmental assessments.

Organizers formed core questions of interest that include the following:
• What needs to be done to accelerate environmental integration into strategic level decision making through the application of SEA? How can we take advantage and promote existing SEA good practice worldwide and influence the identification and choice of sustainable development alternatives and options?
• Does SEA address the tougher issues and threats of cumulative and large scale environmental effects such as the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, resource depletion and climate change? Does SEA facilitate a transition to a green economy and effectively addresses impacts on human wellbeing? How can SEA better address these concerns?
• Does SEA facilitate constructive public participation and stakeholder dialogue? How can the SEA process be made more interactive? What value is added, e.g., by mediated discussion among key stakeholders and the search for development options that are in their mutual interest?

Oikos is actively participating at the Special Conference on Strategic Environmental Assessment. Mojca Hrabar is a member of International Advisory Committee and is involved in organisation of conference themes “Sector-Specific SEA: Are We Getting it Right?” and “SEA and EU Cohesion Policy: Coming Together or Still Far Apart?”. Matjaž Harmel is involved in conference session “Transposition and Implementation Issues for Spatial Planning” with paper presentation “The Case of SEA Process in Ljubljana Spatial Plans”. Klemen Strmšnik is presenting a poster that deals with lessons learned in the process of “SEA of “3rd Development Axis” in Slovenia”.

All details on Special Conference on Strategic Environmental Assessment and contributes of Oikos can be found on official web site of IAIA.

Author: Klemen Strmšnik