How to decide on the priorities and coordination of information society policy? Analytical framework and three case studies

Martijn Poel (Senior researcher at TNO, Delft, The Netherlands, and at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)
Linda Kool (Based at TNO, Delft, The Netherlands)
Annelieke van der Giessen (Based at TNO, Delft, The Netherlands)


ISSN: 1463-6697

Publication date: 28 September 2010



ICT is everywhere, but information society policy cannot address all the sectors and policy issues in which ICT plays a role. This paper's aim is to develop an analytical framework to assist policy makers in deciding on the priorities and coordination of information society policy.


The analytical framework is based on public management literature and innovation literature. The framework can be applied to individual ICT issues – when to lead, advise, explore or refrain from policy intervention. The framework consists of seven questions, including the rationale for intervention, stakeholders, the mandate of fellow policy makers (e.g. other ministries) and the costs, benefits and risks of intervention. The framework was applied in three cases.


A leading role for information society policy is most clear for e‐skills. For services innovation, several market failures and system failures appear to be relevant. This calls for a mix of policy instruments, with roles for several ministries. Policy coordination is crucial. For ICT in health sectors – and other public sectors – the conclusion is that information society policy can take the lead on cross‐cutting ICT issues such as privacy, standardisation and interoperability.


The article addresses one of the main challenges of information society policy: how to increase its scope, yet maintain effectiveness and coherence.



Poel, M., Kool, L. and van der Giessen, A. (2010), "How to decide on the priorities and coordination of information society policy? Analytical framework and three case studies", info, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 21-39.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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