Identifying stumbling blocks regarding the organization and administration of GEOSS

Project Title: Identifying stumbling blocks regarding the organization and administration of GEOSS. An evaluation based on game theoretic and economic methods

Project partners: BOKU (lead), IIASA


GEOSS is a highly diverse and complex system, such that organization and administration of the GEOSS components is often found to be a challenging undertaking. What is GEOSS composed of? The GEO secretariat, which is responsible for the coordination of GEOSS, has established four committees around the areas of user engagement, architecture and data management, science and technology and capacity building to guide the implementation of GEOSS. Each committee and benefit area hosts a range of task-groups which are responsible for the development and provision of the GEOSS components, such as the monitoring systems, model, data, etc. (please visit: for more information). Since the tasks are self-organizing and self-financing units, questions emerge on how cooperation within and amongst the tasks can be achieved in order to reach effectively collective and individual outcomes. This project aims at addressing contingent stumbling blocks which could emerge in the course of managing and implementing GEOSS. So far, following issues have been identified:
  • The coordination of the tasks: How can tasks be organized and related to each other in the best way? How cans synergies between the tasks be achieved?
  • Communication: Are the current reporting mechanism between tasks and secretariat sufficient? How can communication between the tasks, the committees and the GEO secretariat be improved?
  • How can a broad user engagement, in designing GEOSS but also concerning the ‘final, implemented product GEOSS’, be achieved? Does the current user evaluation account sufficiently for the future users?
  • Which government structures of GEOSS are desired or would be most functional?
  • What should an interface between science, technology, policy and users look like to guarantee a sustainable use of GEOSS?


The above mentioned issues have been identified by investigating statements and recommendations expressed at conference and in reports and discussion with members of the secretariat and partners of related projects. Most of these concerns will be underpinned with game theoretic and economic models to figure out which tendencies can be expected and how the obstacle could be resolved. The high level of abstraction of game theoretic models allows depicting these matters in a simplified and very systematic fashion, and will therefore enhance the understanding of the evolution of certain trends and facilitate action in the future.


In progress