Methodology

Data collection

Data capture for the various analytical components of the study are integrated to exploit synergies and to ensure that the study’s objectives can be achieved within the timeframe given. In Phase I of the project the study team develop a data gathering guide and template for use by National Correspondents (NC) to gather information on (a) national e-skills policies and initiatives, (b) up-and running multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSP) and related national policies and stakeholder initiatives, (c) national level data sources on e-skills supply and demand since 2000 and including forecasts, and (d) activities for the promotion of ICT professionalism.

This is followed by contacting ENIR National Correspondents (NCs) and providing them with a Guide / Toolkit containing background information, guidelines and instructions for how to conduct the research, and the data capture instruments (description templates and questionnaires, as applicable). NCs in each Member State are asked to identify key actors and experts in the fields of e-skills and to interview them, as well as to undertake desk research. They are supplied with the translation of a letter addressed to these key actors in the different official EU languages to ease their work for gathering and compiling relevant information in their respective countries.

In order to avoid work duplication and to achieve best value for money, NCs are supplied with pre-filled data templates wherever available based on the information obtained through precursor studies and from third sources, which NCs are asked to validate, update and complement as appropriate. 

The study approach – Data capture and validation with support of ENIR network

Interaction with NCs also includes three online conference calls organised by empirica for discussion of working schedules, clarifying questions and ensuring a common understanding of the practical approach to the Member States level research.

Analysis of the data for each country is carried out centrally by empirica. More than 150 e-skills examples of multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) and major e-skills initiatives have been identified, of which about 50 are addressing ICT practitioner or e-Leadership skills (our core focus) and appear suitable for further analysis.

All NCs are asked to provide in their reports in addition to all the data and information gathered and evaluations carried out a detailed overview of the sources used, list of contacts and expert interviews carried out and a bibliography of documents and literature used.

Data sources

Published sources used include:

In addition, personal enquiries and interviews via e-mail, telephone or face-to-face are carried out to gather data information which is not readily available from published sources. For this purpose, NCs were instructed to suggest national experts who are expected to be able to provide them with information via interviews. Experts may come from:

Validation

The data and assessments collected through the channels described above are processed into draft country reports. The reports then undergo several validation exercises in order to make sure they properly reflect the situation in the country against the background of the overall EU e-skills landscape. The following groups participate in the validation: experts with in-depth knowledge of developments related to e-skills from across all EU Member States; representatives of major national stakeholders in the e-skills domain, including relevant ministries/government agencies, higher education and VET institutions; representatives of national DIGITALEUROPE member organisations (ICT sector associations in EU Member States); and the network of ‘Digital Champions’ appointed by Member States to help promote the benefits of an inclusive digital society as part of the European ‘Digital Agenda for Jobs’.