The project is structured into 7 work packages

OPTIC is planned along 24 months duration. The project is structured into 7 work packages with associated tasks and with clearly identified milestones and outcomes (deliverable, reports, workshops, etc.).

Each Work Package is led by experts in the respective knowledge field and assisted by other participants with expertise in the other areas. In order to achieve OPTIC objectives different research perspectives will be used and integrated in different work packages by means of a variety of mechanisms. These mechanisms involve:

•  Review of existing research by applying OPTIC typologies and terminologies

•  Case studies of actual policy packages or packaging efforts for different types of transport policy instruments,   implementation processes
•  Interactive workshops with researchers, stakeholders and practitioners

WP1 is dedicated to management activities to coordinate six supporting Work packages. WP2 will provide the conceptual framework for the OPTIC approach including typologies of policy interactions, packaging issues and unintended effects.

WP3 will especially address the ‘technical tools aspects’; i.e. how are unintended effects and packaging issues reflected in the present toolbox and which is their particular outreach; WP4 will look at actual ‘best practices’ in design of policy measures; whereas WP5 addresses implementation and transfer issues.

WP6 provides the synthesis of OPTIC for package optimisation, issues related to transferability and policy recommendations. WP7 oversees that OPTIC is making impact through efficient dissemination and communication to all relevant stakeholders, and that OPTIC is relevant. Interdependencies and relations between Work packages are described below and in section B1.3.3

Lead partner TØI’s extensive role in OPTIC – as Coordinator, leader of WP6 and WP7 and contributor to all other WPs – is intentional. It enables efficient management and dissemination through day to day participation in all parts of OPTIC. It also strengthens the important links between WP6 / WP7 and preceding Work Packages.

WP1: Project Management
In order to achieve successful completion of a multi-country and multi-task project, it is essential to clearly establish defined areas of responsibility and competent team leadership. TØI will take responsibility for maintaining efficient lines of communication between all members of the consortium and between the consortium members and the Commission.

The Coordinator will be responsible for ensuring the efficient management of resources and delivery of outputs from the project team. This will include ensuring that the work of individual WPs is directed towards overall project objectives and that there is consistency among the individual WPs.

All administrative activities associated with the running of the project, including liaison with the EU Commission and collecting, checking and submission of progress reports and financial claims are addressed under this work package.

WP2: Policy measures and adverse effects
This WP is the starting point of the project and it sets the context for the OPTIC approach. The main objective is to provide an overall perspective on the policy measures available (including an inventory of measures and their effectiveness) and to identify unintended effects in both a theoretical and practical context. This will include and assessment of both positive and negative impacts.

To achieve this, a review of theoretical and practical literature on policy measures that have been used to influence decisions and travel behaviour will be conducted. The review will be supplemented with the findings from a workshop organised with relevant practitioners.

The outcome will be a classification of effects, both positive and negative, their context and the key factors contributing to them. From this a typology of unintended effects will be drawn. Finally, a framework (both theoretical and practical) for policy packaging will be established which will look at the potential for innovative packaging of measures that can consolidate and enhance impacts and at the same time reduce the possibilities for negative rebound effects. This will include reference to the distributional impacts for different markets, users and areas within the EU27.

The output of WP2, especially the identified “unintended” effects will be used as an input for WP3 which explores the state-of-the-art with respect to the possibility to forecast rebound effects and synergies of different policies.

WP2 also feeds directly into WP4, which starts to look in detail into packaging policies – a main aim of OPTIC. At the same time, the case study (real world) analysis undertaken in WP4 will feed back indicators to the work done in WP2 to supplement the review and contribute to the workshop with practitioners. These first three technical WPs (2-4) are the basis of the project on which the remaining work builds.

WP3: Forecasting of synergies and adverse effects
Work package 3 is focused on the definition of “tools”, i.e. methods and models, to identify effects, in particular unintended adverse effects resulting not only in the field of transport, but also beyond the boundaries of the transportation system (environmental, economic and socio-economic effects). Taking up the work that is done in WP2, WP3 will start by creating a categorisation of “tools” to specify the different modelling approaches (transport models, economic models, multi-criteria models, etc).

The assessment of those tools will take into account (1) ability to reproduce unintended effects of measures and policy packages; (2) transparency and functionality; (3) easiness for handling, including data requirement, and (4) potentials for transferability. WP3 will focus on ex ante assessment, and additionally explore the state-of-the-art of ex post measure and/or package optimisation and assess the effectiveness of ex post package optimisation.

WP4: Best practice in package design
This task focuses on best practice in package design. For this purpose a methodology will be set up that will allow a systematic evaluation of different types of policy packages. This task will also draw on concepts and findings from WP2.

Selection of policies to be analysed will be carried in such a way that the different modes or transport are covered, have reached a level of maturity where an analysis is possible and are relevant to the policy goals of the EU. Their success will not only be measured in terms of whether they reached their stated goals but also their compliance with overall strategic goals.

Policy packages which fit these criteria will be examined in detail in order to describe best practice in package design. The policy packages, identified as best practice in WP4 will serve as examples for the study of barriers and good practices in implementation (WP5). They will also be used in WP6 for the treatment of package optimisation.

WP5: Barriers for and good practises of implementation
This WP will develop a typology for barriers to policy adoption or implementation. The barriers might be associated with either acceptance/adoption of policy packages in the first place or the implementation process.

The implementation pathways or trajectories for a limited selection of the cases described in WP4 will be analysed. The aim is to identify ‘success factors’, i.e. factors that seemed helpful for allowing ideas and/or specific policy packages to ‘survive’ the implementation process (overcoming the barriers), as well as factors that seem unsuccessful in this respect.

The importance of timing of policy packages with respect to supporting or discouraging circumstances will also be analysed. Finally, conclusions are drawn on how barriers to policy adoption and implementation might be overcome/managed or how policies might have to be reformulated to circumvent the barriers.

While WP4 is a detailed study of cases and identification of successful ones with respect to package design, WP5 carries out a more detailed analysis of barriers and the possibilities to manage them, using the WP4 analyses and other material. These conclusions will feed into WP6.

WP6: Synthesis of package optimisation, policy recommendations and transferability
This work package synthesises the research in the project OPTIC, such as to extend the state of the art in understanding the complexity of policy packages, their effects and implementation barriers. Package optimisation is not only a question of modelling approaches, which are dealt with in WP3. Optimisation is also a question of design (WP4) and implementation (WP5). By bringing these issues together, WP6 seeks to reduce the gap between quantitative modelling and qualitative assessment.

WP6 builds on WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5, and conducts an overall assessment of indicators and tools available for the evaluation of policy packages and their environmental, distributional and economic impacts, while addressing issues related to risk and irreversibility, acceptability and adaptability, intended and unintended effects, and decision making context.

This Work package will also provide recommendations on optimal policy packages and factors influencing their transferability within European countries and regions

WP7: Dissemination and stakeholder involvement
The goal of OPTIC is to make impact in terms of improved practices of transport policy-making and implementation, in a direction towards optimal combinations of transport policy measures. In order to succeed with this, WP7 is designed to ensure efficient dissemination of important findings and results of the OPTIC project, including promulgation of best practice, to the public in general, stakeholders, and the academic community.

WP7 is also designed to involve stakeholders both as key targets for dissemination activities, but also as a ‘relevance check’ (or validation) of the entire project, at key stages along the way.

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                                                           Web editor: Nils Fearnley, naf@toi.no