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You are here: Home > Data Democracy > End of a week of focus on #PNRR #NextGenerationEU and #transparency

Viewed 1375 times | Published on 2021-08-21 22:30:00




As those that worked with me know, I prefer to announce results than announce plans.

Once in a while, I announce the latter just to share what material I will gradually share, should someone be interested in similar results, and considering that this way they might focus their own activities, time, expertise, resources on something else, and then integrate what I announced and released.

If you read other articles on this website, you saw that this "sharing" approach has been a constant in my activities since the early 1980s (actually, before).

I do not consider it an altruistic instinct, but just rational self interest.

As I reminded to a friend today, what best way to find "gaps" in your arguments than trying to share them with others, and, as it is common in my writing (or, in the past, while preparing training courses or "on-the-job-training" for managers, project managers, business analysts, and fellow consultants), share ideas that are still "in fieri" (WIP)?

This preamble therefore, as the title say, is to introduce a short article...

...about results.

If you were to follow either my Facebook or Linkedin profiles, over the last week you would have seen various announces about something I posted online on the Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza (henceforth PNRR), the Italian side of the EU's NextGenerationEU / Recovery and Resilience Facility (henceforth RRF).

This article is within the series DataDemocracy, also if the highlight was to a specific element, i.e. transparency, and a specific domain (albeit a quite wide one), i.e. the PNRR.

Let's summarize what I released this week:
_on 2021-08-17, the article A different model of #Italy - using #NextGenerationEU, #COVID, #PNRR as #leverage
_on 2021-08-18, an updated to the dataset PNRR NextGenerationEU in Italy - pres. details
_on 2021-08-19, the article Another step ahead/05 2021-08-19 #Italy #Government #COVID19 #NextGenerationEU
_on 2021-08-20, a further update to the dataset PNRR NextGenerationEU in Italy - pres. details.

The updates to the dataset, which nominally covers the content of the contributions from civil society to the debate on the draft PNRR, contributions collected between October 2020 and March 2021, were to include information from the more "technical" annex (the 104 pages one released by the staff of the European Commission on 2021-06-22), and the more "political annex (the 566 pages document actually called "annex" to the endorsement by the European Commission to the Italian PNRR).

The latest update includes timelines, milestones identified, and target showing the baseline and the quantitative objective to be achieved within a set a timeframe.

As I wrote in the articles listed above, it is to be expected that such a large scale scheme that is part of an even larger scheme, to paraphrase the late President and General Eisenhower, both as a plan and as a budget will evolve when meeting reality.

That's also why both the European Commission and many commentators (myself included, hence this week's publishing and data-sharing initiative) highlight and continuously refer to the need of transparency, as an enabler for continuous contributions from society to adjust implementation.

Also if you look just at the European Union at large, each national plan with interact with the others through national implementation and EU-wide adjustment and convergence (and maybe even feed-back).

And all that requires transparency, continuous monitoring, and continuous flows from the top (the institutional level, national and EU) to the bottom, and viceversa.

My purpose in releasing datasets is to share work I am doing in preparation of further publications, as stated within all the datasets on Kaggle.com.

It all started in 2018, but it was COVID19 and its lockdowns in Italy since March 2020 that generated the opportunity to decide on what to focus to keep up with my skills and work habits while waiting for better times.

So, since 2019 I shifted from releasing micro-datasets built to deliver a specific chart for a specific article (usually using R), to spending more time to generate datasets from "open data" (generally, UN, EU, or other "data sourced from the multinational alphabet soup", obviously with some data sources from public entities in Italy, as it is where I was born and where I have been living and working full time since 2012).

As the market showed more demand for Jupyter Notebooks and Python, both on the "number crunching" and "number crunching presentation" sides used these tools (albeit, also if you do not see it, to generate the various "tag cloud search" facilities on articles, books, ECB Speeches, and a couple of Italian Government Decrees/Laws, part of the publication process includes using R).

Value added (more about this later): Python, Machine Learning, and various AI components work both on computers, smartphones, and "microcontrollers", i.e. computing devices so small that can be embedded into any object (the future of our data-centric society needs them, in my view- more about this later in this article, and in future articles).

In Italy, it is customary to have a pause in August in any operational activity- also in the past, only when working on budgets or organizational development in Italy I was busy in August for customers (as it was the only time when they could set aside time).

Therefore, since early August I had a pause in my current mission, and therefore I could not resist the temptation to test (and partially improve) my skills on tools and approaches that I need in my current mission, specifically using a Cloud-based platform to keep track of project activities and initiatives, Jira and Confluence.

It is my usual approach: 99.999% of what is on my CV was not something that I learned in school (English included), and I like to do the crossing the Ts and dotting on a personal project.

I actually had done during the various lockdowns some test micro-projects using those tools, but this week, after a couple of courses and a guided project on Coursera in previous weeks, decided that the PNRR could a useful test case, as I was spending time on reading and re-reading it and associated material since 2020.

What did I do? As usual for my datasets, the boring part, in this case structuring the PNRR working draft annex information into something that could be "digested" by a roadmap in Jira and Confluence (and reused also for other forms of analysis).

I could have just shared the link, but I decided that it would be more productive, for those with team members having the skills, to do as I did in the for law-making experiments on my GitHub profile.

Reason? While personally I have interest in sharing (yes, also as a showcase on potential creative uses to convert "technical-IT" tools into something useful for traceability and support to "technical-nonIT" experts), sometimes discussions could be easier and more productive if the same structured approach around the PNRR components and measures/submeasures is shared within a restricted working group.

So, provided the material needed to create a similar "discussion hub" structure for one (or many) more restricted group.

Let's say that today's feed-back from the locals (from Turin and Rome etc, but in Turin) helped to focus my search for an apartment in Turin, so confirming that a studio apartment ("monolocale", in Italian), useful also to have a mix remote/onsite working and studying (but not settling) is more appropriate now.

Socialization with locals will be at a later time.

Today I visited a bookshop where I purchased a book a while ago (a Russian reference grammar graded from starters to intermediate that then donated to my Russian conversation mother-tongue teacher) to... search for another copy of the book (and have a check on my "followers"/theorem testers in Turin).

Funny the reaction on my checking for Russian language books.

Just to share: yes, one of my long-term hobbies is still to, eventually, be able at least to have intermediate level (B2) on all the UN official languages (those who met me while living in Brussels in late 2000s, know that I picked up a bit of conversational Russian, Mandarin, Arabic, in that order, albeit then, while in Italy, self-worked just on Chinese, and for a couple of years had Saturday afternoon conversational meetings on Russian).

Along with Go and my number crunching activities (and my continued interest in foreign affairs and some added toying with the creation of physical product), it is a way to keep the mind open.

I let imagine the local reaction...

...Italy is a country where a "false flag" or a "theorem" is often used to act as corroborating evidence of... a previous "false flag" or "theorem".

Just to share a small episode that shared elsewhere: once I was invited in Rome for a dinner by a former customer in the public sector.

As soon as I entered, I was peppered of questions about my family origins in Calabria, questions that sounded like anti-mafia questions, moreover from somebody I never met before (theorem 1).

After a while, somebody who had observed us from another table, along with others, raised from the table, approached us to talk with one of the other "theorem 1" talkers, and, while pulling away, suddenly turned to me and said "what does 'nichevo' means?" (theorem 2).

At the time, I replied to ask my brother, as he had Russian language skills, but eventually learned the meaning (I think through either a Michael Thomas or a Princeton Russian conversational course).

Meaning which is, frankly, an appropriate description of the depth of those and other theorems.

I am neither married nor with children (as far as I know), as I continuously procrastinated pending my stabilization in a specific location (my latest attempt in 2018, by creating a local company, did not work as expected- local incompatibility).

So, pending that stabilization, I keep learning and testing ideas (and, since 2008 in Brusses, publicly sharing online).

Oh, yes, my recent expanded interest in Edge computing and AI generated further theorems locally.

What does that interest imply? Adding IoT (i.e. tiny computing devices able to exchange data and, with the appropriate complements, make "local decision on local data", before involving non-local computing resources).

Something I had followed theoretically for over a decade, courtesy of AliExpress and its cheap prices, generated a resurrection my high school electronics skills (I will set aside some time).

My long-term interest in the area would have been easy to check, if somebody had bothered to look my attendance records e.g. to IEEE/IET events in Italy and abroad (I have been with IEEE since 1997, first as associate then as member, until 2018, albeit I am still in some communities and might eventually resume membership), but you can also read my 2014 book on BYOD, as a new volume will appear soon.

Again, I let you imagine how many theorems the locals built on all that recent long stream of micro-purchases of components from AliExpress (it takes patience and splitting across to reduce risk and lower prices, if you are just "testing the waters" on ideas, as I am doing- i.e. I have no business budget).

Well, I hope that on the actual implementation of the PNRR there will be less theorems, more allocation of "intelligence" on productive activities.

And I hope that many more like me, maybe from different "tribes", i.e. representing different perspectives (and interests) will focus on monitoring and commenting evolutions.

Yes, I belong to no tribe- my interest is systemic/long-term, not "cash and carry".

But as I am used to cultural/organizational change activities in Italy since 1990, and was in political advocacy since the early 1980s (yes, at 17), before using that experience also in business on decision support system (business number crunching) from the late 1980s, I have a clear perception of the Italian social, political, business environment.

And I am no Dorothy that left Kansas to meet the Wizard of Oz...

Romae Romano Vivito Mori, Alibi... In Rome, do as the Romans do.

Or, at least, in my case, I am used to instinctively "tune to the local mindset" wherever I go- a form of empathy that is uncalculated and continuous, and, as I was told more than once, saved projects from impacts of risks that more conventional approaches had failed to identify.

Personally, I think that PNRR will be a long journey (I would say at least until 2030), that I will report on less frequently than my weekly Sunday update on ECB's speeches, interviews, etc (I am collecting also the press releases, but for now are not visible within the webapp).

If you are just interested in the data (e.g. created a while ago also a "map" dataset to be used with GeoPandas, to position information on the map of Italy), and not my commentary, join (it is free) Kaggle.com and follow my profile.

For now, I think that I can close this article.

If you want further updates on PNRR evolutions, you can also follow the GitHub PNRR space that I shared months ago- I plan to update it again at the end of this month.

Stay tuned!