WPA Overview


WPA covers general and financial management, coordination and administration of the ESSnet, in addition to communication and dissemination. The main task of managing the ESSnet is to ensure that all activities are carried out in the most effective and efficient way, according to the agreed planning, and that the results are disseminated to the European statistical system (ESS) and its stakeholders. The coordination aims at an optimal interaction between the general management and the workpackage level.

In addition, WPA manages and facilitates the internal and external communication of the ESSnet, whenever possible by building upon and expanding the structures, procedures and practices created in the course of ESSnet Big Data I.


Task 1 – Coordination

Performed by CBS (Statistics Netherlands), Statbel (Statistics Belgium), Statistics Finland, SCB (Statistics Norway), GUS (Statistics Poland) and SSB (Statistics Sweden)

Subtask 1 - Coordination of other workpackages

The coordinator, assisted by the Coordinating Group, will coordinate the progress and outputs of the workpackages, and the relationships between the WPs, and ensure that the deadlines are respected. Potential problems will be identified in advance where possible, so that mitigating actions can be carried out in time. If any deviations from the work programme are necessary, these will be notified to the project manager from Eurostat. In particular, such matters will be discussed at the Coordinating Group meetings.

Of all Coordinating Group meetings minutes will be kept (see here for an overview of currently available minutes]].

The coordination tasks include facilitating internal communication by means of WebEx teleconferencing, for which a licence will be obtained.

Any issues relating to either the administrative or the financial management of the ESSnet (e.g., changes made in the budget between co-partners) will be discussed between the coordinator and Eurostat.

Subtask 2 - Financial controls

Appropriate administrative records will be kept by all those who work on the ESSnet. In addition detailed records justifying other expenditure, especially on travel and overnight costs, will be maintained by all country coordinators. The country coordinators will each provide the coordinator with bi-monthly working day and expenditure overviews, for which the coordinator provides a template. Summaries of the information provided will be prepared by the coordinator, in order to ensure the efficient financial management of the ESSnet budget.

The coordinator and the partners will ensure that all documentary evidence of expenditure and person days allocated to the ESSnet activities are securely stored for audit purposes. The coordinator will consult the Eurostat project manager on any changes in the estimated budget (e.g. shifts between items and partners).

Each partner’s share of any pre-financing payments received by the coordinator in respect of the ESSnet will be paid to the relevant partner in accordance with its budget, as set out in the grant agreement, as soon as possible following the receipt of the invoice from the relevant partner.

Each partner’s share of any final payments received by the coordinator in respect of the ESSnet will be paid to the relevant partner, in accordance with the justified and proved expenditure of that partner, as soon as possible following the receipt of the invoice from the relevant partner.

Subtask 3 - Interim technical report

WPA will prepare a report on the intermediate results and progress of the ESSnet by the end of 2019, together with a summary of the use of manpower, based on the reports provided by the workpackage leaders and the information on resources spent provided by the participating partners.

Subtask 4 - Final technical report

WPA will prepare a report on the final results of the ESSnet by the end of 2020. Contrary to the interim technical report, this report focuses on contents and is not at the same time a progress report, as 60 days after the closing date of the action a final report and request for payment of the balance will be produced.

Subtask 5 – Review Board

The Review Board initially has three members (at the start of ESSnet Big Data II from Finland, Norway and Sweden, hence their participation in WPA), but it is intended to expand to five members. The main task of the Review Board is to review all deliverables of the ESSnet. In order not to create too heavy an administrative burden – and to keep costs at an acceptable level – the large number of review are not made a formal deliverable, but all reviews need to be documented nevertheless. The Review Board members will also contribute to the kick-off meetings and mid-term meetings for the implementation and pilot tracks, respectively, but only one member is expected to attend. However, all Review Board members are invited to the BDES 2020 conference. The Review Board will also be represented, by one member, at Plenary, Implementation and Pilots Coordinating Group meetings (see overview of all meetings).

Task 2 - Communication and dissemination

Performed by CBS (Statistics Netherlands, Statbel (Statistics Belgium) and GUS (Statistics Poland)

For communication and dissemination, target audiences include, in order of importance:

  • the 28 partners participating in the ESSnet;
  • ESS working groups;
  • other organisations or individuals interested in official statistics based on big data, the media and the general public.

The objectives tailored to these target audiences are:

  • ensuring the exchange of information on tasks, planning, timing, processes, intermediate products and final results among pilot project participants;
  • providing all necessary tools, datasets and training to project participants in an easily accessible way;
  • disseminating results, as best practices, to the ESS and to the wider community of official statistics;
  • disseminating results, appropriately packaged or condensed, to anyone else potentially interested.

The tools and channels to meet these objectives are:

  • the communication and work platform, in the form of a wiki, where ESSnet partners participating in concrete projects can post or consult information, collaborate on outputs and comment or discuss processes and outputs;
  • a website presenting all documents and datasets and visualisations, including project outputs; preferably layered in such a way as to provide differential access to different categories of users (the target audiences identified above);
  • a general conference on results and lessons learned after the conclusion of ESSnet Big Data II, in casu BDES 2020;
  • assistance, if required, with the preparation of contributions or thematic sessions for conferences (to be determined) to present results;
  • assistance, if required, with the creation of papers, reports and publications documenting the methods and results of the projects.

The ESSnet Big Data I project has created a suite of open and restricted websites which serve as both the communication and work platform for participants and the website presenting results to target audiences. The new ESSnet can build on these results. Communication issues, and communication with ESS working groups in particular, will be coordinated with Eurostat.

Subtask 1 – Creating a communication and collaboration platform

Consists of solving technical and editorial problems, ensuring standardised and user-friendly navigation, training and coaching contributors from the other workpackages in presenting results and project information. This includes assistance to ESSnet participants preparing papers, reports and publications documenting the methods and results of the projects.

Subtask 2 – Creating an ESSnet Big Data website (extranet), in line with the dissemination strategy

The dissemination strategy outlined above, details what should be disseminated to which audiences via which channels. It concerns both internal project-related information among ESSnet partners (intranet) and the dissemination of methods and intermediate or final outputs to the outside (extranet).

Subtask 3 – Conference ‘Big Data for European Statistics’ (BDES 2020)

At the closure of the ESSnet BDES 2020 is to be organised where results and lessons learned are presented to project participants and non-participants and to other organisations and individuals interested in official statistics. Apart from presenting results, BDES 2020 also serves as a networking opportunity for statisticians and users, from the ESS and beyond, interested in big data applied to official statistics.

Subtask 4 – Presenting at conferences

Conferences, on various statistical topics and domains, present an important dissemination channel for ESSnet outputs, to increase the probability they will be applied. Appropriate conferences have to be selected and assistance has to be provided to ESSnet projects to prepare contributions. If a sufficient amount of material is available, dedicated sessions in appropriate conferences can be envisaged.

Milestones and deliverables

See here for an overview of currently already available milestones and deliverables.

WPA milestones

  AM1   Report on the BDES 2020 conference   Month 26

WPA deliverables

  A1   ESSnet communication and collaboration platform running   Month 3
  A2   ESSnet Big Data website online   Month 3
  A3   Intermediate technical report   Month 14
  A4   BDES 2020 conference   Month 25
  A3   Final technical report   Month 26