The DARIS team of FORS has played an important role in drawing up national development plans for ten CESSDA Service Providers in the framework of the CESSDA SaW project.
The countries involved are Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Latvia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. Only Austria and Serbia have an established national data service in place.
These plans contain mission statements, a description of areas of competence and infrastructure that need to be strengthened, as well as a description of future needs, necessary resources and challenges for setting up and maintaining viable data services.
They are a blueprint for future national archives with the long-term aim of becoming a member of CESSDA ERIC. While the national development plans will certainly evolve over time, they represent a significant first step in defining concrete goals, priorities, and an organisational structure.
In addition, short and concise summaries of the plans have been drawn up in the form of media packs, which can be used to attract media attention. They are seen as a key way for data archives in the interested countries to highlight to ministries and research councils the public interest in having national data services.
These media packs include a cover message that describes the benefits of social science data services for the scientific community and the larger public. With this in mind, they were developed not only in English but also in the national language.