Project Objectives, Rationale and Lessons Learnt


Public administrations (PA) need to cope with various challenges: new regulations, complex adminis­trative processes, aging workforce, declining number of staff and rapid technological change. Early findings from a pre-study with rural local governments (RLG) and in-depth requirements elicitation in four European countries, i.e. EAGLE’s validation countries Germany (DE), Ireland (IRE), Luxembourg (LU) and Montenegro (ME), shed light on the current situation of learning, training and knowledge management in PA. Within PA there is a need to enable information sharing, exchange of experience and knowledge, and easy access to domain experts, i.e. supporting informal learning practices. Employees in RLG need to keep up with external and internal changing environments, but do not have easy access to training courses and classes and information. In addition, they are not experts in a single domain confronted with similar issues on an every day basis, but rather require broad knowledge about various topics on an irregular basis. EAGLE aimed at serving these needs.


EAGLE’s main objective was to equip employees in rural PA with a holistic training solution that supports learning of critical transversal skills such as ICT literacy, information literacy and pro­fessional management of change situations in entire organisations at all levels. To achieve this, an open innovation approach was followed by using open educational resources (OER) and open source (OS) tools to create a flexible EAGLE Learning solution specifically for RLG, which offers simple access to relevant information. Knowledge exchange and experience sharing among employees of different communities and local authorities can be strengthened through the provision of tools to support and accompany change management processes in the organisation and an engaging pedagogical concept. EAGLE worked closely together with employees from PA in the validation countries.


Main findings and results: In the course of the project, employees in PA from the four validation countries DE, IRE, LU, and ME confirmed the need for knowledge and information, but also stressed the need for face-to-face learning, establishing personal ties with domain experts, and creating opportunities for sharing and exchanging knowledge and experience. These needs were addressed when developing the overall EAGLE learning solution as well as the EAGLE platform.

Source Code of Platform Components

The following table contains links to the source code of different parts of the EAGLE platform.



Link to source code

EAGLE Portal


Source Code

EAGLE Service Bundles


Source Code

EAGLE Topic Map

Mozilla Public License 2.0

Source Code

EAGLE Argumentation Tool

Mozilla Public License 2.0

Source Code



Source Code

EAGLE OER Ontology

Apache 2.0

Source Code


Apache 2.0

Source Code


Lessons learnt

Path-dependencies and cross-border collaboration

Working with employees from PA is an interesting and challenging endeavour. PA have evolved within specific legal, political and cultural boundaries. These path-dependencies influence every-day work within PA and shape their administrative performance. Accordingly, employees in PA hardly ever reach out to other – even neighbouring – communities. Most employees in PA do not see any reasons or opportunities for cross-jurisdictional collaboration, except when they are hierarchically interlinked or work specifically on cross-border issues. It takes training, time and additional resources to develop a joint understanding of similar challenges and problem solving capacities in order to benefit from collaboration. EAGLE can help in creating joint resources and/or in creating resources that can be easily adapted according to specific cultural or organisational needs (see D7.1, D7.2 and D7.3). At the same time, EAGLE employs an ontology which links resources, people and organisations semantically based on available standards and recognised specifications. The ontology can be used, translated and adapted by any public administration (see D6.9) and thus enhances learning about cross-border issues.

Organisational structure and incremental change

PA face various challenges, such as aging workforce, declining number of staff, radical technological change in shorter cycles, etc., which were confirmed during the EAGLE requirement elicitation (see D2.2 and D2.3). Employees in PA are very keen to overcome these challenges. However, their organisational structures do not allow for a radical change. The EAGLE change management tool takes specificities of PA into consideration and helps them in defining goals and deciding on the steps which should be taken in order to incrementally change, without losing sight of long-term goals (see D3.1 and D3.3).

High security IT-infrastructure

IT-infrastructure in PA adheres to the highest standards in security, maintaining closed systems. Every new system that adds to this infrastructure must strictly comply with these standards. EAGLE provides an open source infrastructure based on Liferay, and built on foundations of available security standards and thus can be implemented and integrated into the IT-environment of any PA.

Trust in open content and informal learning

In terms of content, EAGLE is a very open system that allows for user-generated material as open educational resources (OER) and exchange of knowledge and experience. This is – in the EAGLE terminology – defined as "informal learning". These practices are new to many employees in PA who are usually trained in closed, classroom-like settings in a hierarchical manner. Peer-learning, online-learning and self-determined learning with digital sources are new concepts that require further introduction to employees in PA. EAGLE seeks to help learners with a specific onboarding strategy and utilises gamification approaches to engage its users.

Limited resources and spill-over effects

EAGLE’s target audience are employees in rural local governments (RLG). As potential end-users, they were involved from the very beginning in the development of the overall EAGLE learning solution, starting from the pre-study, the requirement elicitation and barrier analysis towards testing the guidelines for managing change and validation of the EAGLE solution in different steps (see D8.2). This required a lot of time and commitment from this user group. Larger organisations are more likely to have resources to create content/OER, engage in topic-related discussion and share their experience and knowledge. These spill-over effects can then be utilised to benefit organisations with less human and financial resources, which are then more likely to join. Taking EAGLE’s Argumentation Tool as an example (see D6.10):

In order to create content in the Argumentation Tool (i.e. a casebase), users need to have basic legal knowledge and domain expertise. Employees in RLG have to deal with various issues every day and are thus the user group benefitting most from the Argumentation Tool. However, due to insufficient resources and capabilities, most of them are not in the position to create this type of content. Larger organisations are more likely to already have training staff hired which will create training materials to teach a certain topic.

Organisational needs and longitudinal piloting

The overall feedback from end users with regard to the EAGLE learning solution was very positive – they urgently need solutions such as the one provided by EAGLE. EAGLE outcomes will now seed the ground for follow-up projects. The final implementation of EAGLE requires large pilot projects where EAGLE is used in real-world situations for periods lasting at least six months and to develop the EAGLE platform to a higher technological readiness level (TRL7 and above) for regular usage. Organisational and in particular technical constraints imposed by different countries and regions are so different and decision-making processes take their time. Thus, it was not possible to carry out longitudinal studies within the life-time of the EAGLE project. Typically, RLG rely on external providers or IT units in ministries to host such IT-based platforms. Nevertheless, recent meetings with decision-makers revealed that pilot studies are welcomed. In Germany, for example, two municipalities are interested in piloting EAGLE, a follow-up project focusses on preparing employees in PA to use OER; Montenegro advised their ministry of interior with regards to the upcoming public sector reform and Luxembourg is in discussion to support the introduction of a large reform in the public sector.