Current Projects

I am currently working on several projects connected to big data use by policymakers with the goal of unpacking the way data information impacts policy design in the urban context. 

Digital Public Service Delivery

This project focuses on data-based solutions at local level in several social policy domains. Together with Prof. Sandra Groeneveld and the Leiden Centre of Data Science (LCDS), the goal is to look at the impact of big data within government and which opportunities and challenges occur for managing and using this new information in local policymaking processes. 


This project focuses on 'Robust Estimation using Aggregated Data for Urban policy making'. Together with Prof. Wessel Kraaij from the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), Dr. José Miotto (Postdoc, LIACS) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the goal is to use a combination of traditional urban data (e.g. survey data) and more dynamic sources of information to support urban decision-making processes. (More info in Dutch)

Governance & Data Science Collaborations

Working Papers

Work submitted for publication

Giest, Sarah. Policy learning in times of big data analytics: The challenges of skill-based outsourcing. Book chapter for Edward Elgar book Dotti, Nicola (Ed), 'Knowledge, Policymaking and Learning for European Cities and Regions' (accepted, forthcoming). 

Giest, Sarah. Do nudgers need nudging? The role of implementing agents in environmental policy (revise and resubmit). 

Giest, Sarah. Resolving the Canadian innovation bottleneck: European solutions for facilitating high-technology fields. (revise and resubmit).

Giest, Sarah. Making energy personal: Policy coordination challenges in UK smart meter implementation (under review). 

Giest, Sarah and Nadine Raaphorst. Unravelling the facilitating and hindering factors of digital public service implementation at street-level: Data culture within government (under review).

Hughes, Sara, Tozer, Laura and Sarah Giest. The Politics of Data-Driven Urban Climate Change Mitigation. (Chapter for The Politics of Urban Climate Futures, edited by Jeroen van der Heijden, Harriet Bulkeley, and Chiara Certomà). (under review).

Working Papers/ Books

Galanti, Tullia and Sarah GiestDesign activation in multi-level settings. (Chapter for Mechanisms for Policy Design: First and Second Order Policy Mechanisms, edited by Giliberto Capano, Michael Howlett, and M. Ramesh). 

Giest, Sarah, Tozer, Laura and Sara Hughes. The accountability paradox of urban data use for sustainability. 

Giest, Sarah and Ishani Mukherjee. Institutional Capacities for Big Data in Policy design: A meta-review of renewable energy policy development . 

Giest, Sarah. Facilitation of high-tech networks: Cluster Policy in the life science sector. (Book manuscript, accepted for publication by University of Toronto Press). 

Giest, Sarah. The changing role of hospitals in local innovation networks: Policy implications from the Illinois Medical District. 

Giest, Sarah and Sarah Hartley. Responsible R&D in life science clusters.