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. 

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The Hague Going2Zero

This project focuses on understanding the complexities of the energy transition in The Hague by widening the perspectives of stakeholders and policymakers, and study the overall dynamics of stakeholder interaction by simulating the decision-making environment that they face in real life. This is done through a data and a policy analysis, which form the foundation for a serious game. The project is a collaboration of Delft University, Haagse Hogeschool & Leiden University and funded by the Municipality of The Hague as part of the CID challenge.

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 Prof. Wessel Kraaij (LIACS) 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. Linked to this project is the PhD research by Annelieke van den Berg. (More information)


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. Do nudgers need nudging? The role of implementing agents in environmental policy (under review). 

Giest, Sarah. Making energy personal: Policy coordination challenges in UK smart meter implementation (revise and resubmit).

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).

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

Working Papers/ Books

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

Giest, Sarah and Ishani Mukherjee. Behavioral Insights Teams and Policy Change in the EU Energy Policy Domain.

Giest, Sarah and Jose Miotto. Challenges of data-driven evaluation of soft policy instruments: The poverty pass

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.

Giest, Sarah. Resolving the Canadian innovation bottleneck: European solutions for facilitating high-technology fields.