Home GO FAIR Initiative Governance


The governance structure for GO FAIR contribution to the EOSC and for a global Internet of FAIR Data & Services has been initially determined by the founding Member States and will be further developed as a derivative and a function of the expressed needs of the Implementation Networks and the participating countries rather than being pre-conceived on theoretical grounds, following the recommendation of the EOSC HLEG to provide ‘guidance only where guidance is due’. All practical implementation activities will inevitably originate in a growing number of EU Member States and other countries and a fit-for-purpose coordination and lightweight governance structure (strongly based on lessons learned on the internet as we know it) will develop as an emerging property of the IFDS.

Four governance bodies have been created in GO FAIR:

  1. The Steering Committee (SC)
  2. The GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office (GFISCO)
  3. The Stakeholder Forum (SF)
  4. The Executive Board (EB)

  • The Member States (in effect the ministry and the ‘National Support Offices’) propose members to the GO FAIR Steering Committee. We propose to start with six people (DE-NL-FR) and appoint the director of the GFISCO as the secretary (reporting decisions of the Steering Committee and translating them to the GFISCO), with the deputy director as additional support.
  • The Executive Board is composed mostly of ‘work floor’ people (active in the domains) and representatives will be proposed by the Stakeholder Forum. Initially, the founding Member States will nominate the Chair and Vice Chair of the Executive Board.
  • The Stakeholder Forum itself is, in essence, the group of ‘Implementation Network (IN) coordinators’. Initially, as long as a relatively small number of INs exists, the Stakeholder Forum may actually be ‘identical’ to the Executive Board, but when the number of INs will grow (anticipated in 2018), there is likely a need to propose/elect representatives for the IN community with consideration to be balanced among the three main pillars in which INs operate: GO CHANGE, GO TRAIN, and GO BUILD.
  • The role of the GFISCO is supportive and coordinates activities of relevance to both the Steering Committee and Executive Board/Stakeholder Forum and acts therefore effectively also as a ‘translational level’.
  • The role of National Offices may develop in a somewhat unpredictable way: they will support and coordinate national GO FAIR participation in INs.

  • The Steering Committee defines and approves the GO FAIR working programme in broad strokes and at high abstraction level. This is communicated and translated into practice by the GFISCO and communicated to the Executive Board. The GFISCO and the Executive Board (maybe initially the Stakeholder Forum  will work on translation of the high level decisions into an implementation strategy, a GO FAIR roadmap etc. and make sure that all INs are fully aware of the most important decisions. The EB/SF will then ensure that the actual implementations are in accordance with the decisions, the principles and the road map agreed in GO FAIR.
  • The Stakeholder Forum (in the future the Executive Board) will propose practical work programmes, detect ‘white spots’ (gaps to be filled) and will also enable cross-IN coordination and exchange of views, practices, technologies, standards etc.
  • National support offices will interact directly with members of INs active in the country and also with the GFISCO (regular meetings) to ensure coordination at the country level.
  • The Executive Board will ensure that ‘per pillar’, there is optimal coordination and also that what has been learned and or developed in one pillar (CHANGE, TRAIN, BUILD) is optimally reused in other pillars. These processes will be all supported, facilitated, and coordinated by the GFISCO in very close collaboration with the Executibe Board.