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Michaela Saisana

Michaela Saisana is Head of the Monitoring, Indicators and Impact Evaluation Unit and she also leads the European Commission's Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards (COIN) at the Joint Research Centre in Italy.

Portrait of Michaela Saisana

Biography

Michaela Saisana is Head of the Monitoring, Indicators and Impact Evaluation Unit and she also leads the European Commission's Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards (COIN) at the Joint Research Centre in Italy.

She has been working in the JRC since 1998, where she obtained a prize as “best young scientist of the year” in 2004 and together with her team the “JRC policy impact award” for the Social Scoreboard of the European Pillar of Social Rights in 2018.

Scientist and engineer with specialization on process optimization and spatial statistics, she is actively involved in promoting a sound development and responsible use of performance monitoring tools. These monitoring tools feed into EU policy formulation and legislation in a wide range of fields from social rights and fairness to innovation and competitiveness, from enterprises and firms to state aid, from employment to culture and creativity, from cohesion to sustainable development.

She collaborates, by auditing performance indices, with over 150 international organizations and world-class universities, including the United Nations, Transparency International, Oxfam, the World Economic Forum, INSEAD, the World Intellectual Property Organization, Yale University, Columbia University, and Harvard University.

Michaela graduated in 1998 from the National Technical University of Athens with a degree in Chemical Engineering (receiving the Technical Chamber of Greece Award in Chemical Engineering) and went on to complete her PhD in Chemical Engineering with focus on air quality and spatial statistics. She is the author of ~ 30 articles in academic journals, 100 working papers, and co-author of two books: 2008 OECD/JRC Handbook on Composite Indicators and 2008 Global Sensitivity Analysis-The Primer (Wiley).

Reviewer for top journals including Nature Communications.

Impact of her work: Google Scholar H-index 28; 11,000 citations (top 5 most cited scientist in the European Commission)

Contact: michaela.saisana@ec.europa.eu

https://composite-indicators.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

Selected articles for further reading

Books

  • Saltelli A., M. Ratto, T. Andres, F. Campolongo, J. Cariboni, D. Gatelli, M. Saisana, S. Tarantola, 2008, Global sensitivity analysis. The Primer, John Wiley & Sons, England.
  • JRC/OECD, 2008, Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators. Methodology and user Guide, OECD Publishing, ISBN 978-92-64-04345-9. Authored by Nardo M., Saisana M., Saltelli A., Tarantola S., Hoffman A., Giovannini E.

Book chapters

  • William Becker, Paolo Paruolo, Michaela Saisana, Andrea Saltelli: Weights and Importance in Composite Indicators: Mind the Gap. Handbook of Uncertainty Quantification, Edited by Roger Ghanem, David Higdon, Houman Owhadi, 03/2016: chapter 4; Springer International Publishing., ISBN: 978-3-319-11259-6.
  • Saisana, M., Saltelli, A., and Lucchese, G., 2015, Potential Lessons for Europe from Key Governance Measures, In: On Governance: The National and International Dimensions of Measuring Governance Effectiveness for Policy Outcomes’, Robert I. Rotberg (Ed.), Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Editions, Canada.

Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Montalto, V., Tacao Moura, C.J., Langedijk, S., Saisana, M., 2019, Culture counts: An empirical approach to measure the cultural and creative vitality of European cities, Cities 89:167-185.
  2. Becker, W., Saisana, M., Paruolo, P., Vandecasteele, I., 2017, Weights and importance in composite indicators: Closing the gap, Ecological indicators 80, 12-22.
  3. Sevigny, E.L., Saisana, M., 2016, Measuring Interstate Variations in the Consequences of Illegal Drugs: A Composite Indicator Approach, Social Indicators Research 128 (2), 501-529.
  4. Hoskins, B., Saisana, M., Villalba, C.M.H., 2015, Civic Competence of Youth in Europe: Measuring Cross National Variation Through the Creation of a Composite Indicator, Social Indicators Research 123 (2), pp. 431-457.
  5. Cohen, A., Saisana, M., 2014, Quantifying the Qualitative: Eliciting Expert Input to Develop the Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool, Journal of Development Studies 50(1): 35-50.
  6. Paruolo P., Saisana M., Saltelli A., 2013, Ratings and Rankings: voodoo or science?. J Royal Statistical Society A 176(3), 609-634.
  7. Saisana, M., and Saltelli, A., 2011, Rankings and Ratings: Instructions for use, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law 3(2), 247-268.
  8. Saisana M., D’Hombres B., Saltelli A., 2011, Rickety Numbers: Volatility of university rankings and policy implications. Research Policy 40, 165–177.
  9. Munda G., Saisana M., 2011, Methodological Considerations on Regional Sustainability Assessment based on Multicriteria and Sensitivity Analysis. Regional Studies 45(2), 261-276.
  10. Saltelli, A., D'Hombres, B., Jesinghaus, J., Manca, A.R., Mascherini, M., Nardo, M., Saisana, M., 2010, Indicators for European Union Policies. Business as Usual? Social Indicators Research 102(2), 197-207.
  11. Munda G., Nardo M., Saisana M., Srebotnjak T., 2009, Measuring uncertainties in composite indicators of sustainability. Int. J. Environmental Technology and Management 11, 7-26.
  12. Cherchye L., W. Moesen, N. Rogge, T. Van Puyenbroeck, M. Saisana, A. Saltelli, R. Liska, S. Tarantola, 2008, Creating Composite Indicators with DEA and Robustness Analysis: the case of the Technology Achievement Index. Journal of Operational Research Society 59, 239-251.
  13. Saisana M., Saltelli A., 2008, Expert Panel Opinion and Global Sensitivity Analysis for Composite Indicators, Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering 62, 251-275.
  14. Sarigiannis D.A., Saisana M., 2008, Multi-objective optimization of air quality monitoring. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 136 (1-3), 87-99.
  15. Brand D. A., M. Saisana, L. A. Rynn, F. Pennoni, A. B. Lowenfels, 2007, Comparative Analysis of Alcohol Control Policies in 30 Countries. PLoS Medicine 4(4), 752-759.
  16. Tarantola S., Nardo M., Saisana M., Gatelli D., 2006, A new estimator for sensitivity analysis of model output: An application to the e-business readiness composite indicator. Reliability Engineering & System Safety 91(10-11), 1135-1141.
  17. Saisana M., Saltelli A., Tarantola S., 2005, Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques as tools for the analysis and validation of composite indicators. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A 168(2), 307-323.
  18. Dubois G., Galmarini S., Saisana M., 2005, Geostatistical Investigation of ETEX - 1: Structural Analysis. Atmospheric Environment 39, 1683-1693.
  19. Sarigiannis D.A., Saisana M., 2005, Satellite-assisted optimization of ambient air quality monitoring networks. Symposium on Air Quality Measurement Methods and Technology.
  20. Saltelli A., Nardo M., Saisana M., Tarantola S., Liška R., 2005, Agregované indikátory - kontroverze a její možná řešení (English title: Composite Indicators – controversy and the way forward). Statistika 2, 93-106
  21. Saisana M., Dubois G., Chaloulakou A., Spyrellis N., 2004, Interpretation of probability risk maps: limitations and perspectives. Environmental Science and Technology 38(5), 1275-1281.
  22. Baur D., Saisana M., Schulze N., 2004, Modelling the Effects of Meteorological Variables on Ozone Concentration – A Quantile Regression Approach. Atmospheric Environment 38(28), 4689–4699.
  23. Chaloulakou A., Saisana M., Spyrellis N., 2003, Comparative assessment of neural networks and regression models for forecasting summertime ozone in Athens. Science of the Total Environment 313 (1-3), 1-13.
  24. Saisana M., Dubois G., Chaloulakou A., Kassomenos P., Spyrellis N., 2003, Streamlining environmental monitoring networks: application to nitrogen dioxide in north Italy. Systems Analysis Modelling Simulation 43(2), 241-250.
  25. Saisana M., Dubois G., Chaloulakou A., Spyrellis N., 2002, Spatial Correlation Analysis of Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations in the Area of Milan, Italy. Proc. of the First Biennial Meeting of the International Modelling and Software Society, Switzerland, June 2002, A. E. Rizzoli and A. J. Jakeman Eds, p.536-541.
  26. Sarigiannis D., Soulakellis N., Schäfer K., Tombrou M., Sifakis N., Assimakopoulos D., Lointier M, Bossioli E., Dantou A., Saisana M., 2002, ICAROS: An integrated computational environment for the assimilation of environmental data and models for urban and regional air quality. Water, Air and Soil Pollution: Focus 2 (5-6), 641-654.

 

Selected working papers & contributions to monographs

  1. Saisana, M., Alvarez Diaz, M., Dominguez Torreiro, M. and Becker, W., JRC Statistical Audit of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2019, in INSEAD, 2019, The Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2019, Entrepreneurial Talent and Global Competitiveness, Fontainebleau, France, ISBN 979-10-95870-18-0, p. 55-67.
  2. Saisana, M., Caperna, G., Alvarez Diaz, M., Tacao Moura, C., Norlen, H. and Montalto, V., Joint Research Centre Statistical Audit of the 2018 Global Attractiveness Index , EUR 29373 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-94186-3, doi:10.2760/331154.
  3. Alvarez Diaz, M., Saisana, M., D`hombres, B., Montalto, V. and Tacao Moura, C., JRC Statistical Audit of Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2018, EUR 29406 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-96744-3, doi:10.2760/942703.
  4. Becker, W. and Saisana, M., The JRC Statistical Audit of the Financial Secrecy Index 2018, in Tax Justice Network, 2018, Financial Secrecy Index 2018 Methodology, p.163-194.
  5. Saisana, M., Dominguez Torreiro, M. and Vertesy, D., Joint Research Centre Statistical Audit of the 2018 Global Innovation Index, in Cornell University, INSEAD, WIPO, 2018, The Global innovation Index 2018: Energizing the World with Innovation, Ithaca, Fontainebleau, and Geneva, ISBN 979-10-95870-09-8, p. 71-88.
  6. Alvarez Diaz, M., Del Sorbo, M. and Saisana, M., The JRC Statistical Audit of the Restrictiveness Index for seven regulated professions, EUR 29407 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-96746-7, doi:10.2760/209047.
  7. Dominguez Torreiro, M., Caperna, G. and Saisana, M., The JRC Statistical Audit of the Retail Restrictiveness Indicator, EUR 29566 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-98382-5, doi:10.2760/137321.
  8. Norlen, H. and Saisana, M., The JRC Statistical Audit of the 2018 European Skills Index (ESI), EUR 29352 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-93710-1, doi:10.2760/803749.
  9. Alvarez Diaz, M., Saisana, M., Montalto, V. and Tacao Moura, C., Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 Statistical Assessment , EUR 29405 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-96745-0, doi:10.2760/974516.
  10. Becker, W., Dominguez Torreiro, M., Fragoso Neves, A., Saisana, M. and Tacao Moura, C., Exploring ASEM sustainable connectivity: What brings Asia and Europe together, EUR 29326 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-99726-6, doi:10.2760/738153.
  11. Erhart, S., Becker, W. and Saisana, M., The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure, EUR 29588 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-98453-2, doi:10.2760/038148.
  12. Thomas, A., D`hombres, B., Casubolo, C., Saisana, M. and Kayitakire, F., The use of the Global Food Security Index to inform the situation in food insecure countries, EUR 28885 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2017, ISBN 978-92-79-76681-7, doi:10.2760/83356.
  13. Dominguez Torreiro, M., Alvarez Diaz, M. and Saisana, M., JRC statistical audit on the Elcano Global Presence Index 2016, 2017, JRC110351.
  14. Saisana M; Becker W; Dominguez Torreiro M; Vertesy D. COIN Tool (beta version) - A quality assurance Excel-based tool for developers and users of composite indicators and scoreboards. European Commission; 2017. JRC105377.
  15. Montalto, V., Jorge Tacao Moura, C., Langedijk, S., Saisana, M. and Panella, F., The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor: a new tool to monitor and foster culture-led policies, In: Ravello Lab 2017 - XII Edizione, 19-21 October 2017, Ravello, Ravello Lab 2017 - XII Edizione, 2017, ISSN 2280-9376, 30, p. 22-27, JRC109948.
  16. Montalto, V., Jorge Tacao Moura, C., Langedijk, S. and Saisana, M., The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor: 2017 Edition, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2017, ISBN 978-92-79-86430-8, doi:10.2760/58643, JRC107331.
  17. Montalto, V., Jorge Tacao Moura, C., Langedijk, S., Saisana, M. and Panella, F., The European Commission releases the first ever edition of the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor to support urban policies and investments , In: OECD Statistics Newsletter, 2017, (67), p. 17-20, JRC108269.
  18. Montalto, V., Jorge Tacao Moura, C., Langedijk, S., Saisana, M. and Panella, F., Are capitals the leading cultural and creative cities in Europe, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, doi:10.2760/272325, JRC108270.
  19. Alvarez Diaz M; Benczur P; Campolongo F; Dominguez Torreiro M; Erhart S; Ferent Pipas M; Langedijk S; Manca A; Raab R; Saisana M. Public spending targeting social outcomes. 2016. JRC104919
  20. Saisana M, Dominguez Torreiro M., 2015, JRC Statistical Assessment of the 2015 ICT Development Index. International Telecommunication Union. p. 195-205. JRC100026
  21. Hoskins B, Saisana M, Villalba C., 2015, Civic Competence of Youth in Europe: Measuring cross national variation through the creation of a composite indicator. Social Indicators Research 123 (2). p. 431-457. JRC94121
  22. Saisana M, Stano P., 2015, JRC Statistical Audit on the Gender-Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI) 2014. EUR 27066. JRC92076
  23. Athanasoglou S, Weziak-Bialowolska D, Saisana M., 2014, Environmental Performance Index 2014 JRC Analysis and Recommendations, JRC89939.
  24. Saisana, M., Saltelli, A., 2014, JRC Statistical Audit of the WJP Rule of Law Index® 2014 (p.188-198). In the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index® Washington, D.C.: The World Justice Project.
  25. Saisana, M., Rossetti, F., 2013, JRC Statistical Audit on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (p.77-87), in Lanvin B., Evans, P. (Ed), The Global Talent Competitiveness Index, INSEAD.
  26. Saisana, M., Philippas, D., 2013, Joint Research Centre Statistical Audit of the 2013 Global Innovation Index (p.55-67), in Dutta, S., Lanvin, B. (Ed), The Global Innovation Index 2013 - The Local Dynamics of Innovation, Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO.
  27. Saisana, M., Weziak-Bialowolska, D., 2013, JRC Statistical Audit on the Environment and Gender Index (p.143-153), in IUCN The Environment and Gender Index (EGI) 2013 Pilot. Washington, D.C.: IUCN.
  28. Hoskins, B.L., Saisana, M., Villalba, C., 2013, Measuring Youth Civic Competence across Europe in 1999 & 2009, EUR 26487 , European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy
  29. Sevigny, E. L., Saisana M., 2013, Developing the U.S. Drug Consequences Indices, 2000-2009. Washington, DC: Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President.
  30. Hardeman, S., van Roy, V., Vertesy, D., Saisana, M., 2013, An analysis of national research systems (I): A Composite Indicator for Scientific and Technological Research Excellence, EUR 26093, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.
  31. Saisana, M., 2012, Monitoring SMEs’ performance in Europe. Indicators fit for purpose, EUR 25577, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.
  32. Saisana, M., Saltelli A., 2012, Corruption Perceptions Index 2012. Statistical Assessment, EUR 25623, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.
  33. Saisana M., Philippas D., 2012, Sustainable Society Index (SSI): Taking societies’ pulse along social, environmental and economic issues, EUR 25578 EN, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.
  34. Saisana M, Hoskins B, Harrison Villaba C., 2012, The 2011 Civic Competence Composite Indicator. EUR 25182, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.
  35. Saisana M., 2010, ELLI-Index: a sound measure for lifelong learning in the EU, EUR 24529, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.
  36. Saisana M., Saltelli A., 2010, Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index, EUR 56990, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.
  37. Saisana M., Saltelli A., 2010, The Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool (MPAT): Robustness issues and Critical assessment, EUR 24310, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.
  38. Saisana M., 2010, The Luxembourg Competitiveness Index: Analysis & Recommendations, Perspectives de Politique Économique No 15, October 2010, Ministère de l’Économie et du Commerce extérieur, Observatoire de la Compétitivité, Luxembourg.
  39. Saisana M., Annoni, P, Nardo M., 2009, A robust model to measure African Governance: Robustness Issues and Critical Assessment, EUR 23274, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy
  40. Saisana M., 2008, The 2007 Composite Learning Index: Robustness Issues and Critical Assessment, EUR 23274, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.
  41. Saisana M., D’Hombres B., 2008, Higher Education Rankings: Robustness Issues and Critical Assessment, EUR 23487, European Commission, JRC-IPSC, Italy.