Between September 2004 and February 2005, the NICS Community of Practice (CoP) carried out a “learning phase,” the hosting of four workshops to assemble the information needed to assess the desirability and feasibility of NICS and prepare a strong business plan for its development. Each workshop focused on one category of potential NICS participant organizations (community-level, state, federal, and nonprofit/commercial). All were framed by the following questions:    (2PMZ)

Over the course of the learning phase workshops, a consensus emerged to add a particular dimension to the development of NICS—the selection of “use cases” that collectively can serve as the initial building blocks of NICS and explore and demonstrate technical and institutional solutions to key NICS design and implementation issues. These use cases may be existing or new statistical system efforts and may focus on a particular topic (e.g., environment) or geographic area.    (2PN3)

The April 12th meeting will initiate the next phase of the NICS development process. The meeting is structured around the review and discussion of learning phase findings and recommendations in each of three workgroup domains—participant needs and applications, systems architecture, and governance and finance. Through this process, we will develop agreement regarding:    (2PN4)