AARC launches Policy Development Kit for Research Infrastructures

Policy templates, guidelines, context videos and a glossary are available in a new ‘Policy Development Kit’ (PDK) that has been launched by the AARC project. The kit provides new or evolving Research Infrastructures with guidance on developing a complete policy suite to support Federated Identity Management and the implementation of an Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI), so that their researchers can access a wider pool of online resources, data and tools in a more user-friendly way.

Policy is not usually seen as the most exciting aspect of addressing AAI challenges, but has been an important focus of the AARC (Authentication and Authorisation for Research and Collaboration) project.

“We’ve been busy working on policy so that you don’t have to. The PDK is a way for you as a community, as an e-infrastructure, to see whether your policy set is complete, and which elements may need further attention. It is essentially a kind of a handbook. If you’re looking for a relevant policy template you can go to the policy starter kit and grab it!” David Group (Nikhef), leader AARC policy work

Providing access to resources for the distributed, diverse and global research community means that Infrastructures need to ensure and establish high levels of trust with their users.

“We early on realised that the policy side is quite important and maybe more important than the technical implementation,” Uros Stevanovic (KIT)

Uros developed the PDK alongside Hannah Short of CERN.

“There are of course huge technical challenges, but more often than not it’s the trust and governance issues that prove more complicated, and that’s where policy comes in. If we have hundreds of organisations working together, we need to ensure that each of them is conforming to a baseline of operational security and that they’re respecting the privacy rights of their users and that everybody is doing this in a consistent way.” Hannah Short (CERN)

Uros and Hannah feature in five short videos that provide background and context to the other materials and information contained in the AARC Policy Development Kit, which focuses on the following four elements:

  • Top Level policies
  • Membership Management
  • Operational Security
  • Data Protection

The PDK course starts by introducing the concepts of federated access and Federated Identity Management and talks about the efforts in research communities to solve challenges of interoperability, to identify and provide guidance in addressing functional gaps.

How to access the PDK and other information

Anyone is welcome to access the AARC Policy Development Kit information and training material. The PDK training material is held on the GÉANT Learning And Development team’s Moodle site, which requires login with a federated account or social media so the team can track individual training progress.

Visit the YouTube AARC playlist on GÉANTtv.

Share the PDK promo video.

Find out more about AARC Policy activities.

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