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SCORE: Structural Capacities for Tackling Wicked Problems Programme: Erasmus+

Action Type: KA220-HED - Cooperation partnerships in higher education

Duration: 2022-2025

CZU Project Coordinator: Hynek Roubík


Partners: Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje in The Republic of North Macedonia (Coordinator), Panepistimio Ioanninon in Greece, Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski in Bulgaria


Budget (CZU): 32,410 EUR




Modern policy implementation and organisational frameworks fail to create a sustainable approach in the resolution of wicked problems as growing global concern. They include problems that are hard to define, difficult to solve and need various approaches for their potential solution. Poverty, climate change, health, gender equality, and justice are all wicked problems that are part of the SDG Agenda.

SCORE aims to create a cooperation structure and develop a model for tackling these problems. Wider transnational capacities are involved, proposing a bottom-up approach in social-planning processes. Our aim is to demonstrate that such problematic can be solved through cautious approach of HEIs in the process.

SCORE promotes and strengthens the European cooperation on this topic while designing and piloting novel research in tackling climate change. Specific topics that are to be addressed include environment and climate change, inter-regional cooperation and research and innovation. The project consortium will mutually benefit by active participation. Practically, project participants will be able to demonstrate decisiveness and capability in solving numerous problems in the relevant area, setting the foundation for other organisations to be able to implement such approaches. Furthermore, through the project implementation and follow up phases, a new generation of scholars will gain the knowledge, tools and methods for solving wicked problems. Sharing good practices and developing inter-connected higher education systems will be supported through sustainability network, models, e-tools and guidelines generated by SCORE.


Implementation of SCORE sets an overall objective of developing a model and creating a cooperation structure with the project partners in tackling wicked problems. The inclusion of HEIs in addressing such challenges will set the foundation for present and future generations. SCORE aims to enhance various approaches in targeting such complex topics.

Specific project objectives include:

– Developed and evaluated model for transnational and inter-organisational cooperation of solving wicked problems,

– Establishing inclusive bottom-up social planning approach,

– Applied pilot research on air pollution as a wicked problem, and

– Established transnational interdisciplinary structure for solving wicked problems.

Air pollution, as wicked problem par excellence, is properly objectified as founding example for the proposed approach. Inclusion of project partners and various cities in its resolving, will serve as a proper example in the assessment of different economic, political, environmental and social policy responses. SCORE aims to target and involve a wider range of institutions and organisations, such as:

– HEIs of the project consortium,

– HEIs in the international and national networks of project partners, and

0– National and European policy creators.


The project will deliver the following results

– State-of-art analysis that will present state-of-art development on wicked problems research and approaches

– SCORE E-tool for holistic bottom-up approach for identifying solutions to wicked problems

– SCORE model guidelines ensures that the model and the e-tool can be used to perform research on wicked problems by other academics within the partner institutions and other HEIs that are the target groups

– Informative Kit for Wicked Problems for Policy Makers that should equip policy makers with all the necessary knowledge about wicked problems and what role can SCORE model and e-tool play in identifying solutions

– SCORE Experimentation Report is a summary of the transnational research performed by the partner organisations that used the developed model and e-tool on the wicked problem of air pollution

– Sustainability network will be established as an online platform to ensure the sustainability of the model, e-tool and the guidelines.


How was the logo made, and what do the different colours mean? Click here to find it out.

On the 13 and 14th of June, we had the SCORE’s first transnational meeting in Skopje, Macedonia. More pictures can be found below.

Project result 1 – State of art analysis

This document reports the work completed for result No1 of the SCORE project and details the main output of this work, the state-of-the-art literature synthesis report. This task has been led by the University of Ioannina and has been completed with contributions from all the SCORE project partners.

The completed work addressed a core input requirement to advancing scientific research and dialogue in HEIs concerning wicked problems, namely identifying state-of-the-art literature on wicked problems. This step is also deemed critical for successfully accomplishing the rest of the SCORE project tasks, i.e., developing the SCORE model and e-tool. To complete the work for result No1 of the SCORE project, the following activities have been performed:

  1. The broad literature collection and analysis protocol

  2. Compilation of the literature database and availability through an open public repository (Zotero)

  3. Documentation of the results in the synthesis report presented therein

The results of this work provide the academic community with a rich reference database on wicked problems that brings together high-quality scientific work and an overview of the current landscape of the scholarly literature on wicked problems. The open library database provided via the Zotero reference management software contains all the scientific works that have been collected and analyzed for the purposes of result No1 of the SCORE project. To the best of our knowledge, this is a first-time contribution to the academic community. The library is available here: and can be exported, i.e., easily downloaded and used by the HEIs.

The synthesis and analysis of the state-of-the-art literature on wicked problems show that while the existing works offer a good understanding of the characteristics and aspects that define wicked problems, they offer limited systematic approaches and insights into the solutions. The definitions repeat the use of keywords such as “social,” “complex,” “urgent,” “system,” “hard,” or “incomplete.” Several works note that wicked problems are usually ill-defined and cannot be solved with a standardized process. Most of the works agree that there is no single solution to a wicked problem, and many stakeholders and decision-makers are involved in identifying solutions. The synthesis results identify arguments favoring bridging different stakeholders and disciplines, education systems and political systems, business environment, and technological transformations to solve wicked problems. 

On the following links, you can download:

Result ID: 1

Result Title: State-of-the-art analysis

Result Title: References

Result Title: Zotero public library on wicked problems


Read about the project meeting in Prague in October 2023 HERE.


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