The policy framework within which the ISDI should be considered ranges from the international to the national and local levels.
international level there are a number of bodies which set a policy context, namely, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)
 , the Open GIS Consortium (OGC)
 and the Global Spatial Data Association (GSDA)
 which is striving to create a world SDI based on national SDIs.
European level there is the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN)
 , the INSPIRE initiative
 which is aimed at producing an EU Directive related to the establishment of a European SDI. There are also many other initiatives, Directives and Regulations which impact directly or indirectly on ISDI matters, including for example the Information Society initiative, the Use of Public Sector Information Directive, the Water Framework Directive and many others. Ongoing cooperation between the Republic and Northern Ireland, initiated by the Good Friday agreement, also provides a broad policy context.
Irish context the main policy context for the ISDI is the Information Society Agenda that is directed to promoting eGovernment, eBusiness and eInclusion. Other important policies or initiatives include Better Local Government, government modernisation, the Management Information Framework and the policy whereby all government departments must have statistics / information policies in place by the end of 2004.
Of particular relevance is the work of the ISO's Technical Committee 211 which deals with standards in the geographical information sphere. See
for general background regarding the ISO.
. A draft EU Directive is currently being considered within the EU Commission. If supported by the Commission the Directive will be submitted to the Parliament and the Council in Summer. The Directive identifies priority data sets which require harmonization and other actions. If the Directive is approved Ireland would need to operate within the terms prescribed.