A responsive municipal government
- Start: September 2018
- Status: ongoing
Dutch municipalities have been struggling for years to deal with social problems in their cities. The current social policy does not offer long-term solutions for persistent issues such as the low employment rates for young people with low education qualifications, the relatively high numbers of school dropouts, and the increasing pressure on middle class citizens who need to care for both their children and their parents.
Municipalities are therefore seeking a new approach that accomplishes a better bond with citizens, and in which the citizens’ own life world serves as an important source of knowledge. The municipal governments of Tilburg, Rotterdam and Roosendaal have adopted a method of responsive learning from experience, as a way to improve policy making and policy implementation. Through a system of systematic dialogues with stakeholders, the goal is to form a shared picture of what really matters, to then eventually arrive at a shared negotiation and action plan. This method is not without its challenges, however.
A further relevant factor is that just 45.5% of the Dutch population has confidence in civil servants. Civil servants also encounter various bumps and thresholds in their collaboration with citizens. Finally, it remains uncertain how diverse sources of knowledge (including citizens’ life world) can be combined to support the policy making process.
This dissertation offers a description, analysis and critical discussion of what municipal policy makers encounter and experience as part of innovative interactive policy making using responsive approach methods. The researcher examines the challenges and problems they encounter, and how they could deal with these in future (practical tools & tips).
- Pascal Collard MSc MA (PhD candidate and contact person)
- Cities of Rotterdam, Tilburg and Roosendaal
- ZonMw, programme Ethics and Health
- Publication Transformeren op z’n Tilburgs (City of Tilburg, September 2017)
- Publication Agenderen op z’n Tilburgs (City of Tilburg, November 2018)
- Website of the project in Tilburg: Agenda Sociaal 013
- Storybook Kwetsbaar en Krachtig; De zoektocht naar passende ondersteuning om betekenisvol te kunnen leven (City of Rotterdam, July 2017)
Pascal Collard, P.Collard@UvH.nl.
A PhD study by Pascal Collard into municipal policy makers’ experiences with innovative interactive policy making using responsive approach methods.