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Toward more effective regional networks

A multimethod study on top-down stimulated networks in the Dutch public-policy areas of education and employment

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2017
Auteurs Esther Klaster

Esther Klaster
Artikel

Effectieve regionale netwerken

Een onderzoek naar top-down gestimuleerde netwerken op onderwijs- en arbeidsmarktgebied

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2017
Auteurs Dr. Esther Klaster
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Regional networks are often used by the central government in the Netherlands as a way of translating national purposes into regional action. At the same time regional networks increasingly arise from the bottom up. In short, it gets busy in the region. This article describes research on regional networks encouraged by the national government to handle complex issues in the domain of education and the labor market. The central question of this article is the way in which stimulating regional cooperation can be used effectively by the central government. Thirteen networks are studied with the help of interviews, questionnaires and data from social networks. The research findings show that in these networks that are encouraged from the top down, there is a tension between achieving short-term results and building cooperative relations, and that a sense of urgency in the region is an important prerequisite for success. This calls for more bottom-up co-determination of the policy agenda and the pace. In addition, there appeared to be a strong overlap between seemingly separate networks, thematically as well as in terms of staffing, which again offers opportunities for creating synergy. The findings call for using these ‘meta networks’ in the formation of networks. Both notions lead to some strategies for the effective use of regional networks.


Dr. Esther Klaster
Dr. E. Klaster is adviseur bij het adviesbureau Common Eye. Daarvoor werkte ze als onderzoeker en adviseur bij B&A. In 2015 promoveerde ze cum laude aan de Universiteit Twente.
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