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Criteria for the evaluation of public action taking place within networks

ROELEFS, Marcoen
2004

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Paper focuses on what norms are appropriate to the evaluation of public action when this takes place in a network? It argues that the Dutch Government increasingly collaborates with other actors (public and/or private), not only in the execution but also in the elaboration of policies. If this is the case, it is not useful to evaluate public action as if it were undertaken in a vertical one-way model. However, one has to account for this kind of public action from the same basic values that apply to the whole public sector: democratic accountability, compliance with the rules, realisation of goals with a good cost effectiveness. It formulates seven norms that do take into account the particularities of public action within a network

Participation, relationships and dynamic change : new thinking on evaluating the work of international networks

CHURCH, Madeline
et al
2003

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Gives an overview discussion of the key characteristics of networks, noting that international development increasingly takes a network form. Networks typically put an emphasis on: facilitative leadership; building relationships and trust; light co-ordinating structure that allows decentralisation, autonomy and voluntary participation. However, these are charactersitics that traditional evaluation approaches have not been developed to address. Provides a useful check-list for evaluating networks and suggests some useful practical tools to approach the evaluation of networks, such as: ‘Contributions assessment’ to guage how effectively the network facilitates the circulation of resources, and enables people to make the contribution that they are capable of; ‘Clarification of aims and activities’ (adapted Weaver’s Triangle) tool to clarify how participants perspectives and activities diverge or converge over time; ‘Channels of Participation’ tool to assess how and were members interact in a network and look at changes over time; ‘Monitoring the edges’ to track independent networking stimulated but not through the centre

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