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MEASUREMENT OF LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE AND THE ROLES OF PIONEERING MUNICIPALITIES. DR. THOMAS HOPPE DR. FRANS H.J.M. COENEN. TWENTE CENTRE FOR STUDIES IN TECHNOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. CSTM – INSTITUTE FOR INNOVATION AND GOVERNANCE STUDIES. IGS - UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE.

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MEASUREMENT OF LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE AND THE ROLES OF PIONEERING MUNICIPALITIES.DR. THOMAS HOPPEDR. FRANS H.J.M. COENEN

TWENTE CENTRE FOR STUDIES IN TECHNOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. CSTM – INSTITUTE FOR INNOVATION AND GOVERNANCE STUDIES. IGS - UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE.

Conference Europe Matters, Nijmegen, 20 September 2012

Workshop European Pioneers in EnvironmentalPolicy andSustainability.

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presentation outline
PRESENTATION OUTLINE
  • Relevance
  • Enabling factors forlocalsustainability
  • Performance measurement
  • Case study: The Netherlands (LSM)
  • Lessonsfrom LSM 1999-2009
  • Pioneeringmunicipalities
  • More information

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relevance
RELEVANCE
  • Environmental impacts manifest themselves at local level.
  • Sustainable development requires all government levels.
  • Local authorities easy accessible government for citizens.
  • Focus on adoption and implementation of sustainable development policies by local authorities.
  • Local authorities: units of observation.
  • Lack of research on local sustainability policy goal achievement (only on specialized fields).
  • Few coordinated attempts to monitor local sustainability program performance.
  • Few attempts to analyse these data.

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research questions
RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1. What does local sustainability performance measurement mean in practice and what can we learn from a decade of experiences in the Netherlands?

2. What is the role of pioneerstherein?

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performance measurement of public organizations
PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT OF PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS
  • Whymeasure performance?
  • What is measured?
  • How is measured?
  • Whomeasures?
  • Whathappenswith the data collected?

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performance measurent of public bodies
PERFORMANCE MEASURENT OF PUBLIC BODIES
  • Show how well public policy program(s) benefit the populace.
  • Public officials need (togain) legitimacy.
  • Transparency of policy program(s).
  • Accountability of public officials.
  • Publication of performance measurement of public bodies is considered a democratic right.
  • A means to control budget spendingby public officials.
  • Performance measurement as a key element of New Public Management (NPM): “Running government as a business firm”.
  • Modernization trend of governmentsduring 1990’s in OECD countries.
  • Benchmarking and monitoring. Means toevaluateandmodify programs.

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case the local sustainability metre lsm
CASE: THE LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY METRE (LSM)
  • Trend diffused from business sector (CSR) and New Public Management (NPM).
  • Developed in late 1990s following National LA21 agenda.
  • Implemented by NGO COS.
  • Data collection since 1999.
  • 8 editions so far; results reported and publicly accessible (www.duurzaamheidsmeter.nl).
  • PPP-approach to measure sustainability.
  • Sample: all Dutch municipalities are contacted. Some respond.
  • Data collection: online survey.
  • Objective: toencouragemunicipalitiestoadoptprogressivesustainabilitypolicies.

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what is measured
WHAT IS MEASURED?
  • Local Sustainability: a pluriform construct (PPP)
  • People
    • Gender
    • International Treaties / regional networks
    • Social
  • Planet
    • Climate
    • Water
    • Nature
  • Profit
    • Corporate Social Responsibility
    • Sustainable purchasing
  • Example: items climate policy (planet)

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lessons from lsm 1999 2009 1
LESSONS FROM LSM 1999-2009 (1)

Variation in response accrossyears

Variation in performance accrossyears

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lessons from lsm 1999 2009 2
LESSONS FROM LSM 1999-2009 (2)
  • Multi-year top-10 rankings
  • A few usual suspects.
  • Bot also newcomers and pioneers that disappear.

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lessons from lsm 1999 2009 3
LESSONS FROM LSM 1999 – 2009 (3)
  • Pioneers remain ahead!
  • Size matters.

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lessons from lsm 1999 2009 4
LESSONS FROM LSM 1999 – 2009 (4)
  • Laggards catch up!

Furtherlessons:

  • Signs of competitivenessamong top performers.
  • Somepioneers do notrespondany more to LSM, anddeveloptheirown ‘safe’ performance measures. Strategic behavior. Politicalreasoning.
  • Adoption of LSM tool byotherdecentralgovernments (provinces, water boards).

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on the role of pioneering municipalities
ON THE ROLE OF PIONEERING MUNICIPALITIES

Pioneers differ due to:

  • early involvement;
  • above average performance;
  • long term commitment;
  • geographical location within a particular region with favorable conditions;
  • adoption of corporate social responsibility principles;
  • more international and regional network memberships;
  • (large) organizational size (and hence capacity).

However: many important items from our framework are not easy to incorporate in survey-based data collection. More in-depth (comparative) research is needed, as well as research on methodological caveats in current surveying.

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methodological and conceptual remarks
Methodological and conceptual remarks
  • Sample is biased (municipalitysize, progressive Boards).
  • Respondents suffer from ‘fatigue’.
  • Indinctness on meaning of questionnaire items and ‘sustainability’ in particular.
  • Many items cannotsimplybeansweredwith ‘yes’ of ‘no’.
  • What is measured is ‘output’, not ‘ outcome’.
  • Politicaldimensionnotmeasured.
  • Online publication of results leads tostrategicbehaviour.
  • Data set difficulttouseforscientificpurposes.

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research agenda
RESEARCH AGENDA

5 propositions:

  • Voluntary disclosure of a municipality’s own performance leads to more action, and hence better performance.
  • Benchmarking leads to the use of other participants’ ideas and practices (a motivation to share information).
  • Early participants have a competitive edge to newcomers and tend to remain ahead for years.
  • The performances (in terms of policy output) of municipalities are unevenly distributed in the self-reporting model as compared to the regulation model which sets mandatory performance standards.
  • Voluntary withdrawal by municipalities creates biased results. Stratification sampling leads to less biased results.

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more information
MORE INFORMATION

Please, look at the followingpublications:

    • Hoppe, T., and M. Klein. (2012). Meting van duurzame ontwikkeling op lokaal niveau. Milieu Dossier, 18 (4), 50-54.
    • Hoppe, Thomas, and FransCoenen. (2011). Creating an analytical framework for local sustainability performance: a Dutch Case Study. Local Environment, 16 (3), 229-250.
    • Hoppe, T. and F.H.J.M. Coenen. (2011). What Does Pioneering Mean in Local Sustainability Governance? A Case Study of the Netherlands. Paper presented at the 6th ECPR General Conference, held at the University of Iceland from 24-2, Reykjavik. 7 August 2011 in the panel: Pioneers in Environmental Policy Revisited.
    • Coenen, F.H.J.M. and T. Hoppe. (2010). Globale uitdagingen op lokaal niveau, Bestuurswetenschappen,(3), pp. 77-92.
  • For Local Sustainability Metre see: www.duurzaamheidsmeter.nl
  • Contact me at: [email protected]

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