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Een onderzoek naar de doeltreffendheid en doelmatigheid van inspraakavonden binnen de gemeente Hengelo

Groenewegen, R.R. (2009) Een onderzoek naar de doeltreffendheid en doelmatigheid van inspraakavonden binnen de gemeente Hengelo.

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Abstract:Citizen participation is a popular subject, also in the municipality Hengelo. One of the tools that the city of Hengelo uses to let citizens participate, is a participation evening. By negative messages about participation and participation evenings, for example about the Troelstrastraat and the Gezondheidspark, there is a need for clarity about participation opportunities and the satisfaction about these. The Audit committee of Hengelo wants to understand how the participation evenings in the city of Hengelo work out. She wants clarity about the extent to which these meetings are efficient and effective. Near clarity about the details of the participation evening, the Audit committee of Hengelo wants to know which objectives these evenings have, and to what extent these are achieved (effectiveness). It is also necessary to understand how to reach these goals at minimal cost/effort (efficient). The focus of the research will be placed on participation in the form of participation evenings. Throughout this research there is one question that covers all other questions. It reads: “How does the city of Hengelo organizes participation evenings, and to what extent are they effective and efficient?” This question should be answered after completion of the research. In order to answer this question a number of research questions will be used. The first research question is: “What forms of participation are used within the municipality Hengelo?” The second research question is: “What objectives are set for these participation events?” The third research question is: “How are participation events organized in the municipality of Hengelo” Next and fourth research question is: “How are the participation evenings assessed by project managers and citizens?” The fifth research question is: “Are the objectives for participation evenings achieved?” The sixth and last research question is: “Are the participation evenings efficient?” The study is descriptive and evaluative. The investigated participation evenings first will be described, then they are going to be analyzed, and in the end they will be evaluated. To implement this description, analysis and evaluation in a right way, four methods are required: literature study, study of documents, interviews and visits of participation evenings. A participation evening is a government organized opportunity for citizens, community organizations and businesses to give their opinion about government policy (Pröpper en Steenbeek, 2001: 48). The objectives for the organization of participation evenings are an impulse for political innovation, increasing support for policy, closing the gap between citizens and government, improving the quality of policies and increasing the problem solving ability (Rob, 2004: 16-17). The terms efficiency and effectiveness will be used to review participation evenings. Effectiveness is the extent to which the objectives are achieved. Efficiency is the extent to which the desired policy objectives are achieved at minimum cost, and whether utilizing fewer resources could achieved the same amount of objectives. Effectiveness is operationalized in five objectives for the organization of public events: impulse for political innovation, increasing support for policy, closing the gap between citizens and government, improving the quality of policies and increasing the 7 problem solving ability. Efficiency is operationalized in six categories, which include: preparation, central aspects during the participation evening, discussion process, closing evening, use of results + evaluation and participation. The two annexes are extensive tables that show the specific review points, and how these points score. If everything is put together an opinion about the participation evenings can be given. In order to make decisions on the effectiveness and efficiency of participation evenings in the town of Hengelo, these evenings need to be examined. Because it requires too much time and it is not necessarily to review all the evenings, in the context of this research a case selection was made. At first the cases Kleine Driene en De Noork, Groot Driene, Broek Oost en Lange Wemen would be viewed. But also for the Groenhofstraat a participation evening was organized. This is an interesting case because of the subject and how the process worked out. So this case was also added to the research. After analyzing the cases and review of the key concepts, the central question can be answered. In the case studies there was been seen that every participation evening has his own ‘package of tools’. Where a few evenings had an central aspect, other evenings had an information market. On one evening experts listens very carefully to its visitors according to the citizens, on another they listened not much to them. One of the conclusions of preparation and communication is that the information to the citizens is sometimes late and incomplete. Expectations between organizers and visitors are often different or unclear. Communication is not always consistent and clear. And plans and checklists are used not very often. Project managers set only a few objectives for participation evenings. In retrospect, they believe that these objectives have been met but that is not always the case. Another conclusion is that citizens are often not satisfied with the intent of the participation evening, the way of responding and the responses they receive to their questions. They do not get a sufficient answers to their question. The turnout at participation events is generally not high. The spreading of the visitors is also not high, there are often the same (kind of) people who visit a participation evening. Participation evenings can not be organized for every (small) subject. So it needs to be ensured that only where it is likely and needed, participation evenings will be organized. Reports of the participation evenings and responses are not always made, and evaluation forms are only distributed to project managers and not to citizens. The municipality of Hengelo organizes participation evenings as defined in the literature and its ‘inspraakverordening’. However, there are some cases where they do not meet the requirements. Each evening is a new participation moment which requires a different approach. For that reason there is no fixed format for a participation evening. At the end can be concluded that the participation evenings are largely effective and largely efficient. Yet it should be noted that some evenings has a limited effectiveness and/or a limited efficiency.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Gemeeente Hengelo
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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