Title: The Missing Linkage: Building Effective Governance for Joint and Network Evaluation
Authors: Ofek, Yuval; S0220176
Issue Date: 7-Nov-2014
Abstract: Research on governance network evaluation has made great strides in determining what effectiveness is and ‘effectiveness for whom’, often introducing a set of indicators or objectives as a basis for network evaluation. On this basis, governance theorists developed frameworks and models to increase network effectiveness in relation to specific determinants. The discussion of indicators and determinants of network effectiveness has been followed by innovative methods to analyse and evaluate them. Yet, the linkage between indicators and determinants of effectiveness and methodologies of network evaluation is still unclear as different evaluation methods can be managed and applied in various ways depending on the nature of the network and the programmes to be evaluated. Concrete applications of joint and network evaluations mirror this theoretical gap, where inappropriate evaluation approaches and management practices of such evaluations cause delays, increases in transaction costs, cumbersome governance structures, dissatisfaction of actors with current evaluation practices and unresolved conflicts that hinder engagement between actors for future collaborative performance assessments. In this dissertation we frame this problem as a problem of governance, and aim to generate knowledge concerning ways to improve governance and increase governability, without giving up on the ability to evaluate processes and final results of highly complex programmes and networks. Differentiating between aspects of demand and supply in evaluation systems and conceiving varied levels of dynamics, complexity and diversity as given conditions to which governance should adapt, the research question in this PhD thesis is: How can the governing system in joint and network evaluations be best adapted to the programmes to be evaluated?By integrating the parameters of evaluation, complexity and governance, this dissertation introduces a configurative model based on levels of dynamics, complexity and diversity that provides procedures for building effective governance for joint and network evaluations as the linkage between network effectiveness and the methods used to assess it. Following a retroductive research design, the model is exemplified in five case studies in order to enrich it and examine its validity and practical application. The field of development aid was chosen as an appropriate arena in which to develop and test the model because of the rich practice and experience generated in this field. However, based on governance networks, complexity and evaluation theories, the model is designed to be applied to various fields, all types of networks and diverse evaluation types. As the model conceives of network evaluation as a ‘network within network’, it goes even beyond the evaluation process and points to a new direction for exploring network effectiveness as a whole.In addition to its direct practical contribution, this dissertation adds to the theoretical discussion on network governance and effectiveness. It rejects the current assumption that networks characterized by coordination and cooperation should necessarily be assessed differently from those characterized by collaboration, since each network type can be classified as having either high or low levels of complexity. Furthermore, it rejects the traditional dichotomy between participatory, multi-perspective evaluation and “conventional” performance indicators and the claim that goal attainment methods as ex-ante formulated objectives have no credibility in collaborative performance assessments. Instead, this dissertation shows that performance measurement and management practices can complement participatory process evaluation, and that ex-ante assumptions may be important tools also in complex networks evaluation, depending on the levels of system dynamics. Other main theoretical contributions of this dissertation are a different but practical and innovative method to analyse complexity, a differentiation between the governing systems and the systems to be governed in networks and the revision of various central concepts in organization and network theories. Finally, perhaps the most important contribution of this dissertation is the transdisciplinary approach to governance and evaluation, demonstrating that the two disciplines have much to contribute to and learn from each other.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Public Governance Institute

Files in This Item:
File Status SizeFormat
The Missing Linkage_ Building Effective Governance for Joint and Network Evaluation.pdf Published 5162KbAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

These files are only available to some KU Leuven Association staff members


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.