politicalparties,non-governmentalorganisations (NGOs), schools and scientists. During thesepresentations, the audience was also given the opportunityto weight stocks and indicators differently. After a year, theEvaluation of stakeholder participation in monitoring regional sustainable development809123
results of this consultation round were evaluated, theframework adapted and a new round of data gatheringstarted. One of the interesting findings of this round ofconsultation in which the audience was given the oppor-tunity to weight the stocks, requirements and indicatorswas that ultimately there were no differences in the endresults. In 2002, the new and improved monitor was pub-lished (Lemmens and Haarmann2002).OutcomesThe first two sustainability balance sheets were generallyconsidered to be very successful examples of provincialmonitoring of sustainable development. This meant thatthere was a strong commitment to participate among thevarious stakeholder groups right from the start. The twoworkshops that were used to engage the stakeholders and fillin the indicator framework resulted in commitment and buy-in, not only within the provincial administration (govern-ment and civil servants) but also among participatingregional NGOs. The workshops and the intensive commu-nication both prior to and following the publication of thefirst draft of the sustainability balance sheet meant that themonitor and its trademark ‘sustainability triangle’ (a visualrepresentation of the three capital approach) became aby-word in discussions on sustainable development in theProvince of Noord-Brabant. One of the most importantoutcomes of the process of developing the monitor was thecreation of a shared, common language, which provideddiscussions on sustainable development with a neutralstarting point that the diverse interests could all agree on(Dagevos and Te Poel2004). In the years following thepublication of the sustainability balance sheet, several majorprovincial policy plans referred directly to the monitoringapproach: the reconstruction plans for the intensive live-stock sector (Provincie Noord-Brabant2001), the regionalcoalition agreement ‘bestuursakkoord’ (Provincie Noord-Brabant2003) and the regional spatial development plan‘streekplan’ (Provincie Noord-Brabant2002).Provinces of Zeeland, Limburg and Flevoland (2004)The aim of the project was to investigate the possibilitiesoffered by the SBS approach for comparing and bench-marking Dutch provinces with regard to issues of sustain-able regional development. In each province, a projectteam was formed comprising civil servants and a group ofresearchers.The civil servants were responsible for selecting andinviting regional stakeholders to the workshops. Stake-holders were invited for their regional expertise and theirposition within the regional networks. The design of theengagementprocesswascopiedfromthesuccessfulworkshopspreviouslyheldinBrabant.Twoseparateinteractive workshops were organised in each of the threeprovinces. The first workshop was for civil servants from
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