The perceived impacts of monitoring activities on intergovernmental relationships: some lessons from the Ecological Monitoring Network and Water in Focus

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Abstract

An increasing stream of monitoring activities is entering the public sector. This article analyzes the perceived impacts of monitoring activities on intergovernmental relationships. Our theoretical framework is based on three approaches to monitoring and intergovernmental relationships, namely, a rational, a political, and a cultural perspective. Our empirical insights are based on two Dutch case studies, namely, the Ecological Monitoring Network and the Water in Focus reports. The conclusion is that monitoring activities have an impact on intergovernmental relationships in terms of standardizing working processes and methods, formalizing information relationships, ritualizing activities, and developing shared concepts (“common grammar”). An important challenge is to deal with the politicization of intergovernmental relationships, because monitoring reports can also stimulate political discussions about funding, the design of the instrument, administrative burdens, and supervisory relationships.

Keywords

Monitoring Intergovernmental relationships Ecological Monitoring Network Water in Focus 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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