The perceived impacts of monitoring activities on intergovernmental relationships: some lessons from the Ecological Monitoring Network and Water in Focus
- First Online:
- 109 Downloads
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.