This chapter is concerned with the accountability conundrum for civic and regional engagement by universities, namely how to hold universities to account for a mission that is best delivered as a spillover effect. Despite widespread agreement that universities should contribute to societal development processes, there is an absence of satisfactory metrics to measure that performance. Effective metrics would measure both individual impacts along a wide of dimensions as well as the ways that these are integrated strategically by university managers. The chapter explores a number of quantitative metrics and notes that their lack of popularity suggests that they are not properly capturing what is important. The chapter also explores a set of qualitative approaches in which universities self-report on their strategic efforts as a means of improving their effectiveness. The chapter concludes that metrics for civic engagement only make sense where universities have already committed strategically to driving engagement and there is only limited potential to use metrics to steer HE systems to more engaged outcomes.
Paul Benneworth and Nadine Zeeman
Franziska Eckardt, Willem-Jan Velderman and Paul Benneworth
This chapter explores the functioning of ‘ordinary’ citizen knowledge in decision-making processes of urban planning, policy and development processes. It aims to understand how urban governance can better utilise non-expert types of knowledge as a way to respond to pressing societal challenges in the 21st century. By presenting a controversial case study about the wastewater injections in the Dutch Twente region, located in the east of the Netherlands, the chapter highlights the importance of combining diverse types of (expert and non-expert) knowledge and expertise to achieve a more holistic form of ‘smart’ urban governance in the future.
Paul Benneworth, Inge Bakker and Willem-Jan Velderman
The Netherlands has pioneered the use of open data by public authorities, driven by a desire to exploit existing local government information and data to help solve other kinds of policy problem, to improve transparency of decision-making and to stimulate data commercialisation. But recently emphasis has shifted from improving transparency to improving municipality service delivery and policy development. In this chapter we question whether open data can improve regional decision-making. Drawing on a case study of a region in the east of the Netherlands, we identify potential opportunities for, and barriers to, using open data in delivering smart social cities.