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Projects Governance evaluation

The theme ‘Governance evaluation’ focuses on effectiveness and broader effects of policies and governance instruments across a wide range of governance modes, including public policies, market-based certification systems, disclosure-based governance, and public-private partnerships at various levels of policymaking.

We are pursuing a broad conceptualisation of evaluation, addressing both empirical and normative questions.

Below an overview


  • Action for Climate Transformation in Sweden – ACTS (2018-2021)

    Climate action in the post-Paris policy landscape: The role of non-state initiatives in the transformation of Sweden into a fossil fuel-free welfare state.The Paris Agreement has opened up a new chapter in political efforts to tackle climate change. It provides a new flexible framework for moving the world towards decarbonization, leaving goal-setting and implementation up to states. The Paris Agreement also officially recognizes the importance of non-state (e.g. business and civil society) and sub-national (e.g. regions and cities) climate initiatives. The climate regime thus combines top-down elements of international cooperation with bottom-up elements of voluntary societal climate action. This rapprochement of the realms of state and non-state climate action challenges the state’s traditional role as rule-maker and regulator and instead invites governments to network and become coordinators and facilitators in what has been framed as polycentric climate governance. 

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  • CLIMENGO – Challenges and Opportunities in Fragmented Global Energy and Climate Governance (2015-2020)

    Global efforts to mitigate climate change have increased in number and scope over the past decade. The Climate Initiatives Platform – maintained by the United Nations Environment Program – contains over 220 transnational governance arrangements with relevance to climate change, in addition to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The proliferation of new institutions has created a patchwork of actors, rules and decision-making processes across private and public sectors that affect climate governance. 

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  • NEXT-BUILDINGS – Next Zero Energy Buildings at Lowest Cost by Using Competitive Sustainable Technology (2012-2017)

    Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) have been positioned as a low carbon strategy by the European Union in its Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (Directive 2010/31/EU). The EU FP7 project NEXT-BUILDINGS focused on low energy buildings also called active houses, which are not only buildings, but active components in the overall integrated energy systems. The target was to demonstrate affordable solutions for social housing and revitalisation of town areas in the cities of Amsterdam (NL), Helsingborg (SE), and Lyon (FR). Researchers from EPA contributed by analysing end-user expectations and experiences with living in these energy-neutral city districts and homes, identifying lessons learned. 

    Contact person: Dr Nicolien van der Grijp

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  • World views and sustainable development (2009-2011)

    This project aims to explore the relationship between ‘world views’ (or: ‘philosophies of life’) and the ways these relate to goals and issues of sustainable development, including social-cultural change, individual environmental behaviour and policy attempts to influence these. Through a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research methods – including surveys, in-depth-interviews and participative observation – the philosophical underpinnings of individual views, values, behaviours and lifestyles are explored. Special attention is paid to the dynamics of world views, that is, the changes in world view taking place, and their potential for strategies, practices and policies aimed at sustainable development.

    Contact information: Dr Joop de Boer.