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Zijlstra Center

The Zijlstra Center

The Zijlstra Center helps civil society organizations improve their administration and governance, enabling them to create and increase their public value. 

The Zijlstra Center operates on the interface between public control, governance and leadership. A multidisciplinary team of professors, researchers, PhD students and teaching staff conducts research and provides education. Our mission is to identify, define and develop the creation of public value by civil society organizations and local government.

The Zijlstra Center is part of the School of Business and Economics of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 

How can civil society organizations and public authorities create public value?

Public value can be seen as providing appropriate social services to meet social needs. While that sounds quite simple, the actual realization and demonstration of public value is very complex. The creation of public value is strongly dependent on the context in which an organization operates. It concerns the balancing of an organization’s authorizing environment, its strategy and management control, and the capacities that it has at its disposal.

Many civil society organizations and authorities create and demonstrate public value on a daily basis. In doing so, they are confronted with issues concerning the governance and business administration of their investments and activities. Especially now, at a time of cutbacks and dwindling resources, organizations need the right tools for governance and for improving their business administration, in order to create and demonstrate their public valueThe .