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Public Governance

Public governance deals with the processes of making and executing decisions in the context of carrying out public sector responsibilities by both public sector and nonprofit organizations as well as for-profit organizations The focus is on management, control, and supervision within, and particularly between, such organizations, with public sector actors playing a major part in the management and control of such projects.

In developing such management tasks for public sector organizations, public governance takes into account legal, social, ecological, and economic requirements. Issues include, among others: strategy development and implementation, organization-specific development and implementation of strategic management tools (e.g., risk management, stakeholder management), ownership strategies, and the outsourcing or privatization of public responsibilities.

Another priority of the Center for Public Governance is the analysis of the effects of public measures and their effectiveness and efficiency (e.g., in the area of the Energy Turnaround).

Subject Areas and Reference Projects

Local and Regional Governance

Die subnationale Staatsebene ist einer der Forschungs- und Beratungsschwerpunkte des Bereichs Public Governance. Wir forschen zu diversen Themen im Bereich Local and Regional Governance, beispielweise zu Gemeindezusammenschlüssen und zur Interkommunalen Zusammenarbeit (IKZ). Wir bieten massgeschneiderte, wissenschaftlich fundierte Expertisen basierend auf den neusten Erkenntnissen, welche zugleich praxisorientiert umgesetzt werden. Wir verfügen über langjährige Erfahrung im Bereich Local and Regional Governance. So wird im Rahmen des Schweizer Gemeindemonitorings seit 1988 die Entwicklung der Schweizer Gemeinden untersucht. Bei dieser Gesamterhebung stehen Fragen zur Leistungsfähigkeit, zu Reformen sowie zum politischen System im Vordergrund. Dazu werden die Schweizer Gemeindeschreiberinnen und Gemeindeschreiber sowie die Exekutivmitglieder in periodischen Abständen von rund 6 Jahren befragt. Diese Befragungen werden von der ZHAW in Zusammenarbeit mit dem IDHEAP Lausanne (bzw. Vorgängerinstitutionen) durchgeführt. Dank einem hohen Rücklauf (mehr als 80% im Jahr 2017) entsteht eine umfassende und aussagekräftige Datenbasis zur Entwicklung der Schweizer Gemeinden, welche den Verbänden, den staatlichen Institutionen, der Forschung und der Öffentlichkeit zugute kommt

Public Sector Risk Management

In carrying out its responsibilities, the public sector is faced with a multitude of risks and opportunities. At the same time, the public sector knows few to no recognized risk management standards. An internal control system cannot replace an effective risk management system. Risk management concepts and terminology are inconsistent and incomplete. Consolidation rules (comparability, correlation, or aggregation) for integrated risk management at the executive or corporate level do not exist in the public sector, despite the fact that the state with its hierarchical, decentralized structures has a particularly strong need for consolidation.

It is this situation that makes it especially difficult to manage public administrations (governance) and deal with public funds in a sustainable, efficient, and effective way. Based on the principles laid down in the INTOSAI GOV 9130 Guidelines for Integrated Risk Management (2007), the project is developing a risk management system for a Swiss metropolis, in line with Internal Control Standards. It is researching the cultural change process that needs to take place and evaluates the deployment of an integrated risk management system in a major Swiss city.

Stakeholder Management in the Energy Turnaround

In their efforts to achieve the goals of the Energy Turnaround, the business world and the state are increasingly dependent on scientific analysis and new impulses, for the landmark decision by the Swiss Federal Council and Parliament to phase out nuclear energy has set in motion a fundamental change process in the Swiss energy sector. In addition to new technologies and infrastructures, and in view of the changes needed in terms of economic, legal, and political requirements, businesses and the state will have to work together to ensure that the Energy Turnaround is successful. As an interdisciplinary Swiss university of applied sciences, ZHAW offered to set up a competence and knowledge platform entitled "Energy Turnaround Governance for Business, Law, and the State."

The IPM is addressing issues of stakeholder management in the context of the Energy Turnaround. Diverse social, political, and institutional demands on the state and its energy providers are generating a growing number of conflicts of interests and goals. An integrated stakeholder management model would satisfy state requirements as well as the needs of the business world. The IPM has joined the Institute of Applied Media Studies in developing such a model for the integrated control and governance of the Energy Turnaround. The model aims to support public institutions/bodies and state energy providers in managing their stakeholders actively and in a strategic manner.

Development of a Location Promotion Strategy

The IPM has designed a concept for the location promotion of an association established by 21 communes for the purpose of regional location promotion. The region was analyzed and a framework was set up to facilitate professional location promotion. A number of workshops were held to integrate the different actors in the process.

Creation of an Internal Control System for a Cantonal Enterprise

A ruling issued by the Zurich Department of Finance on 13 October 2009 specifies the "Principles of the Internal Control System for the presentation of accounts and accounting, payment transactions, and financial controlling" of the cantonal administration. The cantonal enterprise has recognized the need for an internal control system in line with cantonal requirements due to the importance of some of its duties of administration and in light of the political relevance of its activities.

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