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Public Networks and Service Delivery

Our Latest Activities

Our Research & Expertise

Public networks and service delivery 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 networks and service delivery 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 networks and service delivery is the analysis of the effects of public measures and their effectiveness and efficiency (e.g., in the area of the Energy Turnaround).

Our References

Local and Regional Governance

We conduct research on various topics in the field of local and regional governance, such as mergers of municipalities and intercommunal cooperation. We offer tailor-made, scientifically sound expert reports based on the latest findings, which are also implemented in a practice-oriented manner. We have many years of experience in the field of local and regional governance. Since 1988, for example, the development of Swiss municipalities has been examined within the framework of the Swiss Municipality Monitoring. This overall survey focuses on questions of performance and reforms of the political system. Within the survey, Swiss Secretaries General of Municipalities and executive members are interviewed at regular intervals of 6 years. These surveys are conducted by the ZHAW in collaboration with IDHEAP Lausanne (or its predecessor institutions). Thanks to a high response rate (more than 80% in 2017), a comprehensive and meaningful database on the development of Swiss municipalities can be created, which benefits associations, state and research institutions, as well as the public.

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.

Our Partners

We have a broad national and international network of reliable and experienced partners in the field of public networks and service delivery and development cooperation. In particular, we maintain strategic partnerships with:

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