Delete search term


Quick navigation

Main navigation

Public Performance Management and Digital Transformation

The Center for Public Performance Management and Digital Transformation applies instruments to enable public or non-profit organisations to record the performance and effects of their activities and use them as a basis for decision-making.

Latest Activities

"Digital and Divers: Rethinking the Application Process at the ZHAW" (supported by ZHAW Digital Futures Fund)

Thanks to digitalisation, application processes can be made not only more efficient but also more diverse. The aim of the project is to assess the potential and feasibility of introducing blind hiring at the ZHAW. Blind hiring is an application process in which no information about the candidate's name, gender and age is visible in the first step of the process. This helps to minimise biases in the recruitment process.

Interreg Project

In cooperation with the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich, a joint evaluation instrument for standardised performance assessment of cross-border crisis management measures between different authorities (e.g. federal states, cantons, administrative districts, district and city administrations) and operational organisations (e.g. fire brigade, police, technical relief organisation, civil protection) in the Alpenrhein-Bodensee-Hochrhein region is being developed in a transnational project.
Further information on the project page.

Digital Change in Public Administration

The project deals with the implementation, evaluation, and analysis of expert interviews. In order to obtain the most comprehensive view possible, interviews will be conducted in equal parts with representatives of science, public administration, and the private sector. Based on these findings, recommendations for action will be developed for public administrations and private IT companies. In an interview (PDF 342,0 KB) with the Schweizer Gemeinde Alexander Mertes talks about the digital change in public administration.

Comunitas - Management game for the public sector

The management game Comunitas is intended to simulate the development of a municipality in a playful way. The game is designed to teach politicians and administrative staff - regardless of their individual level of knowledge - how to deal with different types of capital. Previous knowledge of economic interrelationships is not necessary for the game. In the course of the game, participants learn how to monitor capital stocks, derive strategies and thus further develop their own community. The content of the game was developed through an Innosuisse project together with representatives of administrations and public organisations and game solution AG.

Evaluation of the Swiss eID+

The canton of Schaffhausen has taken on a pioneering role in the digital transformation of public administration in Switzerland. KSD, the IT company of the canton and city of Schaffhausen, has commissioned the ZHAW Institute of Public Management to conduct a brief survey of the new electronic identity card, eID+. 

Research & Expertise

Digital transformation poses new challenges for our society. Not only is it essential for private businesses to make use of digitalization options, it is also for public administrations, since the population expects the same services from both. Various hurdles make it difficult to switch to a "digital administration". On the one hand, such projects often face resistance regarding costs because they are initially associated with high investments, while the benefits achieved and any cost savings are only visible at a later stage. On the other hand, the coexistence of analogue and digital services poses a challenge to public administrations - after all, no one should be excluded from state services if they are unable to contact the administration digitally.

The center for Public Performance Management and Digital Transformation focuses on the following subject Areas:



Evaluations represent a systematic examination and assessment of various circumstances. In the public sector, policy evaluations are often carried out with the help of scientific methods to gain knowledge about the achievement of objectives of government programmes, instruments or measures. The overall objective of policy evaluations is therefore to assess how effective government intervention is in achieving its underlying objective.

Customer centricity in the public sector

Combining customer centricity and management is the goal of the project "Management instrument for libraries". For classic management, a large number of primarily output-oriented key figures are often collected. These provide important information, but are often not well usable for effective control. In contrast, customer-centered key performance indicators have a direct link to strategy - i.e. are relevant to management - and at the same time have a pronounced practical relevance. They are used where a directly noticeable added value can be created for the clientele and ultimately customer satisfaction and organizational performance can be increased.

Library Benchmarking

Jointly with the Federal Statistical Office, the Institute of Public Management conducts an annual benchmarking exercise, currently involving 16 Swiss libraries. Key figures are evaluated for infrastructure, market penetration, acceptance of titles available, finances, and human resources. Benchmarking gives participants an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of their profile. The key figures form the basis for an analysis of the reasons for the differences in the key figures. In order to ensure comparability, each library is allocated to one of the following comparison groups: scientific libraries, libraries of universities of applied sciences, study and educational libraries, regional and city libraries, and branch libraries. 

Evaluation of the reasons and background for the rejection of the project "Parc Adula"

In the context of the study on the Parc Adula project, the direct democratic acceptance of the project was compared to its rejection and evaluated with the help of quantitative and qualitative analyses in order to derive recommendations for future projects in Switzerland. The central aim of the study was to find out the motives that led to the acceptance or rejection of the Parc Adula project. By means of a survey among the population of the municipalities in which the project was subject to a vote; the perceptions, attitudes and potential determinants of acceptance or rejection of the directly affected population were quantitatively examined regarding the project Parc Adula. Parc Adula, reasons and backgrounds for refusal in the municipal votes(PDF 9,4 MB)

Security Surveys in Cities and Communes

Public safety is one of the fundamental needs of humanity and forms an essential criterion of the quality of life in cities and communes. In order to be able to assess the issue of security in a community, it is not enough to review the local crime figures: Just as important is the subjective sense of security experienced by inhabitants. Tried-and-tested questionnaires are sent to a sample of the population to enable us to collect data on the sense of security as perceived by inhabitants. The evaluations of these data yield clear interpretations and frequency distributions as well as in-depth analysis such as comparisons of the security perception among different age groups, according to gender, or in different districts. In addition, we also offer comparison studies of different cities/communes.


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


Our team, from left to right


Our current publications

Neumann, O., Guirguis, K., & Steiner, R. (2022). Exploring artificial intelligence adoption in public organizations: A comparative case study. Public Management Review, 1–27.

Fischer, D., Mertes, A. & Hänni, S. (2021). #getintouch! Eine vergleichende Analyse der digitalen Points of Contact in Zürcher Gemeinden. HMD.

Guirguis, K., Pleger, L. E., Dietrich, S., Mertes, A., & Brüesch, C. (2021). Datenschutz in der Schweiz – eine quantitative Analyse der gesellschaftlichen Bedenken und Erwartungen an den Staat. Swiss Yearbook of Administrative Sciences, 12(1), pp. 16–30. DOI:

Pleger, Lyn E.; Guirguis, Katharina; Mertes, Alexander (2021). Making public concerns tangible : an empirical study of German and UK citizens’ perception of data protection and data security. Computers in Human Behavior. 122(106830). Verfügbar unter:

Fischer, Damaris; Brändle, Fabian; Pleger, Lyn E.; Rhyner, Alexander; Winzer, Christian und Wulf, Bettina. (2021). Auswirkungen digitaler und analoger Partizipationsverfahren auf die Entscheidungsfindung: Ergebnisse einer quasi-experimentellen Fallstudie. In: Peter, Marc K. (Hrsg). Neues Wissen zur Digitalen Transformation Forschungsbeiträge zu E-Government, zur Smart City und der digitalen Ökonomie. pp.23-33. You can access this publication here(PDF 8,8 MB).

Pleger, Lyn Ellen; Mertes, Alexander; Rey, Andrea; Brüesch, Caroline, (2020). Allowing users to pick and choose: A conjoint analysis of end-user preferences of public e-services. Government Information Quarterly. 37(4). You can access this publication here.

Guirguis, K. (2020). From Big Data to Big Performance – Exploring the Potential of Big Data for Enhancing Public Organizations’ Performance. A Systematic Literature Review. Swiss Yearbook of Administrative Sciences, 11(1), pp. 55–65. DOI:

Mertes, Alexander; Pleger, Lyn E.; Bossert, Pierina B.; Keller, Arianna; Schmidli, Fabienne H., (2020). Digitalisierungsfortschritt föderaler Einheiten : ein Vergleich der Ausgestaltungen kantonaler ePlattformen in der Schweiz. Jahrbuch der Schweizerischen Verwaltungswissenschaften. 11(1), S. 38-54. You can access this publication here.

Fischer, Damaris; Brändle, Fabian; Mertes, Alexander; Pleger, Lyn E.; Rhyner, Alexander and Wulf, Bettina, (2020). Partizipation im digitalen Staat: Möglichkeiten und Bedeutung digitaler und analoger Partizipationsinstrumente im Vergleich. Jahrbuch der Schweizerischen Verwaltungswissenschaften, 11(1), pp.129–144. You can access this publication here.