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Vensters

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

What is Vensters? ‘Vensters’ is an instrument that allows municipalities, provinces and water boards to gain an overview of the performance and functioning of their management. The instrument also allows them to compare their performance with other public organisations. Vensters is a diagnostic and learning instrument. It helps managers to have meaningful conversations about ambitions, choices and improvements.

Since its launch, the number of participants has risen to over one hundred public organisations. This number is expected to increase further in the coming years, since business management and public service have become a key factor in the way local government is performing these days.

Co-creation In 2013 Vensters was established and funded with the support of the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. From the very beginning, it has been a project from and for public organisations such as municipalities, water boards and provinces. Individual organisations and the relevant public associations have been and are closely involved in development

and implementation. Currently the project is funded only by contributions from its participants.

How it works The instrument looks at the performance of public organisations from different perspectives or through different Windows (Vensters). A fact-finding survey maps the performance of management or services based on objective performance indicators. This research focuses for example on the costs of absenteeism, overhead, ICT costs, energy consumption, social return, service digitisation, service efficiency at the front desk, etc. On the other hand, there is an experience survey that provides insight into goals, business maturity, balance between key choices (like standardisation vs. flexibility) and internal customer satisfaction or satisfaction with the service.

Vensters also seeks to refresh the way in which performance management or performance comparison works, trying to increase the value. For example, by increasing transparency, stimulating accountability and innovative reporting:

• Transparency: Vensters provides government organisations with numbers as a starting point for conversation. Everyone gets an insight of each other’s results, there are no divisions between government layers. With this, Vensters promotes transparency within and between government layers. • Not normative: Vensters does not judge or give meaning to KPI’s. It’s up to the participants to judge whether they are content with their performance or not. In so-called ‘duidingsgesprekken’ (explication conversations), Vensters’ advisors help the senior management to reflect on the KPI’s, their coherency and reflect about their own performance. • User-friendly App: Rather than producing extensive reports, Vensters presents the data as a user-friendly dashboard in an interactive app, which they can use on a daily basis. The user friendliness of the tool enables top management to use it without the assistance of supporting civil servants.

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Award info
Award category: new solutions to complex challenges - european or national level
Award type: nominee
Award year: 2017
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity:
Keywords: Good public management, public service, public value
Short English description: What is Vensters?

‘Vensters’ is an instrument that allows municipalities, provinces and water boards to gain an overview of the performance and functioning of their management. The instrument also allows them to compare their performance with other public organisations. Vensters is a diagnostic and learning instrument. It helps managers to have meaningful conversations about ambitions, choices and improvements.

Further information
Organisation: ICTU
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.venstersvoorbedrijfsvoering.nl
Level of government: national level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Netherlands
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Vensters (52.0787437, 4.340814099999989)
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