Quality Management in Local Mobility Policymaking: a multi-stakeholder approach to excellence

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1 Quality Management in Local Mobility Policymaking: a multi-stakeholder approach to excellence Development of an assessment instrument for municipal authorities in Flanders RA-MOW H. Tormans, D. Janssens, T. Brijs, G. Wets Onderzoekslijn Beleidsorganisatie- en monitoring DIEPENBEEK, STEUNPUNT MOBILITEIT & OPENBARE WERKEN SPOOR VERKEERSVEILIGHEID

2 Documentbeschrijving Rapportnummer: Titel: RA-MOW Quality Management in Local Mobility Policymaking: a multi-stakeholder approach to excellence Ondertitel: Development of an assessment instrument for municipal authorities in Flanders Auteur(s): H. Tormans, D. Janssens, T. Brijs, G. Wets Promotor: Prof. dr. Geert Wets Onderzoekslijn: Beleidsorganisatie- en monitoring Partner: Universiteit Hasselt Aantal pagina s: 104 Projectnummer Steunpunt: 7.2 Projectinhoud: Bestuurlijke organisatie van een duurzaam verkeersveiligheidsbeleid Uitgave: Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken, augustus Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken Wetenschapspark 5 B 3590 Diepenbeek T F E I

3 Samenvatting Verkeersveiligheid vormt vandaag een van de grootste uitdagingen waarmee onze maatschappij geconfronteerd wordt. Gedurende de afgelopen decennia werden op verschillende beleidsniveaus diverse beleidsplannen opgesteld en initiatieven genomen om de menselijke en economische tol van het mobiliteitssysteem in te perken. Deze beleidsplannen hebben zeker hun waarde, maar men mag niet uit het oog verliezen dat een erg belangrijke positie binnen het mobiliteitsbeleid weggelegd is voor de beleidsmakers en uitvoerders onderaan de beleidsketting, op het gemeentelijke niveau. In veel gevallen zijn het deze actoren die ervoor moeten zorgen dat het uitgestippelde mobiliteitsbeleid op het terrein geïmplementeerd wordt, waar nodig aangepast aan de lokale behoeften. In de praktijk blijkt echter dat het niveau van het gemeentelijke of stedelijke mobiliteitsbeleid nog vaak te wensen overlaat. Lokale mobiliteitsbeleidsvoering gebeurt ondanks de vele en goedbedoelde inspanningen van de betrokkenen- nog al te vaak vanuit een ad hoc benadering. Het innoverende instrument dat binnen dit onderzoek ontwikkeld wordt, heeft tot doel om lokale autoriteiten de mogelijkheid te bieden om op een eenvoudige, zelfstandige en op een objectieve wijze de eigen organisatie en verwezenlijkingen in kaart te brengen en op hun waarde te beoordelen. Barrières met betrekking tot het institutionele kader, aanvaardbaarheid, het financiële, informatiedoorstroming, regulering en afzonderlijke processen staan de ontwikkeling van een hoogwaardig lokaal mobiliteits- en ruimtelijke ordeningbeleid in de weg. Een zwakke beleidsintegratie en coördinatie, contraproductieve beleidsinstanties, een beperkte sturing in de beleidsruimte, zwakke dataverzameling en verwerking, een beperkt sociaal draagvlak, een gebrek aan politieke slagvaardigheid en strubbelingen bij de beleidsvorming vormen de belangrijkste obstakels. Veel van deze aandachtspunten zijn sterk gerelateerd aan de principes van de intergrale kwaliteitszorg (IKZ; ook wel Total Quality Management, TQM). Deze filosofie wordt als werkkader en als rode draad in acht genomen. Bijzondere aandacht wordt besteed aan het feit dat naast het analyseren van de op het terrein gerealiseerde resultaten, ook de werking van de organisatie ( achter de schermen ) mee in rekening wordt gebracht. Om deze zelfevaluatie-methodiek te operationaliseren, werd een conceptuele beleidscyclus opgesteld waarin de elementaire werkdomeinen van het lokale mobiliteitsbeleid werden opgenomen. Aan dit model werd vervolgens een instrument gekoppeld dat moet toelaten om voor elk van de elementaire werkdomeinen na te gaan in hoeverre de organisatie hierop voldoende goed inzet en presteert. Hiertoe wordt een ontwikkelingsladder beschouwd waarop de administratie kan worden gepositioneerd. Deze manier van werken laat op eenvoudige wijze horizontale (geografische) en verticale (temporele) vergelijkingen toe. De voornaamste doelstellingen van dit instrument zijn om een goed beeld te verkrijgen van de stand van zaken in het hedendaagse gemeentelijke en stedelijke mobiliteitsbeleid in Vlaanderen, om de toepassingsmogelijkheden van IKZ in de verf te zetten, om lokale beleidsmakers toe te laten om hun werk vanuit een breder, integraler perspectief te zien, om de samenwerking tussen verschillende belanghebbenden inzake gemeentelijke mobiliteit te versterken en om de betrokkenen van voldoende ondersteuning en begeleiding te voorzien. De toepassing van dit instrument kan leiden tot nieuwe inzichten met betrekking tot lokaal mobiliteitsmanagement en kan een belangrijke stap betekenen in het creëren van een ruimer draagvlak voor een voortgezette professionalisering van het gemeentelijke mobiliteitsbeleid in Vlaanderen. De voorlopige resultaten uit dit onderzoek geven aan dat het idee meten = weten nog geen gemeengoed is in Vlaanderen. De medewerkers van het beleid zijn er zich van bewust dat het objectiveren van het mobiliteitsbeleid een belangrijke stap voorwaarts zou betekenen, maar een gebrek aan middelen en tijd belet hen om er verregaand werk van te maken. Verder blijkt dat voornamelijk zachte verkeersveiligheidsmaatregelen (educatie, sensibilisering) nog te weinig aan bod komen binnen het gemeentelijke Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 3 RA-MOW

4 mobiliteitsbeleid. Vlaamse steden en gemeenten scoren wel sterk wanneer het gaat over het in kaart brengen van gebruikersbehoeften. Er ontbreekt echter nog een algemeen kader voor structurele dataverzameling en verwerking, wat maakt dat persoonlijke en ad hoc initiatieven hier schering en inslag zijn. Kernwoorden: lokaal verkeersveiligheidsbeleid, beleidsevaluatie, integrale kwaliteitszorg, IKZ Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 4 RA-MOW

5 Abstract It is clear that road safety constitutes one of the major threats to human health in our present-day society. Over the last decades, ambitious targets have been set and numerous policy initiatives and action plans have been drawn up at diverse administrative levels. Policymakers and officials at the lower end of the policy chain i.e. the municipal level play a crucial part in the process of bringing these ambitions into practice. Yet, practice shows that mobility policymaking at a local (municipal) level in Flanders is often of a deplorable level. In many local administrations, mobility policymaking is of an ad hoc nature, despite the well-intended efforts of motivated and dedicated officials. The innovative instrument that has been generated during the course of this research aims at giving local authorities (city level) the opportunity to self-assess their organization and performances with respect to mobility policymaking in a fairly simple and straightforward fashion. Institutional, acceptability, financial, information, regulatory and process barriers exist which obstruct the design of highly qualitative sustainable urban transport and land use systems. The most predominant barriers are poor policy integration and coordination, counterproductive institutional roles, unsupportive regulatory frameworks, weaknesses in pricing, poor data quality and quantity, limited public support, lack of political resolve, and difficulties in policy formulation. Many of the issues addressed here are interrelated with the management principles put forward in the Total Quality Management (TQM) approach. The TQM philosophy is therefore adopted as a framework for the development of this tool. According to the principles of TQM, analyzing the direct results of local mobility policymaking (the effects of the policy as can be observed in practice) is necessary, but not sufficient. It is evenly essential to gain a good overview of the ongoing processes ( behind the scenes ) within the local road safety administration. To facilitate this (self-)assessment, a conceptual policy cycle for local road safety administrations has been drawn up, visualizing the essential strategic policy domains within any local mobility administration. In addition, a methodology for positioning the performances of local road safety authorities on the diverse strategic domains of action on a ladder of development has been developed, allowing for horizontal (spatial) and vertical (temporal) comparisons. The primary goals of this tool are to gain thorough insight into current municipal mobility policymaking practices in Flanders, to point out the potential advantages of TQM for local authorities, to enable municipal policymakers to approach their day-to-day activities from a more integral perspective, to ameliorate the collaboration between stakeholders and to provide them with comprehensive support and guidance. It is believed that this instrument will offer new insights into municipal mobility management and may create a breeding ground for further professionalization of local mobility policymaking in the Flemish context. Objectively monitoring performances is not common practice in Flemish (mobility) policymaking today. Preliminary results confirm this assumption. Apart from resultanalysis and self-evaluation, it has become apparent that soft road safety policy measures (e.g. sensitization and education) are to a large extent left unaccounted for by municipal administrations. Municipal authorities seem to be doing rather well at identifying users and residents needs. A major issue in current mobility policymaking practices in Flanders is the missing framework for structural data-collection and administration. Keywords: Local road safety policy, policy assessment, Total Quality Management, TQM Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 5 RA-MOW

6 Table of contents 1. INTRODUCTION AUTHORITIES CHALLENGES Recent public sector management shift Local authorities arrears Current Issues in Local Mobility Policymaking International overview Pre-study Challenges QUALITY BACKGROUND Total Quality Management (TQM) Background TQM in Transport Policy TQM in Municipal Mobility Policymaking in Flanders FRAMEWORK FOR QUALITY ASSESSMENT IN LOCAL ROAD SAFETY POLICY Conceptual model Policy Cycle Ladder of development Characterization Validation DATA COLLECTION Recruiting participants Questionnaires Procedure Context Analysis PRELIMINARY RESULTS Figures Appreciation Methodologically CONCLUSIONS FURTHER RESEARCH REFERENCES APPENDICES I. Overview of road safety measures in policy plans 52 II. Standardized Questionnaires 58 Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 6 RA-MOW

7 List of figures Figure 1: Modal split...14 Figure 2: Status municipal mobility plans (Vlaamse Overheid 2010c)...16 Figure 3: Shewhart s PDCA-cycle (Towill 2008)...20 Figure 4: Decision levels and potential gap in urban mobility policymaking (Macário 2001)...21 Figure 5: Conceptual model...24 Figure 6: Output of the MEDIATE-tool (illustrative case)...33 Figure 7: Participating municipalities...34 Figure 8: Example of output (Radar chart)...37 Figure 9: Indicator hierarchy...38 Figure 10: Web based questionnaire on tablet-pc...40 Figure 11: Maximum, minimum and mean score per module (n=17)...41 Figure 12: Best and worst performing municipality (n=17)...42 Figure 13: Average score per actor (n=17)...43 List of tables Table 1: Organizational aspects...26 Table 2: Road safety aspects...28 Table 3: Analysis aspects...29 Table 4: Description of levels of development...30 Table 5: Characterization of levels of development...31 Table 6: Limitations of standardized questionnaires...35 Table 7: Example of output (tabular)...37 Table 8: Context aspects...39 Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 7 RA-MOW

8 1. I N T R O D U C T I O N The inferior safety level of the traffic network represents one of the major threats to human health in our present-day society. Making use of our modern transportation system can be a very risky undertaking: in 2008, a total of road fatalities were registered in the European Union (Directorate-General Energy and Transport 2010). Although this implies a reduction of 28,2% when compared to reference year 2001, the ambition of halving the number of road victims by 2010 is far from being met (European Commission 2001). This immense number of lives lost on and around our roads is utterly unacceptable for a society that pretends to be civilized. To quote Claes Tingvall, architect of the Vision Zero approach to safety and mobility in Sweden: It can never be ethically acceptable that people are killed or seriously injured when moving within the road transport system. (Tingvall & Haworth 1999, p.1) Over the last decades, numerous policy initiatives and action plans have been drawn up in an attempt to attain the ambitious targets that had been set. At diverse policy levels, a vast number of political and administrative actors have been concerned with ameliorating the level of safety on our roads and transport modes. Especially in federalized countries (e.g. Belgium), the number of political echelons involved in this matter can be fairly large. Every actor on each of these levels of decision-making deserves the attention that he is entitled to and most of them obtain the means and guidance they require to attain their goals. However, a crucial position in this policy chain that is often overlooked is the level where major aspects of the ambitious policy plans have to be put into practice: the level of municipal decision-making and administration. The politicians, officials and other stakeholders that operate at this level are ultimately in charge of putting the higher-level road safety policy objectives into practice. Recent numbers show that in 2008, 49,8% of the deadly road victims on Belgian roads were registered inside built-up areas, which are primarily under jurisdiction of these local administrations (Casteels & Nuyttens 2010). This figure indicates that local policymakers could play a major role in improving the level of road safety in our society, but it seems that an unacceptable potential is left untouched here. One potential cause is that local mobility policymaking is often oppressed by higher-policy initiatives or more popular local policy domains. Prior research has shown that mobility policymaking at a local, municipal level in Flanders is too often of a deplorable level. The number of direct causes hereof may be just as large as the number of local authorities in charge, but the way towards improvement is probably much more uniform. This research project aims at developing an instrument that allows Flemish municipal administrations to self-assess their organizational structures and their performances in a fairly easy and straightforward fashion. Hereby, it is essential that not only the policy outcome and effects are considered. Since mobility policy measures (in practice) are basically the result of organizational processes that take place behind the scenes, it is essential to gain thorough insight in those aspects underlying the local road safety policymaking as well. The instrument at hand intends to audit and rate the (process of) municipal road safety policymaking according to predefined levels of development. This provides the local administration with the opportunity to gain insight into its overall level of performance. The asset (added-value) of this tool is not only in providing insight in the organization s overall functioning, but it also allows for positioning its performance on each of the predefined domains (modules) individually. This offers policymakers the occasion to conduct a thorough diagnosis of their activities and allows them to (re)orient their focus (if necessary) in order to improve their organizational structure and service delivery to the residents and road users. The possibility to objectify what officials can generally only sense but rarely prove on paper to their superiors, constitutes a major strength of this instrument. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 8 RA-MOW

9 Introducing this instrument in Flemish municipal mobility policymaking will provide local and higher-level policymakers with a breeding ground for renewal, allowing them to reconsider their organization and daily management practices. It should guide them in improving the level of road safety within their jurisdiction in a sustainable fashion. In addition, a knowledge-platform can be generated, allowing participating administrations to learn from each other s good practices. Report structure The next section will sketch the paradigm shifts that public management has undergone over the past decades. Focus will be put on the specific case of municipal mobility policymaking at the local administrative level. An international comparison provides insight in the initiatives that have been taken in Europe and in the US to support local officials and political representatives in their mobility policymaking efforts. Subsequently, the Flemish case is highlighted and discussed. In the third chapter, the ideas of Total Quality Management (TQM) are concisely introduced. The concepts described in the previous chapters are then brought together into a framework for quality management in local road safety policymaking (chapter 4). Furthermore, a number of strategic policy domains for a Flemish local mobility administration are described and underlying aspects hereof are identified. These concepts are combined into the conceptual model of the instrument and methodology for self-assessment that are generated in this research project. In chapter 5, the data collection procedures are discussed in more detail. Preliminary results of a pilot study involving seventeen Flemish cities are presented in chapter 6 and the report is rounded up with the formulation of the conclusions, policy recommendations and future research suggestions. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 9 RA-MOW

10 2. A U T H O R I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S 2.1 Recent public sector management shift Modern-day policymakers operate in a very stringent and delicate environment. The nature of policymaking is typically very volatile and subject to an extended range of regulations and legislation. Policymakers at all echelons are increasingly being confronted with very diverse and ever more stakeholders, opinions, special interests, lobbyists, emerging technologies and ideologies. This tendency provokes a growing call for support and guidance, which up to today cannot always be provided by the supervising bodies. Simultaneously, a tendency towards professionalization is distending in the public sector. In an attempt to increase efficiency and to (re)gain the public s trust, public administrations are more than ever having a look at other managerial domains. One of the results hereof is that public bodies are increasingly adapting concepts stemming from private industries and business management practices. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) describes this trend - which is generally referred to as New Public Management or NPM - as a new paradigm shift for public management and it stresses the relevance of its doctrines of public accountability ( accountingization ) and the importance of striving for organizational best practices (Bremmer & Bryan 2008; Hood 1995; Ocampo 2002; Vinni 2007). In this respect, a large number of initiatives have recently been taken in order to transform public organizations into well-led, customer-oriented, cost-efficient, targetdriven and transparent entities with a key focus on involvement and empowerment of employees and stakeholders. Large-scale projects have been set up to modernize the governmental bodies and to uplift their traditional image of dullness, ineffectiveness and funds-dissipating practices. An example of this transition in the Belgian administrative context is the Better Institutional Governance -project [Dutch: Beter Bestuurlijk Beleid or BBB] in which the regional governmental agencies in Flanders were restructured in New and more transparent organizations were set up in the regional Flemish administration in order to better cope with new societal challenges such as the increased individualization, the imminent network-oriented society and the prominent role of communication technology in everyday life. The BBB-project transformed the traditional and sluggish governmental apparatus into diverse organizations with a strong focus on customer management, efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. Transparency, interaction with and participation of residents, human resources, result orientation, firm decisiveness and equilibrate relations with other governmental levels and with the diverse political and societal stakeholders are other values that were brought into prominence (Vlaamse Overheid 2010b). Surely, the reform has brought along and revealed a number of issues that are still to be addressed (compartmentalization of certain policy domains). Similar projects have in recent years been set up for Federal Agencies in the U.S. (U.S. House of Representatives 2010) and at a local level in several European countries (Universität Stuttgart 2002). 2.2 Local authorities arrears Despite being a vital cog in policy machine of actors and stakeholders that should eventually produce a more sustainable society (and ditto transportation system), it turns out that local policymakers are more often than not unable to attain the high level of performance that they aspire. A great diversity (proliferation) in isolated policy initiatives is omnipresent, political favors for individual interests (often opposing societal interests) are ubiquitous and the collaboration between different (neighboring) towns and cities is below par. The most commonly mentioned causes hereof are the lack of funding and personnel. The fairly modest means that they have at their disposal are alleged to be amply insufficient to cope with the leaden responsibility they bear and with the different Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 10 RA-MOW

11 visions and interests of the stakeholders they have to serve. Especially officials representing smaller municipalities tend to refer to an acute shortage of (financial) means and personnel as an excuse for their underperformance. It is evident that sufficient availability of funding and staff is a necessary precondition for any organization to optimize its productivity, its policy outcome and society s benefits. But it is very unlikely that solely providing more means and personnel will turn municipal administrations into top-notch performing organizations. Is a shortage in means truly the determining factor behind this problem or is there a more fundamental explanation to this? Do local administrations rightfully adopt their Calimero-like stance or do they intrinsically possess the necessary means to ameliorate their performance? Current Issues in Local Mobility Policymaking Ever since the United Nations put forward the concept of sustainable development as one of the key challenges mankind faces to safeguard the quality of life, numerous initiatives have been taken to guide society and technology into a direction in which the burden that our current lifestyle lays on future generations is minimized (United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development 1987). One of the key domains that focus is put on is the field of transport and mobility policymaking. This emphasis is justified since the various negative impacts of continuing growth in traffic intensity and transport services -including environmental degradation (urban traffic is responsible for 40% of CO 2 emissions and for 70% of emissions of other pollutants arising from road transport), damage to human health (one in three fatal accidents occur in urban areas, mainly involving pedestrians and cyclists), congestion (100 billion Euros or 1% of the EU's GDP are annually lost to the European economy) and the human suffering as a result of accidents- cause severe threats to our personal well-being and to society. Optimized planning, better cooperation between stakeholders and openness to self-criticism are prerequisites find sustainable responses to these challenges (European Conference of Ministers of Transport 2006; European Commission 2007; OECD 2003) International overview In several European Union Member States, attempts have been taken to tackle these concerns. Hereby, strong focus has been put on the managerial aspect of mobility policy making. Over the years, transport related issues have evolved from a peripheral phenomenon that was an unfortunate consequence of ongoing development and prosperity to one of the most acute and much-discussed problems our society faces. For decades, the appointed municipal official responsible for urban traffic planning (if there was any) devoted most of his time to designing roads, intersections, speed bumps, median strips and traffic circulation planning. Over time, other themes such as traffic safety, livability and congestion were brought to notice as the downside of the picture and became more and more apparent. This shifted the position of a local mobility official away from being a traffic regulator to a mobility manager with a very broad range of duties and ditto required capabilities. Whereas the focus used to be on providing sufficient infrastructure for increasing traffic volumes, the mobility expert of today has to be able to predict, to analyze, to interpret and to be fully aware of all consequences of his decisions. In addition, these effects have not only to be considered for the mobility domain, but repercussions on other policy domains have to be taken into account as well. It is obvious that this task is hard to fulfill without reasonable support and guidance (Willems & Miermans 2010). a. United Kingdom The United Kingdom has a long history of providing support for local transport authorities and still is one of the leading countries when local (mobility) policy support is concerned. Since 1973, local authorities have been required to draw up annual Transport Policies and Programs in which they were to specify their ambitions in infrastructure provision, management of infrastructure and pricing of infrastructure use (May & Roberts 1995). The current approach was introduced in 2000 and goes by the name of Local Transport Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 11 RA-MOW

12 Plans (LTP). According to this program, local administrations are required to specify their objectives, strategy, proposed schemes and implementation plans and set themselves targets to be achieved over a five-year period. The administrations are subsequently assessed against those targets and this determines in part the funding which they receive. An evaluation of the Local Transport Plans carried out by the Department for Transport (DfT) concluded that the process had been welcomed by local authorities, that it had introduced a step change in the level of consultation and partnership working, that local authorities were using long-term funding more effectively and that there had been a focus on wider policy goals and on support for sustainable transport modes. However, the report also highlighted a series of weaknesses: conflicts between transport plans and those for other public policy sectors, managerial and political barriers to cross-boundary collaboration, a lack of integration between transport and land use planning, a weak evidence-base and limited expertise in setting targets, reluctance to share good practice, limitations of staffing and skills and inappropriate financial and political structures stand in the way of successful and fully integrated mobility policymaking. Additional weaknesses that were identified are in option generation, and in the use of demand management measures, in achieving national targets, in balancing capital and revenue funding, in the delivery of major schemes, in the fragmented decision-making structure in some local authorities, and in the lack of powers over public transport operators. (May 2009, p.187) The study identified the pursuit of alternative funding sources, a focus on partnership working and effective performance management as the key enablers of success. In the second generation of LTP s, inconsistencies between national and local priorities and between ambitions of different policy domains prevail. b. France Another leading country in the domain of local transportation planning is France. The first initiative to introduce local transportation plans was taken in 1982 (Plans de Déplacements Urbains; PDU). With the latest revision in 2000, road safety issues, compatibility with land use planning and a strong focus on sustainable development were introduced. PDU s can be drawn up for periods between 5 and 10 years. In the preparatory stages of a PDU - of which the procedures are comprehensively elaborated by means of technical guidelines (CERTU) and monitoring methods - strong emphasis is put on stakeholder participation. Issues such as the territorial delimitation of the PDU s from which the first plans suffered, have been addressed in the sequential revisions (Wolfram 2004). The main motivation for rethinking of the French local mobility policymaking process was to tackle the existing fragmented approach to mobility-related issues. There was a distinct need for a truly integrated and more systematic approach towards urban mobility policymaking and land use management ( developments and transport system management policies should be determined by the nature of the city ). Urban quality of life was and is to be improved by solely responding to trends in travel practices and transport supply. It is notable that in the French PDU approach, road safety is not explicitly considered as a distinct domain of action, since it is taken for granted that safety related issues will automatically be resolved when conducting an integral mobility policy (Zavanella & Tira 2000). The main weakness in the French approach is the tension that tends to exist between contradictory principles of public action in the decision-making process and the ambivalence of political will (Kaufmann et al. 2008). c. Italy A third example of advanced national regulation and practice concerning local transportation management can be found in Italy. The Italian local transport plans go by the name of Piano Urbano della Mobilità (PUM) and aim at ensuring the satisfaction of the local mobility requirements, environmental improvement, transport safety, satisfactory quality of service, economic improvements for local companies in the transport sector and increased economic efficiency of the transport system. The PUM is conceived as a long-term plan (a horizon of 10 years, including a dynamic revision every two years). It addresses transport infrastructures and citizen behavior and should provide a framework Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 12 RA-MOW

13 within which all other instruments have to be applied. Preparing a PUM is obligatory for cities above inhabitants (as well as for neighboring municipalities together exceeding this threshold) and for regions with neighboring cities of more than inhabitants. The plans have to demonstrate coherence with the regional and national transport plans. Citizen consultation is a crucial element in the preparatory process of a PUM. Moreover -as the overall aim of a PUM is to develop an integrated and balanced transport system- proper policies for travel demand management have to be drawn up in addition to the usual measures targeting traffic supply. Thorough assessments of potential solutions are essential and results have to be monitored. Local authorities fully control the contents of their PUM with demand management as a mandatory element and they are urged to choose the best value for money -solutions. PUM s have to be in line with higher-level policy plans, but the need for consistency with (transportation) plans in other domains is not explicitly verified. (Wolfram 2004) d. United States of America In the US, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are required to draw up regional transportation plans that serve as the guiding vision for the future of the transportation system in the region. Federal law (Safe Accountable Flexible Transportation Efficiency Act - a Legacy for Users, SAFETEA-LU) lays out numerous requirements with respect to the development of regional transportation plans, including updates at least every five years, fiscal constraints in proposed improvements to the transportation system, extensive public involvement efforts and consideration of a number of planning factors such as economic vitality, safety and security of the transportation system, accessibility for persons and goods, environmental protection, energy conservation, quality of life and the preservation of the existing transportation system. The ambitions are to promote consistency between transportation improvements on the one hand and state and local planned growth and economic development patterns on the other hand. Furthermore, the integration and connectivity of the transportation system across and between modes is to be enhanced for people and freight and efficient system management and operation is promoted. This new philosophy of transportation policy obviously required fundamental changes in the planning process. These changes embrace better public involvement, the development of performance measures and use of forecasts in the planning process (Handy 2008). Prior explorative research involving the issues of lower-level metropolitan mobility policymaking in comparison to a higher-level statewide approach in the US, revealed several issues that may also be of relevance in the Flemish context: controlling negative spillover effects such as network or environmental externalities is much harder at a lower level, a higher-level (state) authority constitutes a better basis for legitimate and credible planning decisions because of the mostly indirect democratic representation on regional bodies, the local administrations are unable of taking advantage of the economies of scale that accrue to central-office administrations and they commonly fail to establish and implement uniform planning processes and procedures (Taylor & Schweitzer 2005). e. Flanders Transportation Data In Flanders, a massive 222 million passenger kilometers are covered each day, corresponding to an average distance of 38,23 km per day per inhabitant. Most trips are rather short (54,65% is no longer than 5 km), which suggests that many of them take place in close vicinity to people s homes, so mostly within built-up areas or in areas where the road network is under municipal jurisdiction (cf. infra). The modal distribution for Flemish travel behavior is represented in figure 1, showing an overwhelming share of car use. An important group of travelers in the municipal context consists of pedestrians and cyclists: over 25% of all trips and 5,75% of the total distance covered are executed on foot or by bike. Due to the typically short-distance radius of action of these modes, the larger share of these trips will once again take place on municipal infrastructure. In rural areas with lower population density, car-use is usually a little higher and the use of Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 13 RA-MOW

14 public transport is slightly lower when compared to high-density areas. (Cools et al. 2010) Car driver 53,20% Other 10,41% Unknown Autocar 0,01% 1,13% Pedestrian 1,34% Scheduled bus 2,98% Bicycle 4,41% Train 5,82% Moped 0,22% Tram and (pre-)metro 0,26% Motorcycle Car passenger 0,34% 19,88% Figure 1: Modal split Highways, primary and secondary roads that connect cities and regions within Flanders are under higher-governmental jurisdiction (federal and regional government) and account for 11,50% of the total road network. The remaining share (over km) is under jurisdiction of the 308 municipal authorities. It is clear that designing, maintaining and ensuring safety on these roads constitutes a major challenge for municipal authorities for which a stable for guidance and horizontal and vertical cooperation is indispensable (Algemene Directie Statistiek 2011a). Mobility Covenants Program The collaboration and interaction between different stakeholders that are involved in local mobility policymaking processes in Flanders have been regulated under the framework of mobility covenants (Dutch: mobiliteitsconvenanten ) since The Mobility Covenants Program of the Flemish regional government promotes and sustains local governments' processes of sustainable mobility policymaking. Its aim is to incite municipalities to make a mobility plan and to encourage traffic safety, livability, and modal change. The program is structured around three key items: a task force of transport specialists that sets out the procedures for policy planning and communication and education strategies; a covenant between the municipality, the Flemish public transport company [De Lijn] and the administration for transport and public works [MOW]; and approval of the municipality's plan in an audit by external experts. The program has turned the traditional, unimodal traffic policy planning into a multimodal process (Zuallaert 1997, p.18). One of the obligations for local authorities in order to be able to participate in the covenant program is to draw up a local mobility plan. These mobility plans constitute the framework in which mobility programs and actions can be carried out. Policy ambitions and projects that are included in the local mobility plans and that are thus approved of (declared conform ) by the supervising council (the Provinciale Auditcommissie ; PAC) can qualify for subsidies from the Flemish regional Government. The local mobility plans Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 14 RA-MOW

15 have a period of validity of five years. After this period, they have to be assessed according to a predefined procedure ( Sneltoets ). This assessment will lead to one of three possible tracks: a complete renewal, an extensive revision (broadening and deepening) or a confirmation of the existing mobility plan. The covenant policy and municipal policymaking in general is provided for by the Flemish Decree on Mobility Policy ( Decreet betreffende het mobiliteitsbeleid ; B.S ). An overview of the municipal mobility plans dd. October 8, 2010 is presented in figure 2. Additional information on this topic can be found on the web portal of the Flemish Department for Mobility and Public Works ( Mobiel Vlaanderen ; The framework that was generated with the introduction of the mobility covenants and the local mobility plans has significantly contributed to a more sustainable transport system and is generally recognized as a very fruitful approach of mobility policymaking. As the Flemish regional mobility administration states: a sound mobility plan is essential for the development of the municipal mobility policy to which the local administrations are autonomously entitled. The local mobility plan provides a framework that allows the municipality to expound, to communicate and to justify its policy to the residents (Vlaamse Overheid 2010a). Until 1996, an important (communication) gap existed between the Flemish regional authority and the municipal policy level. The local authorities did not have any say in projects and initiatives of higher authorities. They were merely kept informed. The mobility covenants have played a crucial role in bridging this gap. The regional authority has learnt to give serious consideration to demands and insights of the local authorities and the local authorities find it easier to involve thirdparty stakeholders in their policymaking process. The strengths of the Flemish mobility (covenant) policy are thus the obligatory and systematic cooperation between stakeholders, the long-term policy orientation and the introduction of the municipal mobility plans that act as a solid grip in often turbid political waters. Identified weaknesses are the lack of internal steering of administrations and the excessive administrative burden that the extensive procedures have brought along. (Asperges 2004) Ongoing Challenges Over recent years, as in most European regions, a positive evolution can be seen in road safety numbers in Flanders: in 1991, 1,92 deadly and severely injured casualties were registered per 1000 inhabitants, whereas this number dropped to 1,36 in 1996 and to 0,72 in It is impossible to assess the exact impact of individual policy initiatives and reorganizations on these figures, but it can be assumed that increased integrality in municipal policy making and preparation has contributed to this decline (presumably in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of the implementation of policy initiatives). Simultaneously, these numbers indicate that there is still a very long road ahead to reach the level of a truly sustainable transportation system. The 70% car-use in commuting traffic s modal split, the annual 4 million hours lost due to congestion, the yearly exhaust of kton CO 2 -equivalents and the 495 lives lost on Flemish roads in 2008 clearly show that a lot of work is still to be done. It is believed that structured, highly-qualitative institutional management and a better coordinated and integrated approach to municipal mobility management may be part of the solution. (Algemene Directie Statistiek 2011b; Studiedienst van de Vlaamse Regering 2010) Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 15 RA-MOW

16 Figure 2: Status municipal mobility plans (Vlaamse Overheid 2010c) Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 16 RA-MOW

17 2.2.3 Pre-study In a recent research project that was carried out at Hasselt University, 25 Flemish local mobility administrations were assessed with respect to their performances, internal operations and organizational structures. Within the selected sample of local authorities, a number of stakeholders were surveyed with their day-to-day mobility policy-related activities. For each city, the head of the mobility administration, the competent politician (representative in the town council) and a selected number of residents were inquired in a semi-structured interview. The combined results of these case studies indicated that the quality level of local mobility policymaking administrations is generally mediocre and of an ad hoc nature. The results of this explorative study show that different types of local authorities have to cope with similar issues. Hereunder, the four elements that came out of this project as being defining for the quality level of the performance of a particular Flemish local mobility administration are concisely discussed (Polders 2010; Polders et al. 2011). a. Political continuity The first factor is the presence (or absence) of political continuity. Although the position of a local mobility official is not directly related to the 6-yearly political terms, it is strongly dependent on it since this office operates under the direct supervision of the local politicians represented in the bench of mayor and aldermen ( College van burgemeester en schepenen ) and the town council ( gemeenteraad ). Discontinuity in local legislations should not, but can pose a serious threat to the quality level of mobility policymaking in a municipal administration. Long-term planning and the realization of policy initiatives stand a better chance if the administration can work in equilibrate collaboration with the successive political actors and not strictly under their supervision. It is suggested that mobility policymaking should ideally be taken care of by a higher level (regional) authority. This authority would have a firmer position towards local politicians and could facilitate integral policymaking since its jurisdiction exceeds the municipal borders. The potential benefits of a higher-level government intervention in metropolitan transport planning were addressed earlier for the American case (Taylor & Schweitzer 2005). b. Internal conflicts The second crucial element is the potential existence of conflicts between local officials and politicians. Since these parties may have different visions and interests, internal communication can easily get turbid. This type of conflicts is more common in smaller cities where the relationships with residents are closer. In the worst case, soared relations can lead to mistrust between residents, politicians and officials. It should be guaranteed that the (well-trained) officials can fulfill their duty under all circumstances, independently from electoral motives. Again, a higher-level approach towards local mobility policymaking could settle this issue. c. Internal expertise A third determining factor is the (missing) professional expertise of local officials. The lack of specific formation is especially apparent in smaller administrations, often leading to a laissez faire -mentality. The low level of competence brings along that local administrations are unable to draw up well-underpinned policy plans and to elaborate on the required policy objectives and concrete actions in response to the emerging local mobility needs. As a result of this deficiency, external expertise (specialized agencies) has to be brought in. It is suggested to concentrate the knowledge that is available and to deploy it on a supra-municipal level. d. Resources The final factor that could be identified is the chronic lack of financial resources. At a city level, funds are generally not too scarce, but only a very small amount of it passes on to the seemingly unpopular - yet very important - domain of mobility policy. The higher- Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 17 RA-MOW

18 level authorities may hold the key to take the mobility domain out of its underappreciated position by redistributing their budgets. e. Strengths Although there is a lot of space for improvement left, it must be stated that the quality level of local mobility policymaking in the Flemish context has already significantly increased over the last two decades. Spurred by far-reaching reforms and initiatives of the higher-level authorities (e.g. the covenants-policy) and floating on the wings of the New Public Management-movement, local authorities have taken better control of their mobility issues. Despite the ever increasing amount of trips and the growing number of cars on our roads, numerous efforts have been undertaken to safeguard road safety, livability, accessibility and the nature and our environment. This has led to a number of positive aspects and good practices in Flemish municipal mobility policymaking. Especially the enterprising spirit and motivation of all stakeholders (officials, politicians and residents) and the numerous initiatives to get the communication with residents on track are recognized to be strengths of current Flemish mobility policy practices. The adjustment of policy plans to the ambitions of other administrations, to the plans of adjacent local policy domains and to the objectives of higher-level authorities indicate the evolution towards a more integral approach of the mobility issues. Flemish local mobility policymaking seems to outperform other countries and regions when it comes to the horizontal and vertical integration of policymaking initiatives and processes, whereas political instability hampers longitudinal and consistent policymaking more strongly Challenges When comparing the issues that arise in the Flemish planning context to those in the US, the UK, Italy and France, it is to be concluded that most of them appear in all cases. Budgetary limits, lack of legal authority for the officials and absence of expertise at the local level are factors that recur everywhere. In Flanders, the horizontal and vertical integration of policymaking initiatives and processes seems to be more common practice, assumedly thanks to the covenant policy. It can be concluded that policymaking in the field of local mobility management is generally characterized by a certain degree of consciousness of the need for improvement, but a feeling of impotence is often predominant. Absence of political continuity, internal conflicts between stakeholders, missing internal expertise and the subordinated position of the mobility policy domain on the overall local policy agenda are found to be the determining factors for this rather feeble level of operation and performance (Tormans et al. 2011; Polders 2010). Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 18 RA-MOW

19 3. Q U A L I T Y B A C K G R O U N D 3.1 Total Quality Management (TQM) Background As was stated earlier, improvements in management practices of local mobility administrations are a prerequisite for today s quest towards a more sustainable society in which human mobility is pertained and repercussions on human health and the environment (for future generations) are minimized. In addition, it is essential for these processes of change to be approached from a holistic point of view. Today s policy initiatives and individual policy measures are without doubt undertaken with the best of intentions, but society will only be able to pick future fruits if these strategies for improvement are well coordinated and of an integral nature. This certainly also goes for the lowest level in the chain of mobility policy making and implementation: the municipal administrations. A very interesting line of thought with respect to the practice of integral policy making can be found in the philosophy of Total Quality Management (TQM). This managerial approach was founded on the ideas of management guru W. Edwards Deming and has proven its worth in private as well as in public organizations (Redman et al. 1995). It has been the basis for various models for organizational management and a great number of case studies in diverse domains of public management have been documented in literature (Bouckaert et al. 2009; Gaster & Squires 2003; Morgan & Murgatroyd 1994; Van Roosbroek & Bouckaert 2009). TQM is to be considered as a strategy that an organization s management can pursue in order to obtain competitive advantages by attempting to improve all facets of the organization. The Q is the most important element in TQM, but it can certainly not stand on its own. The T in TQM stands for Total, implying that every person in the organization is to be involved with quality improvement. Top management s leadership and performance and other co-workers input are equally important. The M refers to the importance of managing the processes that lead to enhanced quality. A well designed roadmap to control processes and results is essential to enhance improvements and to keep away from destructive criticism in the early stages of implementation (Imai 1986). Bouckaert and Thys (2003) define Total Quality Management as a group of managerial techniques that aim at realizing customer satisfaction by pursuing continuous improvement with a strong focus on coworkers participation. An organization is assumed to have attained the level of TQM when it excels on the following managerial aspects: customer orientation, commitment and leadership of senior management, planning and organization, using quality management techniques and tools, education and training of staff, involvement of stakeholders, teamwork, measurement of results and openness to feedback and cultural change (Vinni 2007). A crucial concept on which the ideas of Total Quality framework are based is what is best represented by Japanese term Kaizen, literally meaning to change for the better. For any organization, it is essential not to rest on its laurels: openness to change and a strong will to continuously assess and ameliorate the proper performances are of utmost importance in any present-day organization that strives for the best for co-workers, stakeholders and customers (Imai 1986). Continuously looking for improvements implies organizational management to be considered as a broad range of interconnected processes. A cornerstone of the Kaizen-philosophy is the implementation of circular process of improvement: whenever a new problem or situation arises, it is essential to address it, to take the lessons that can be drawn from it and to adjust the organization to the newly shaped situation. This circular model of organizational management is also known as the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle which was first drawn up by Walter Shewhart and later refined by W. Edwards Deming (Deming 1986). Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 19 RA-MOW

20 Figure 3: Shewhart s PDCA-cycle (Towill 2008) TQM in Transport Policy In 2006, the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT, cf. supra) stated that institutional, acceptability, financial, information, regulatory and process barriers exist which obstruct the design of highly qualitative sustainable urban transport and land use systems. The ECMT highlighted the following most predominant barriers: poor policy integration and coordination, counterproductive institutional roles, unsupportive regulatory frameworks, weaknesses in pricing, poor data quality and quantity, limited public support, lack of political resolve and difficulties in policy formulation. Especially those [barriers] concerning process, acceptability, information and skills and finance are amenable to action at local government level (May et al. 2008, p.329). The commitment and involvement of all affected parties is essential, so that imaginative and effective measures can be implemented (Banister 2000). Many of the issues addressed here are interrelated with the management principles put forward in the Total Quality Management (TQM) approach. This is why it is believed that incorporating the ideas of Total Quality (public) Management in the specific field of local mobility policymaking may contribute to a safer and more sustainable transportation system and society. Metri (2006) describes the transposition of the basic ideas of TQM to the practice of transportation service provision. He generalized his findings under the concept of Total Quality Transportation (TQT). Although Metri mainly focuses on public transport services, it is believed that his findings can easily be adapted to the broader context of general public mobility policymaking. Metri states that TQT-users subscribe to a customeroriented transport service philosophy of continuous improvement that involves commitment to meet or exceed customer requirements, participation by a critical mass of stakeholders, using statistical tools for analysis, continuous review of processes, exercising strong quality leadership, providing training and retraining programs, safety improvement, analysis of current performance, green transport system and meeting local needs and regulations. The assessment tool discussed later in this paper incorporates all aspects listed up here. Macário (2001) presents the structure of a TQM-model that serves as a basic framework for the planning and control of the urban mobility system. He denotes the importance of the decision-making processes at the strategic, tactical and operational level to be consistent and stressed the need for the different aspects in the organization to simultaneously improve their performance. It is essential to seal up the gap that may arise when translating stakeholders interests into strategic goals, when bringing these Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 20 RA-MOW

21 goals into practice and when monitoring the performances and effects (see figure 4). In addition, Macário (2001, p.94) states that urban transport services have a particularity that makes quality control more difficult than the majority of the other services. The final product [or service] results from a production chain, not controlled by one organization but instead by a system involving different organizations interacting in an uncontrolled environment - the urban space. When conducting the assessment procedure described later in this report, both contextual specificity and integrality of decision-making are considered to be crucial issues in municipal mobility policymaking. Figure 4: Decision levels and potential gap in urban mobility policymaking (Macário 2001) As is shown above, the use of quality management methods and practices is not entirely new to the domain of urban transport policy. At the European level, several projects have been carried out in an attempt to allow policymakers to systematically assess and enhance their efforts. Examples hereof are the Quattro-project ( ), the EQUIPproject ( ) and the MEDIATE-project ( ) which focused on public transport provision and the BYPAD-project ( and ) which was oriented at improving urban and regional bicycle policymaking. Nevertheless, systematic quality assessments at the general level of municipal mobility policymaking have not been conducted yet to the authors knowledge TQM in Municipal Mobility Policymaking in Flanders In Flanders, the interest in the potential benefits of (total) quality management has only recently gotten through to the field of local policymaking. Nevertheless, several initiatives have already been taken to enhance the use of quality management instruments in local public organizations. Especially in the domains of social services, healthcare and education, their use has systematically been encouraged and has in some cases become statutorily obligatory (Van Roosbroek & Bouckaert 2009; Bouckaert et al. 2009). Nevertheless, very few initiatives have been taken in the domain of mobility policymaking so far, essentially limited to the mobility covenant policy mentioned above and a number of explorative research projects (Van Vlierden et al. 2003; Paris & Van den Broucke 2006; Eeckhout 2009). In an attempt to cover up this gap and to facilitate the introduction of the principles and potential benefits of quality management in local mobility policymaking, the research project described in this report intends to generate a methodology that allows local officials and politicians to self-assess their organization s performances in a practicable and straightforward fashion. According to Bryce et al (2007, p.281), to be truly effective, an audit must consist of a topic, appropriate practice standards, observation and testing against the selected standards, identification of areas for improvement, and Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 21 RA-MOW

22 subsequent interventions and demonstration of improvement in practice. This quote summarizes the strategy that will be implemented in developing the assessment instrument under consideration (cf. infra). Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 22 RA-MOW

23 4. F R A M E W O R K F O R Q U A L I T Y A S S E S S M E N T I N L O C A L R O A D S A F E T Y P O L I C Y In order to implement the kaizen-philosophy and the principles of TQM in municipal mobility policymaking, local mobility governance has to be considered from an integral and circular perspective. As stated before, this project aims at developing and implementing an instrument that can be applied to assess the performance of organizations that are responsible for the development and implementation of a sustainable mobility policy at the municipal level. The tool that accompanies the conceptual model is specifically oriented at the Flemish local administrative level, implying that it is attuned to Flemish mobility practice as closely as possible. Nevertheless, it is believed that the instrument can fairly easily be adjusted for application in other regions in Europe and Northern America. The next sections describe the conceptual model and its translation into underlying aspects. Before the model can be expounded, it is crucial to grasp that setting up a sustainable (local) mobility policy program is an immense challenge. At every step in the decisionmaking process, side domains such as spatial planning, economics, demographics, technological development, environmental and socio-cultural evolutions come into play. All of these issues are essential and should be taken into account, together with the individual interests of all stakeholders involved. This makes the work of local mobility policymakers to a balancing act for which they should be provided with all possible support and guidance. 4.1 Conceptual model Policy Cycle Figure 5 shows a comprehensive policy cycle for local mobility policymaking. In this model, all strategic domains of action (called modules ) of modern-day mobility policymaking at a municipal level are enclosed. The strategic domains are defined as those decision making units that are to be explicitly considered in order to be capable of providing a sustainable mobility policy to the municipality s residents and visitors. The circular character of the diagram stresses the idea of continuous improvement: by paying attention to an authority s performance on each of the modules that have been identified while keeping the eyes open for possibilities for improvement (preferably for the different modules simultaneously), the organization and all of its components can gradually evolve towards the aimed-for level integral policy making. Note that the implementation of Deming s PDCA-cycle is to be strived for both within the individual modules and for the organization as a whole. For all aspects underlying the organization and the modules, the continuous search for improvement is sacred. From figure 5, it can be deducted that road safety policymaking is stripped down to three essential components which should be addressed simultaneously: the organization s functioning (1), the road safety strategy development and implementation (2) and the organization s assessment and follow-up (3). The three components (organization road safety actions analysis) have been subdivided into nine modules: user needs, leadership, policy on paper, means and personnel, infrastructure and engineering, education and behavior, enforcement, results and self-assessment and follow-up. These modules are built up of a total of thirty aspects that refine them (see tables 1-3). In their turn, all of these aspects are specified by means of a total of 134 sub items or points of attention (represented in tables 1-3). These points of attention constitute the most detailed level of analysis and they will be used to examine the organization and performance of the authorities under investigation (Tormans, Brijs, et al. 2010). Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 23 RA-MOW

24 Figure 5: Conceptual model Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 24 RA-MOW

25 a. Organizational aspects As stated before, the application of the Kaizen and Total Quality Management philosophy as a background for enhanced policymaking implies that organizational processes and performances within the authorities are to be observed from a holistic point of view. For the sake of this research project, this entails that apart from the nature and implementation of specific road safety actions, it is equally important to examine the organizational context in which these policy measures are conceptualized. It is therefore essential to gain a clear insight into the internal processes of the administrations under consideration. An extensive literature review on the (theoretical) background of quality management and a thorough analysis of widely applied quality instruments such as the EFQM Excellence Model, the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and the Balanced Scorecard (EFQM 2010; EIPA 2006; Kaplan & Norton 1996) has led to the identification of the crucial organizational themes that are of importance behind the scenes of a local public administration in the field of mobility policymaking. The selected domains concern the management of user needs, leadership attitudes, policy planning and people and resources management. User needs For any organization to be able to provide qualitative products or services that are of value to the customer/consumer, it is crucial that its representatives understand what the customer s needs and expectations are. Similarly, for any public administration, it is essential to gain insight in the needs and expectations of the society. Any organization should start from its competitive strengths and determine how they can be used to meet (market) needs. Waiting for signals from the public before adapting the strategy is no longer sufficient; it is crucial to think ahead. Market research, customer surveys and other forms of feedback to determine user needs and expectations are most useful, now and in the future. A local road safety administration has to find out who the residents and road users are (profiles), in what way they utilize the road network and what the public expects from the local authorities in return for their taxes paid. The setup of this data collection procedure and the way in which citizens and residents are approached, provide a good indication of the performance level of the internal user needs assessment (Van Nuland et al. 1999). Leadership A second important focus point for the assessment of municipal mobility policymaking is the leadership of senior management (both administrative and political): what role do the leading actors play within the authority s functioning? Whether an organization will succeed or fail depends to a large extent on the on the performance quality of its leadership. It is the leader s task to proficiently manage and steer all essential organization-related factors in order to attain the predefined objectives. To fulfill this task successfully, the leader must engage the right people with specific attributes and provide adequate resources at the appropriate times. He must create an organizational structure and environment in such a way that individuals can work together efficiently and effectively (Van Nuland et al. 1999). The attained level of performance in leadership can (among others) be derived from the management s communication styles with coworkers and with external partners. The managers level of devotion to the organization s functioning and the interest they pay to the road safety issues is also indicative for this module, together with the overall coordination of the organization s leaders (organizational control). Policy planning Thirdly, the policy planning processes within the organization are indicative for the quality level of performance. Leadership supplies the motivation and the inspiration, where policy planning and strategy give it a more concrete form. They are the steering mechanisms which keep the organization focused on the most important requirements Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 25 RA-MOW

26 for turning its vision into reality. Policy planning and strategy formation constitute the guidelines on which the management of personnel, of resources and of activities is based (Van Nuland et al. 1999). Whether or not an organizational mission or vision has been defined, the profundity and elaboration of policy ambitions, the background against which actions and policy plans are drawn up and the consideration of sustainability in future policy actions give a sense of the soundness of the organization s policy planning processes. People and resources Finally, it is beyond doubt that the output of any organizational process is heavily dependent on the human efforts and resources that are available, even more so in service providing organizations. It is the people within the organization who constitute the most important asset, because of their knowledge, experience and values. They provide the intended services (products) by keeping the processes running well. In addition to internal human resources management, the way in which management plans and manages its external partnerships is essential in establishing a sound and future oriented organization (Van Nuland et al. 1999). The way in which human resources, funds, data and coworkers responsibilities are managed is considered to be determining for the level of quality that is attained. Table 1 provides an overview of the aspects that underlie the four modules described above. In transforming the conceptual model into the practical tool for assessing the municipal administrations, these aspects formed the grounds for the standardized questionnaires that have been developed. Table 1: Organizational aspects b. Road safety aspects The starting point for constructing the road safety domain of the conceptual model was a meta-analysis of road safety measures conducted by Elvik and Vaa (2004). The (theoretical) discussion of the diverse road safety enhancement measures that were Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 26 RA-MOW

27 identified in this work have been related to the policy plans of a selected number of authoritative countries and organizations: the Mobility Plan and the Road Safety Plan from the region of Flanders, the Staten-Generaal voor de Verkeersveiligheid from Belgium, Duurzaam Veilig from The Netherlands, Vision Zero from Sweden, Tomorrow s Roads Safer for Everyone from the United Kingdom, Road Safety Strategy 2010 from New Zealand, the Transportation Plan from Norway, the European Union s White Paper on Road Safety and its Mid-Term Review and the WHO Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention. The information collected from the reference work and these policy plans was converted into a comprehensive overview of those measures that significantly contribute to road safety in different contexts. This overview is presented in appendix 1 of this report. In addition, international scientific and practice-based literature was screened for best practices in municipal road safety management. This provided additional inspiration for the road safety aspects. It was decided to categorize the aspects specifically concerning road safety policy according to the commonly known 3 E s of integral road safety : engineering, education and enforcement. The ideal, fully integrated way of bringing road safety to practice in a sustainable fashion is to start from a combination of at least two of the three E s with one E boosting the other(s) (Wildervanck 2004). Interaction and collaboration between stakeholders (administration, police and public) are prerequisites for any road safety policy to be successful. When fully integrated, highly qualitative actions and programs in the domains of engineering, education and enforcement will reinforce each other. The road safety policy initiatives that have been undertaken by a local road mobility policy administration for each of these major domains (3E s) are thus to be assessed by means of this instrument. As was stated earlier, applying the tool should allow for gaining insight in the processes that precede these specific road safety actions. Engineering Within the particular domain of engineering, it is insufficient to only identify which projects (infrastructural measures) have been set up. The (direct) triggers for undertaking these actions, the collaboration with different partners involved and the flanking measures that support the road safety actions are evenly essential when assessing the integrality of the policy. Analyzing both the content and the background of these aspects provides the assessor with a good impression of the quality level of the infrastructural policy that is in place. Education The same goes for the educational perspective: it is not only taken into account which initiatives the organization takes to educate, to inform and to sensitize its road users, but it is also investigated what part the local authority s plays herein, what preparative and accommodating actions are carried out and how the campaigns are generally prepared and followed-up. Enforcement For the enforcement-component, the nature, the hind-lying ambitions, the collaboration with the local and federal police services and the data registration and follow-up of enforcement initiatives are examined in a similar fashion. All aspects and sub items that are considered are listed up in table 2. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 27 RA-MOW

28 Table 2: Road safety aspects c. Analysis aspects When thinking in terms of Kaizen and Total Quality Management, the presence of a feedback-loop within the organization under consideration is essential. A feedback-loop allows the organization to monitor its performances and to draw useful lessons from them. Its existence is thus a necessary condition for continuous improvement. This idea is closely linked to W.E. Deming s PDCA-cycle and is based on the belief that our knowledge and skills are limited, but continuously improving, because we tend to learnon-the-job. Learning-by-doing occurs when a problem solver associates plans and actions with results. The PDCA-cycle should repeatedly be implemented in spirals of increasing, incrementing knowledge, letting the organization converge on the ultimate goal: the level of Total Quality Management (Hillmer & Karney 1997). Virtually all quality models and instruments include a feedback loop in their assessment procedures. The quality assessment (and data collection procedure) that is required within this feedbackloop is twofold: Results The external and internal organizational results and performances have to be evaluated. The aspects under this results -module typically focus on customers satisfaction, coworkers appreciation and societal effects. The methods the organization uses to map these effects and their frequency of use are indicative for the organization s level of development. Self-assessment and follow-up Internal facets, such as the implementation of self-assessments and the extent to which the gathered data are used to improve the organization s operation are aspects that are grouped under the module self-assessment and follow-up. The dimensions that determine the level of quality of effect-management are presented in table 3. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 28 RA-MOW

29 Table 3: Analysis aspects Ladder of development The essence of the TQM-approach lies in its pursuit of continuous improvement by means of a staged development. This implies that an organization should not precipitately strive for becoming a top-performer, but it is important to have a clear view on its current performance and where immediate (short-term) opportunities for improvement lay. A metaphor frequently used to describe this concept is one of mounting a ladder of which the diverse rungs represent different quality levels that the organization or administration can attain. Previous research and policy-evaluation tools in which a comparable methodology was applied, suggested using a ladder with four or five rungs (Miermans & Zuallaert 2001; Asperges 2003; Øvstedal et al. 2010). For this specific case of local road safety management, a four-rung ladder has been generated. Bottom-up, the rungs are named as follows: ad-hoc, isolated, systemoriented and integral. Note that the ultimate level of TQM is not included in this hierarchy, since this is considered to be a purely theoretical aspiration level. The four levels of development are described in table 4. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 29 RA-MOW

30 Description Level 1 ad hoc Level 2 isolated Level 3 Systemoriented Level 4 Integrated An organization with minimal attention for quality management: short term policymaking, informal culture and practices, responsive actions, individual and unstructured initiatives. An organization with systematic (though fairly confined) consideration for quality management and in which processes are not fully controlled: systematic but basic identification of needs and policy priorities, global agreements with a limited compulsory character, unguaranteed continuity of policy practice, lack of policy support and guidance, deficiencies of diverse natures are common. A well-functioning organization with a clear and overall perspective on its daily practices: sufficient data-availability, formal and binding agreements, a thoroughly planned approach to renewal and improvements, explicit attention for competence-based promotions, adjusted job descriptions, stimulation of engagement and empowerment. An organization that continuously strives for improvement and that is characterized by intense relations with target groups, actors and other stakeholders: regular systematical analysis and assessment of the organization s performance, use of quality criteria (indicators) as a policy instrument, structural problem-detection and problem-solving, future minded and innovative thinking, existence of synergetic effects of collaboration within and outside the organization. Table 4: Description of levels of development The lowest attainable phase is thus the ad hoc-level, also known as the fire brigadeapproach. Organizations functioning at this level of performance approach mobility policymaking from a problem-solving point of view: problems are solved when they become apparent, preventive actions are very rare. The next rung represents the isolated level of development or the Robinson Crusoeapproach. In this case, the mobility administration is internally well organized, but its performances are seriously hindered due to its isolation within the municipal administration. Contacts with other policy domains are rare and there is no common vision on mobility in place. These indispensable communication lines are present and operational when an organization operates at the system-oriented level. A municipality that attains this level has developed a clear and well-carried vision on (sub-)urban mobility and different representatives and actors are internally collaborating rather well. Nevertheless, there is a chronic lack of interaction and input from comparable municipalities, higher-level authorities and other stakeholders. Furthermore, consequent feedback loops from the past and reliable predictions are missing. The ultimate level according in this hierarchy is the level of integral policymaking. This is considered to be the rung where all organizational aspects and actors come together and operate in harmony. From the results of the pre-study (cf. supra), it is could be concluded that most Flemish municipal authorities are expected to be situated around the rung of isolated policymaking Characterization In order facilitate a one-on-one interpretation of the identified aspects in relation to the different rungs of development (and thus to be able to design the standardized questionnaire which forms the core of the instrument), it is essential to thoroughly characterize the four levels of development. To this end, a number of properties have been defined for each of the rungs: time horizon, policy focus, the use of data, budget availability, number and formation of staff, communication strategies, organizational structure and the wideness of policymaking. The characteristics of each of the four Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 30 RA-MOW

31 quality echelons are summarized in table 5. The interpretation of the aspects with respect to the four rungs of development will be discussed in more detail further on (Tormans, Janssens, et al. 2010; Øvstedal et al. 2010). ad hoc isolated systemoriented integral scope ex post short term (1-2 y) medium term (5-10 y) long term (10-20 y) focus problem solving project realization comply with higher policy integral policymaking data use very poor poor sufficient thorough budget irregular fixed but low fixed and designated variable but guaranteed staff - number low low sufficient sufficient staff - skills low general knowledge specialized (by experience) highly educated and specialized internal communication limited top down top down multidirectional external communication limited limited contact with stakeholders intense external relations structure informal vaguely structured well structured well structured approach individual projects road safety domain mobility domain Table 5: Characterization of levels of development complete local policy domain Validation For the instrument to be useful in practice, it requires a broad basis. In order to make sure that the model is not an academic exercise, but an instrument that is built on a decent theoretical basis and is sufficiently operational in practice, it is a necessity for various stakeholders to be involved in the conceptual phases of development. Therefore, the tool was generated with a strong focus on target group participation. a. Focus groups As a first step, two focus group sessions were organized with a total of fifteen participants including academics, local officials, local politicians and representatives of local police departments. The methodology, conceptual model and identified aspects were systematically discussed, justified, specified and reworked. From these focus groups, it became apparent that the themes included in the conceptual model are suitable for identifying the problems that arise in present-day municipal mobility policymaking: lack of data management (both ex-ante and ex-post), turbid internal communication, inferior resource management (motivation and commitment of officials, availability of means), stubbornness and lack of follow-up of (higher-level) policy programs and procedures, missing interaction with external partners (including higher-level administration and police forces) and the omnipresence of individual policy initiatives. A good understanding between municipal officials and political representatives is put forward as a cornerstone of fruitful mobility policymaking. Additional shortcomings and points of interest that were identified are the need for more participative Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 31 RA-MOW

32 communication, the installation of contact points for residents and the introduction of complaint management systems. Participants highlighted the need for a more thorough scanning of user needs and for the introduction of a pro-active organizational culture within municipal administrations. More job-ownership (empowerment), additional formation (also for political representatives) could easily contribute to this. The development of a relevant and unified indicator set, the provision of data management systems and the necessity of a horizontal integration of mobility policy within the municipal structure are missing links that should be addressed. b. Expert consultation The design of the instrument was also presented to the Association of Flemish cities and municipalities ( Vereniging van Vlaamse Steden en Gemeenten, VVSG). The reactions of this authoritative body were positive and the importance of the positive attitude of the instrument was specifically valued ( not judging or ranking, but learning is key ). For the instrument to be acceptable in practice, it has to be concentrated and efficient. It was stressed that most municipalities would be very glad to participate in this methodology, but a large share of them do not have the financial or operational possibilities (time) to do so. Furthermore, the Policy Research Centre - Governmental organization in Flanders II ( Steunpunt Bestuurlijke Organisatie Vlaanderen II ) has been contacted to acquire more insight into the feasibility of our approach. Both on the methodological and on the practical side, a series of interesting thoughts of experienced co-workers of this Research Centre have proven to be very valuable. After finalizing the methodology of the self-assessment tool, staff members of the Flemish Department of Mobility and Public Works (MOW) were consulted to gain better insight in the demand and applicability of this tool. c. Reference project The conceptual framework of this instrument (i.e. the policy cycle and the concept of the ladder of development) was used as the starting point for a comparable assessment tool that was generated in the MEDIATE-project 1 ( ). The goal of this selfevaluation tool was to map the level of performance of urban public transport providers in several European cities and regions. Figure 6 illustrates the strong resemblance of the MEDIATE-tool with the instrument discussed in this report. The suggestions and remarks of the consortium members of the MEDIATE-project were carefully taken into account when fine-tuning the methodology for the local mobility administrations in the Flemish context (Mediate Consortium 2010). 1 Methodology for Describing the Accessibility of Transport in Europe, Project co-funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technological Development (FP7) Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 32 RA-MOW

33 Figure 6: Output of the MEDIATE-tool (illustrative case) d. Researchers and practitioners As a final step before taking the tool to practice, a selection of researchers in the domain of transportation sciences and auditors that are entrusted with the screening of municipal mobility plans was invited to shed their light on the approach. Their recommendations were taken into account and this finalized the design stage of this research project. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 33 RA-MOW

34 5. D A T A C O L L E C T I O N 5.1 Recruiting participants In order to recruit participants for this project, a stratified sampling method is applied. Invitations are sent out by mail to the politician competent for municipal mobility (or traffic) policy. Non-responses are followed up by telephone after ten days. Politicians are addressed in batches of ten persons a time. Municipalities are selected with respect to their geographical orientation: two municipalities are randomly picked per province. This procedure will be repeated until a total of thirty local mobility administrations have been assessed. After having contacted 51 municipalities, a response rate of 80,39% was obtained. Nonresponses are those cases where it was not possible to contact the political representative in person after several attempts. Of those municipalities that could be reached, 25 (= 60,98%) have agreed to participate at the time of writing. The most commonly given reasons for not participating are the fact that there is no designated mobility official (yet), that the mobility administration has only recently been established (too early), a lack of time and the absence of (interest in) an assessment culture (quote: our administration is allergic to anything that involves quality management and evaluation ). Figure 7 provides an overview of the seventeen municipalities that have participated in this research at the time of writing and of eight administrations that will be assessed in the near future. Figure 7: Participating municipalities It is obvious that the voluntary recruitment strategy used in this research potentially forms a major drawback for the validity of the results: it can be assumed that only those municipalities that are sure of their ground (and of the quality of their performances) are eager to participate for reasons of recognition. This is an important notion that had to be kept in mind when analyzing the obtained. This issue cannot be overcome without (financially) stimulating or obliging the municipalities to participate. 5.2 Questionnaires As stated before, the eventual goal of this research project is to generate an instrument and an assessment procedure that can autonomously be implemented by the municipal mobility policymakers. To this end, it was opted for to conduct the assessment by means of standardized questionnaires. This brings along the benefit of being able to perform the evaluations without immediate intervention of an assessor, it facilitates uniform Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 34 RA-MOW

35 processing of the results and it reduces the workload for the respondents. Drawbacks of this approach are the risk of misinterpretations of certain concepts by the respondents and the lack of nuances in the answers. For fine-tuning the concepts (adding specific definitions where necessary), the input and comments gathered during the implementation of the test-cases was incorporated. Bork and Francis (1985, p.907) identify eight limitations of working with standardized questionnaires (see table 6). All of these limitations have to be countered in order to ensure a successful data collection and assessment procedure. #1. The subject's motivation while completing a questionnaire is unknown. #2. Data cannot be gathered from subjects who are illiterate. #3. The researcher must assume all subjects have sufficient knowledge to complete the questionnaire. #4. The researcher must assume that all subjects are willing to answer all questions. #5. All subjects who receive questionnaires may not complete and return them. #6. Questionnaires do not allow follow-up questions such as an interviewer may pose to clarify a given response. #7. Although each subject receives the same items in a questionnaire, test conditions cannot be standardized. #8. Subjects may not interpret items contained in a questionnaire in the same manner. Perceptions of what an item asks may differ. Table 6: Limitations of standardized questionnaires Limitation #1 is probably the most uncontrollable. Since the recruitment procedure in this project is of a voluntary nature, it can be assumed that at least the political representative will be motivated to complete the questionnaires. The official and police representative that are asked (or ordered?) to participate may be less motivated. This can only be overcome by trying to convince them of the relevance of the project in the introductory talk. At first sight, the second limitation does not seem to be relevant. Nevertheless, it has to be kept in mind that not all participants are familiar with modern technology (using touchscreens and tablet-pcs). Reduced eyesight may also be a hindering factor for the respondents. Limitation #3 especially applies to the police representatives, who may not always have a clear view on the municipal organization s internal functioning. In order not to bias the results, all respondents are explicitly asked to leave blank any questions they are not capable of answering. As stated in limitation #4, it is assumed that all subjects are willing to answer the questions. Because some of the aspects address personal impressions on co-workers and colleagues, respondents are free to leave open questions they do not feel comfortable with. The rather large number of questions per aspect underlying the modules should ensure a correct score aggregated on aspect-level, avoiding the nuances-issue. Limitation #5 applies in the case of a no-show of a respondent. Busy agenda s, illness or unexpected events may hamper the participants from making it to the interview. In case of absence, a participant is requested to fill out the standardized questionnaires individually through the web-link they acquire. Limitation #6 is overcome by means of a discussion that is held at the end of the meeting. During this talk, the questionnaires are quickly run through and the aspects where the respondents answers differ significantly are taken up and clarified. Test conditions (limitation #7) are to a large extent standardized since all respondents are brought together for the assessment in a designated meeting room (mostly in the Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 35 RA-MOW

36 town hall). External issues such as noise, warmth and time pressure are always hard to control. Limitation #8 constitutes the greatest challenge when designing the questionnaires for this project. Questions and statements have to be as simple and straightforward as possible, without giving in on completeness. It is essential to find an optimal mix between a reasonable level of comprehensiveness of the domain (all aspects have to be fully covered) and a practical time investment by the respondents. The questionnaires were designed to be completed within a 90 minute timeframe, including time allowing respondents to take short breaks while completing the questionnaires. For discussing potential conflicts in visions between the represented stakeholders, another 30 to 40 minutes are foreseen. The standardized questionnaire consists of a total of 134 questions: one multiple-choice question for each point of interest that has been identified above. For every question, five potential answers are provided, corresponding to the four levels of development and one not applicable - option. In case a respondent feels to be unsuited or ill-informed to answer a certain question, he is requested to leave it blank. Before the respondents start filling out the questionnaires, it is stressed that all answers will be processed anonymously and that they are encouraged to immediately report any questions or remarks. The complete questionnaire is included in appendix 2 of this report (in Dutch). 5.3 Procedure The questionnaires are to be filled out by at least three crucial actors in the domain of local mobility policymaking: a delegate of the local administration (leading official), a representative of the local political actors (elected member of town council) and the leading officer of the local police force. In order to be able to monitor the procedure and to prevent misinterpretations form occurring, all parties are requested to simultaneously complete the assessment (during the testing phase of this research). Each session takes off with a brief introduction to the projects in which the conceptual model and ladder of development are presented. The first task for the respondents is to fill out an appreciation -questionnaire. This checklist consists of twelve statements covering the modules organization and analysis of the conceptual model. The outcome of this questionnaire provides insight into the different stakeholders views on the particular mobility policymaking practices in the municipality under consideration, without being influenced by the different aspects that are addressed by the remaining part of the questionnaire. Comparing these results to the final results that come out of the instrument provides an indication of the truthfulness (validity) with which the instrument is capable of measuring the level of development. Subsequently, the respondents fill out the questionnaires, leaving those questions they are unable of answering open. The respondents answers are immediately processed, providing the moderator with an overview of conflicting visions between the stakeholders. A conflict occurs when the answers differ with more than one rung on the ladder of development. After all respondents have individually finished their assessment, a brief consensus-meeting is to be held to sort out the differences and to give the actors the opportunity to provide additional information on certain answers. Table 7 provides a screenshot of the overview that can be presented to the contributors immediately after having finished their questions. This gives a first impression of the level of development of their municipal mobility policymaking activities. All numbers in this table are scores out of a maximum of 5 and the averages are un-weighted. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 36 RA-MOW

37 Table 7: Example of output (tabular) The tabular results can also be presented by means of a radar chart, visualizing the averaged results (cf. figure 8). Self-assessment and follow-up Results User needs Leadership Policy Planning Enforcements Education and behavior Infrastructure/ engineering People and Resources Figure 8: Example of output (Radar chart) 5.4 Context To gain a trustworthy insight into the level of performance of a local road safety authority, it is essential to correctly position the organization in its environment. Policy priorities and practices may be very dependent on the specific situation that the policymakers are operating in. For instance, a town with a distinct residential function may face other challenges than a city with heavy commuting traffic. Next to these external factors, it is important to map the internal organization of the authority. This will allow for analyzing the relationship between the organization s setup and the level of performance achieved by the administration and can lead to new insights and policy recommendations. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 37 RA-MOW

38 In order to obtain a complete overview of an organization s environment and to correctly interpret the effects of the organizational performance on road safety in practice, a number of indicators have to be mapped. These indicators can be categorized according to a pyramidal structure in which the indicators included at the lower echelons influence the ones higher up in the hierarchy. The data collected by the different indicators can be linked to the results that have been obtained through the internal assessment of the organization. Figure 9: Indicator hierarchy The framework of this indicator pyramid is based on the theoretical framework that is widely spread in road safety research. Starting from an idea that initially stems from New Zealand s Road Safety Strategy 2010 (Swain 2003), the European Road Safety Observatory uses the pyramidal design to collect data and knowledge in order to support policy decisions. The modified pyramid (see figure 9) used in this project consists of five layers: organization and context (policy input), policy output (safety measures and programs), policy performance (safety performance indicators), policy outcome (number killed and injured) and social costs (not included in this project). The context related indicators typically include socio-demographic, spatial and travel behavior-related data. The indicators at the organization-echelon comprise very basic and quantitative information on the administration, such as the number of employees and available budgets. Policy output indicators typically map the actions that are implemented in order to put road safety policy plans into practice (number of speed checks, number of road users tested on alcohol, budgets spent on sensitization, infrastructure and education, ), whereas performance indicators provide insight into the road users responses to these initiatives (e.g. number of traffic violations) and the extent to which policy plans have put brought into practice (e.g. percentage of road network equipped with sidewalks). The policy outcome indicators which are situated at the top of the pyramid represent the traditional road safety indicators, including the number of casualties and number of accidents. An overview of all indicators used to map the organization s context is presented in table 8 and the questionnaire is included in appendix 2. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 38 RA-MOW

39 Table 8: Context aspects 5.5 Analysis The data gathered during the course of this research project are analyzed in three steps, with an increasing level of complexity. The first step of analysis is intended to provide the participants with some preliminary feedback immediately at the site, even before discussing potential variations in their answers. This should confirm the value of the time-investment they just made and should convince them of the validity of the tool. In order to make this possible, it is essential that the responses of the participants can be processed very quickly (nearly real-time). To this end, it was decided to provide the respondents with tablet-pc s (type: Archos 7 Tome Tablet) on which the web-based surveys were published (using Snap Survey Software, see figure 10). By means of an ad hoc wireless network, the assessor can collect the answers on a laptop and process the results by means of VBA macros programmed in an MS Excel environment. This allows for quickly summarizing and visualizing the results, giving the respondents a first look at their performance and their position relative to the other municipalities that have participated in this project. Showing these results usually triggers a spontaneous discussion on strong and feeble points in the organization. For examples hereof, see table 7 and figure 9. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 39 RA-MOW

40 Figure 10: Web based questionnaire on tablet-pc After the meeting, the assessor determines an average level of development for each of the issues addressed in the questionnaire. This can be achieved by introducing a fourth imaginary actor in the dataset. Where no conflicts were found, the consensus score is calculated as the average of the scores given by the three actors. When dissension is present, the consensus score is based on the discussion that was held after filling out the questionnaires. In addition, the individual and consensus scores are aggregated at the level of the underlying aspects. This implies that at this stage of the research- all aspects are equally weighted. At the end of the meeting, the official and the representative of the police zone receive a background questionnaire, which they are asked to complete during the course of one month. These data are also inputted, processed and followed-up when necessary. When the data collection will eventually be completed (30 cases), the gathered data is to be processed by means of various analytical and statistical techniques. Municipalities will be clustered based on their background and performance, a factor analysis will be conducted to identify hind-lying principal components and regression analyses will be carried out in order to find causal relations between and within both context and quality performance related issues. In addition, the correct weights for the different aspects incorporated in the instrument will be determined. A Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) will be applied in order to gain insight into the level of efficiency of Flemish municipal mobility policymaking practices and to identify benchmarks for the individual participants (Cooper et al. 2004). Aggregation of the data provides the assessor and the authority with a clear insight into the level of development that has been attained by the organization on a module-level. By examining the rung reached on each of the different modules, future policy can be focused to enhance the level of performance on those domains where the organization is currently running behind. On top, the concept of bench-learning can be triggered by this approach: by examining good practices within the different organizations that have been assessed, a collection of exemplary cases can be composed over time. These practices can be gathered into a knowledge platform that can be consulted by practitioners facing similar challenges. Steunpunt Mobiliteit & Openbare Werken 40 RA-MOW

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