Evaluating environmental law and policy in the Netherlands: experiences from the ‘STEM’ programme

2012 EEEN Forum / Evaluation

Frans Oosterhuis, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at VU University Amsterdam

Between 2004 and 2010, the Dutch Ministry of Environment ran a programme ‘Structural Evaluation of Environ­mental Legislation’ (Dutch acronym: STEM). It was carried out by researchers from three Dutch universities, with support from Arcadis. A wide variety of projects were executed, resulting in 33 reports. With hindsight, the approach has been hardly ‘structural’, but rather ‘ad hoc’. Neverthe­less, the programme has led to useful insights and recom­mendations for improvements in policy and legislation. Still, a more systematic way of evaluating would be recom­mendable in order to maximise the learning effect that can be achieved with scarce resources.

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