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Dialogue and performance based governance: redefining the supra national, national state and local government relations?

Ingrid Helgøy
Anne Homme
Universitetet i Bergen
Open Panel

Abstract

Since 2009 every Norwegian municipality is obliged by law to report annually on the state of basic education. These reports are based on previously reported performance data adapted for a specific electronic fill in template provided by the central government. The intention is not only to inform central government, but to provide knowledge based information to the local governments themselves. The information about the state of basic education is meant to empower local governments in education in order to improve the quality of education in each municipality. This case may represent an introduction of a new kind of governance in Norwegian education, in accordance with international trends. Education is one of the policy areas taking information on performance into consideration in all phases of the political process. Education policy has traditionally been a part of domestic public policies in Europe. From the 1990s we observe significant changes at the international level, such as the growing role of international organisations as OECD and the EU on the political debate all over Europe. International organisations have been considerable important to national education policies through mechanism as idea production, policy evaluation and data generation. The question raised in this paper is how development on new forms of governance mechanism, like electronically-based report systems of interchange of performance indicators between the levels, impacts on the national educational policy. How do new forms of governance operate, interact and impact the policy area, the national state and the local level in Norway?