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Stakeholder Consultation in the Design of a Sustainability Assessment Framework for Flanders, Belgium

Boekbijdrage - Boekhoofdstuk Conferentiebijdrage

Stakeholder Consultation for Designing a Sustainability Assessment Framework in Flanders, Belgium

Sustainability assessment is a comparatively recent instrument fostering governance for sustainable development. As an ex ante evaluation process, it aims to improve the quality of decision-making and to facilitate a much-needed transition towards sustainability.
In Flanders, the institutionalisation of sustainable development has entered public debate. A range of evolutions such as the adoption of regulatory impact analysis, the 2006 regional strategy for sustainable development and the introduction of sustainability assessment systems both at European and at federal Belgian level, have boosted interest in the development of a customised Flemish sustainability assessment framework. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is taking on that challenge. After having developed an ideal-typical assessment process based on the international state of the art, on a detailed review of scientific literature and on expert interviews, the next phase of the project consists of a targeted stakeholder consultation, which will be presented here.
The preliminary sustainability assessment framework was submitted to a panel of relevant stakeholders in order to reach a consensus on the design and use of sustainability assessment in Flanders. Concise survey forms were sent to representatives of the four chosen stakeholder categories. These categories include 1. the Flemish Administration; 2. Flemish experts in ex ante assessment; 3. political representatives; and 4. representatives from civil society. Subsequently, three stakeholders from each category were invited for an in-depth interview. The results of the consultation were subsequently analysed and discussed during a meeting of the project's scientific support committee.
On the basis of this consultation and the preparatory research, a sustainability assessment framework will be proposed. In a next phase, this framework will be tested on a case-study. Assuming a continued commitment from the policy-makers, sustainability assessment may become a key element of governance for sustainability in Flanders.
Boek: 15th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, Utrecht
Jaar van publicatie:2009
Trefwoorden:Flanders, sustainability assessment, stakeholder consultation