Dialogue on evaluation and innovation in local government

DEMB, CAPP and Progetto Energie meet Centre for Local Governance (CLG) and the Modena Municipality 10/06/2015 – 11/06/2015

Visiting delegationMembers and speakers: Professor Babette Rabie, Senior lecturer in Public Sector Monitoring and Evaluation and Public Policy, is leading the visiting delegation for a total of 8 persons including: 4 scholars from Stellenbosch University’s School of Public Leadership, 2 local government practitioners and 2 senior managers from the Western Cape Provincial Department of Local Government.

Participants from DEMB – UniMOREDepartment Director: Professor Giovanni Solinas; Local coordinators and speakers: Professor Massimo Baldini, Professor Anna Francesca Pattaro, Professor Margherita Russo, Professor Paolo Silvestri; Research Assistants: Alessia Pedrazzoli, Silvia Pergetti, Marco Ranuzzini, Manuel Reverberi, Giulia Tagliazucchi

General objectives: The Centre for Local Governance (CLG) from the School of Public Leadership of Stellenbosch University, South Africa, is a leading institution for the study of public management, local development, policy evaluation, aiming at fostering the design and the implementation of public policies and social services by South African local governments. As one of its core activities, every year CLG offers opportunities for scholars and local practitioners to study local good practices. In 2015, CLG organized a study visit to Italy, in order to carry out an in-depth analysis of: Innovation in local governance. The visiting delegation, coordinated by Professor Nicoletta Stame from the Italian Association of Evaluation and Monitoring, is visiting the Universities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Rome, Milan and Padua. The delegation commences its tour on June, 10th at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The delegation is in Reggio Emilia on June 10th, and is visiting the Department of Economics Marco Biagi in Modena on June, 11th.

Specific objectives for the meeting in Modena

During the meeting with the group from CLG, different topics will be developed and discussed with CAPP members and the research team Energie Sisma Emilia:

  • The main characteristics of Public Sector (PS) in Italy (i.e. different layers of government, entities with specific competences/powers, intergovernmental relationships etc.)
  • The main features of local governments in Italy: small size; large competences in services’ delivery to citizenship and local socio-economic contest with limited resources; local finance and fiscal rules and controls from central government and EU; partnerships for local governance and services delivery (e.g. joint services delivery in local authorities associations or other partnerships between public or private actors; some information on accounting; etc.)
  • Some trends in PS reform and improvement in Italy concern: introduction of (new) managerial instruments, transparency, accountability, performance assessment/evaluation, innovation, use of ITCs, e-governance, p/p partnerships, citizens/stakeholders involvement in local governance.
  • Presentation of the municipality of Modena as good practitioner: delivery of a plurality of services (directly and through contracting, partnerships etc.), citizen participation in local governance, e-governance, adoption of managerial tools, one of municipalities testing of the new accounting reform (financial statements prescribed by the harmonized standards) etc.


June 10th


The visiting delegation meets Professor Mario Minoja from the Department of Communication Sciences and Economics in Reggio Emilia


4.30pm-6.30pm Guided Tour of Modena: Galleria Estense, Illuminated Manuscripts and Maps; Duomo

8.30pm Social Dinner, in Modena, downtown center

June 11th

Location: Seminar room, DEMB, and Sala del Vecchio Consiglio, Municipality of Modena

9–9.15am Welcome | Seminar room, DEMB

9.15am–6.15pm Workshop DEMB and CLG: Dialogue on evaluation and innovation in local government

Following initial presentations, every session of the Workshop includes an introduction and a discussion

Initial presentations

9.15–9.30am Presentation of the Department of Economics Marco Biagi by Giovanni Solinas

9.30–9.45am Presentation of the Centre for Local Governance by Babette Rabie

First session: The main features of local governments in Italy and South Africa | DEMB

9.45–10.45am Introduction by Anna Francesca Pattaro and discussion

10.45–11am Coffee Break

11am–12pm Introduction by the visiting delegation and discussion

Second session: Presentation of Municipality of Modena | Municipality of Modena

12pm–2pm Guided tour and aperitif at Municipality of Modena; Meeting with Tommaso Rotella, Member of Executive Council, on good practices of Municipality of Modena. Introduction by Anna Francesca Pattaro and discussion

Third session: Socio-economic conditions of families in the province of Modena and in Stellenbosch/ Cape Winelands | DEMB

2.30–3.30pm Introduction by Paolo Silvestri and Massimo Baldini and discussion

3.30–4.30pm Introduction by the visiting delegation and discussion

4.30–4.45pm Coffee Break

Forth session: Emergent issues in local development | DEMB

4.45–5.30pm Social economic and sanitary effect of 2012 earthquake in Emilia, Introduction by Margherita Russo and discussion

Topic to be proposed by CLG

5.30pm–6.15pm Specific topic to be defined, Introduction by the visiting delegation and discussion

8.30pm Social dinner


BABETTE RABIE is Senior lecturer and head of the Masters programme at the School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University. She specialises in policy writing and public performance monitoring and policy and programme evaluation. She has presented numerous formal academic and practical executive training programmes in public sector policy writing and monitoring and evaluation, to delegates from all spheres of government, the NGO sector and private sector. As part of her capacity building responsibilities she has reviewed newly proposed organisational and substantial policies from various departments, programmes and units and has suggested changes and improvements to these policies. She has published several policy articles, including a proposed typology of M&E approaches, an exploration of the emerging M&E policy framework in South Africa, and a framework for evidence-based local economic development policy. The core contribution from her doctoral thesis entitled “Outcome and Output Indicators to measure the success of Local Economic Development Strategies” was presented at the at the 2010 Conference of the European Evaluation Society and was recognised as one of the three best papers presented at the conference. She served on the management Board of SAMEA (the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association) for the period 2010 – 2013 and is the immediate past-Chair of the association (2012-2013).

MASSIMO BALDINI Massimo Baldini is Associate Professor of Public economics at the Department of Economics of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. He obtained the Msc in Economics at University College London and the PhD in Economics at the University of Bologna. His main research interests are the economics of the welfare state, the distributive effects of public policies and taxation.

ANNA FRANCESCA PATTARO is Assistant Professor of Public Management at the Department of Economics of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. She obtained the Msc in Business Econom-ics and the PhD at “Ca’ Foscari” University of Venice. She has been Marie Curie Research Fellow for “European Doc-toral School on Knowledge and Management” – EU-DOKMA at Department of Business Studies of Uppsala University (Sweden) and Visiting Scholar at Public Man-agement Institute (Instituut voor de Overheid) of the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven (Belgium). Her main research interests are Local Authorities management, fi-nance and governance; Inter-governmental & inter-organizational (financial) relationships and networks; Lo-cal governance; Management and Information & Accounting systems; Use of ICTs in Public Sector Management, Online (Financial) Transparency, emergency response and impact of e-government.

MARGHERITA RUSSO is Full professor of Economic Policy at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. After her MA in Economics at University of Cambridge (UK) she began her academic activity at the University of Pescara (Italy) in 1985 and then at the University of Modena (since 1989). Her main research interests include: analysis of processes of innovation and competence networks, effects of innovation on the organisation of labour, structure and change in local productive systems, evaluation of innovation policies. In the last decade she has been member of international research projects on innovation, and has directed research projects on the mechanical industry in Italy, on the assessment of policy innovation networks and on the socio economic effects of the 2012 earthquake in Emilia (Italy). Since 2000, Russo is scientific director of Officina Emilia, a project of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia aiming at the regeneration of competences in the field of mechanics (to foster innovation in the local industry) and the increasing of the quality of the education system.

PAOLO SILVESTRI is Professor of Public finance at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), where he teaches Public Finance, Welfare Systems and Introduction to Program Evaluation.He is a Research fellow of CAPP (Centre for the Analysis of Public Policies, Department of Economics, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia); President of the Internal evaluation unit at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and member of others evaluation units (University of Sassari and Parthenope University in Naples).He has been Research student at the London School of Economics and Research fellow at the University College London and member of research committees at the Ministry of Education; at the National Committee for University Evaluation; at the National Institute of Statistics (Istat). He has written on industrial subsidies; finance of higher education systems; budget policies.His recent research has focused on welfare programs; poverty; finance of long term care programs; program evaluations.

CLG – Centre for Local Governance

The Centre for Local Governance (CLG) at the School of Public Leadership of Stellenbosch University facilitates teaching and research, development and renders advisory services in the broad field of good governance, leadership and general management for the purpose of enhancing local government service delivery in South Africa. The work of the Centre will focus primarily on research, community interaction and training in matters relating to local government. Specifically the objectives of the centre is to:

  • Undertake research in the fields of local and provincial government and community development.
  • Develop custom made training programme for local government practitioners.
  • Develop innovative approaches to the challenges faced by local government.
  • Serve as a knowledge hub or repository of data and good practices in local government.
  • Provide professional development opportunities for local government practitioners.

Department of Economics Marco Biagi (DEMB)

The Department of Economics Marco Biagi (DEMB) groups together 74 staff members with six research centres on economics, labour market and industrial relations, social, public budget and fiscal policies, welfare and wellbeing, design and reform of tax systems. The evaluation of policies at both the national and the local level is performed through a wide variety of approaches and methods. Capabilities include building and use micro-macro simulation models for applied analysis. Cross disciplinary research characterizes the six research centres. CAPP’s research aims at analysing the policies that have financial implications for the government budget. Research areas: welfare regimes, inequality and poverty, public policy evaluation, gender discrimination, cultural economics, education policies, micro-simulation and sample surveys, action research. CEFIN promotes research in the fields of economics and law of the markets and financial intermediaries and finance. CIPRAL is focused on the development of training and research/consulting to businesses and public bodies with regard to risk prevention and health protection at the workplace, both locally and nationally. DEAL promotes international research and comparative studies in the area of labour and industrial relations, with a specific focus on the labour market, labour relations, training policies, work organization, health and safety at work. RECent’s research profile is on international macroeconomics, microeconomics, statistics and econometrics, with particular interest in the study of the economic cycle and growth. SOFTech ICT is the Inter-departmental Research Centre in ICT promoted by UNIMORE and participated also by the DBGroup at the Dept. of Engineering. The researchers at DEMB are involved in research projects on innovation and management and networks of enterprises

CAPP – Centre of Analysis of Public Policies

The Centre of Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) was founded in 2000 and counts 24 members, thereof 11 people belong to the Department of Economics Marco Biagi. The CAPP monitors and evaluates social and fiscal policies, with particular focus on the distributional effects; it develops and applies micro-simulation models for applied analysis; it tackles local development issues and designs innovation policies; it fosters the establishment of interdisciplinary working groups and cooperates with similar institutions. The research activities of CAPP lay particular emphasis on welfare policies, with attention to retirement funds and social services. It also investigates on gender issues and policies, poverty and income distribution; with reference to this last point, CAPP developed and implemented the survey ICESmo (Survey on socio-economic conditions of families within the province of Modena). Only recently CAPP started exploring the topic of local development and innovation. CAPP participates in the research project “Energie Sisma Emilia” and carries out the empirical analysis though a structured interview to 400 workers and their families. This interview is developed following the model set by ICESmo survey.

“Energie Sisma Emilia” Research Project

The 2012 earthquake has shaken up collective understanding of a vast territory within the region of Emilia Romagna. It struck the architectural and cultural heritage of 33 towns, the lives of 550,000 people, and the economic activities of an area that alone generates almost 2% of national GDP. It also profoundly impacted the organization of services by the local health system, serving almost 230,000 people. The earthquake-affected areas are characterized by the presence of important industrial districts, such as the biomedical district, as well as agricultural districts, and by internationally-renown good practices of local governance. Private and public buildings, factories, offices and retail shops, historical and cultural heritage sites, have been severely damaged and must be promptly reconstructed to ensure the continuity of socio-economic activities and the quick recovery of local systems. The research project “Energie Sisma Emilia” aims at analysing the fractures that the earthquake brought about, not only in the physical structure of cities, but also in their socio-economic fabric.

The underlying idea is that it set in motion transformations whose consequences are not easy to foresee: different agents, at different levels, taking individual and collective decisions, generate a cascade of changes that interact with the evolution path of the local systems. Indeed, earthquakes pose challenges, but provide unprecedented opportunities: strategic decisions by economic and political agents, newly available financial resources, coordination or lack of coordination among main stakeholders, prompt tackling of the risk of organized crime profiting from the disaster, and so on. A key question to address, in order to understand what opportunities and challenges may emerge after the earthquake, is the relationship between the factors that were shaping the evolution of the local systems before and the factors that have now been triggered.  The project therefore has two main objectives: (1) carrying out an in-depth analysis of socio-economic and health impacts of the earthquake; (2) contributing to the design of informed policies that may improve the effectiveness of the reconstruction process.