How to Manage Collaborative Policy Innovation Networks? Practical Lessons from a Flemish Coastal Protection Initiative

Vidar Stevens


Collaborative policy innovation networks are increasingly used as vehicles for fostering innovative policy solutions. However, scholars have noted that the extent to which collaborative networks can actually contribute to the development of innovative policy solutions depends on how they are managed. Empirical research on the management of collaborative policy innovation networks has so far been limited. Therefore, a case is reviewed to add new insights to the link between collaboration, management, and policy innovation. Specifically, the management strategies are examined which helped a Flemish administrative network to develop a radical new Coastal Protection Policy Plan. This study shows that a clear procedural groundwork, playful mediating strategies, and a good people knowledge help network managers to facilitate the development of innovative policy solutions in a collaborative network.

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