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Learning to Learn Through Collaborative Governance—A Conceptual Overview

Format: Papers, RSD12, RSD12 Papers Pre-release, Topic: Learning & Education, Topic: Policy & Governance

Judith Mühlenhoff

Public authorities are increasingly using collaborative governance practices to tackle the complex societal challenges of today and tomorrow. They integrate different types of knowledge and experience to co-create public value and promote change. Engaging in co-design and co-creation processes entails a kind of learning in itself. Particularly at the local level, a growing number of collaborative governance arrangements have been shown to be successful in addressing a wide range of challenges. In these processes, crucial learning happens in situ, in communities and in other social spaces. However, when transferring and spreading these learning effects across levels, i.e. from smaller to larger social systems, from local niches to other government departments, these attempts often fail. So, how do we learn across multi-level collaborative governance?

This conceptual overview examines the literature and frameworks on learning across multiple levels of collaborative governance, with a focus on public authorities and government. Based on the double- and triple-loop learning framework, as well as the concept of social learning, the conceptual overview identifies three principles that help to promote learning across different levels of collaborative governance: Linking formal and informal learning, navigating through landscapes of practice with knowledgeability, and strategically addressing tensions.


KEYWORDS: learning, social learning, policy learning, organisational learning, collaboration, co-design, multi-level governance

RSD TOPICS: Learning & Education, Policy & Governance




Citation Data

Author(s): Judith Mühlenhoff
Year: 2023
Title: Learning to Learn Through Collaborative Governance—A Conceptual Overview
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD12

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