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Research 'Residents perspective in the reinforcement’

The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and the National Coordinator Groningen (NCG) want to increase their participation in the reinforcement operation. BZK has commissioned the Knowledge Platform to provide advice on the topic of resident participation. In order to provide well-supported advice, the Knowledge Platform has carried out a short-term research project on behalf of the Ministry of BZK.


BZK and the Knowledge Platform together formulated the objective of the assignment: to map out how the residents' perspective is already involved in the reinforcement and how this can be improved. The Knowledge Platform established the research design, the research questions, and the chosen viewpoints independently of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The results (findings, analyses, and recommendations) were also produced independently.


We have divided the assignment into three parts: (1) an exploration of wishes and needs among influential actors; (2) an inventory of existing methods; (3) an Expertise Lab for developing sound advice.

Timeline and method

In June 2021, we had the first conversations as part of the exploration and stocktaking. At the beginning of September 2021, we made an interim report based on our first impressions, which we shared with BZK and the Expertise Lab. The second round of conversations followed in September and October 2021. In total, we interviewed 28 people for the exploration and stocktaking.


The ten experts of the Expertise Lab met for the first time in July 2021. The Expertise Lab met a total of three times: once online and twice in the De Leeuw village hall in Garmerwolde. In the meantime, several meetings between the experts took place. This led to a final report with a number of conclusions and recommendations for a follow-up.


On November 12, we shared a draft version of our final report with the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and we informed the conversation partners from the exploration and inventory about our important findings and recommendations. On December 14, we sent the final report to the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. On March 7, the State Secretary presented the report to the House of Representatives. The report was discussed in the House of Representatives on March 22.


Final report ‘Residents perspective in the reinforcement’

The final report presented to the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations consists of several parts. You can download the entire report below. The different parts of the report are also available separately. Here we briefly explain which pieces are involved.

Advice Knowledge Platform: improving the participation of residents in the gas extraction area

Our advice was based on an analysis of conversations. First, we analyzed the state of affairs, the main obstacles and the wishes and needs of the various actors. Based on our analysis, we formulated a number of recommendations: how could improvements be made with regard to resident participation in the reinforcement task?



For the exploration, the Knowledge Platform (partly together with the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations) had conversations with authorities and actors that influence decision-making about and implementation of resident participation. We spoke to actors at different levels of government (central government, province, and municipalities) and at various bodies and social organizations. During the conversations, their view on participation and the obstacles, wishes, and needs that they saw with regard to participation in the reinforcement task were discussed, among other things.



The inventory provides an overview of existing forms of participation in the region on the basis of available literature, documentation, and discussions with the professionals involved. The inventory consists first of all of an overview of batches, pilots, programs and residents' initiatives (see appendix 1). In addition, we made a report of our impressions from conversations we had with professionals, the implementation of the reinforcement operation, and more. Finally, we elaborated on a few examples.



The Expertise Lab consists of a diverse group of experts, each with a different perspective on the question and subject. The group is a mix of insiders and outsiders, contributes scientific, practical, and policy-related knowledge, and includes expertise on participation in general and the reinforcement task and future prospects in Groningen in particular. The Expertise Lab analyzed the current state of affairs in the participation case and developed a vision of where improvements can be made.


1. Table Overview of batches, pilots, programs, and residents' initiatives

As part of the inventory, we made an overview of the state of affairs with regard to resident participation in the reinforcement. The list has been drawn up on the basis of available literature and (online) documentation on projects, pilots, and initiatives.


2. Analysis framework

An analysis framework has been created based on the three pillars of this project (inventory, exploration, and the first dialogues with ExpertiseLab). The aim is to create an overview and insight by integrating and interpreting the various elements.


3. Reading list

The (scientific) literature on involving the residents' perspective in the formulation and implementation of policy is very diverse. During our conversations with professionals, we were often told that there is a lot of documentation in the field of improving participation already. With this reading list, sorted into different themes, we want to give the reader an insight into the valuable insights that are already available.


Do you have input for us or do you want to know more about this project? Feel free to contact us.

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