Skip to content

Early research programme Better Together (TNO 2024-2027)

Citizens are crucial to realizing social transitions in the areas of health, climate, energy and sustainability. At the moment, citizens are only involved and included to a limited extent. Partly because of this, citizens have less and less confidence in the government. Actions or initiatives by citizen collectives,  are often not suitable for scaling up or miss sustainable cooperation. The lack of proper empowerment and facilitation of citizen collectives is an important reason. This means that there is a socially urgent problem. The transitions we are facing must be acted upon at a local level, with municipalities and their residents. It is exactly here where we see an opportunity for acceleration and breakthroughs.

Project goals
Within the project we will develop evidence-based and practice-oriented methods and instruments in order to accelerate and scale up social transitions. We focus on strengthening citizen collectives at neighborhood and district level, in order to achieve trust, social cohesion and support for policy and decision-making. An innovative element in the approach is to systematically learn what works and what does not work in involving citizens and in working together on transition goals, and using that knowledge to scale up but also to give it back directly to citizens. We focus on:

  • Better organization and empowerment – through empowerment, citizens gain agency
  • Better cooperation between policymakers, companies and citizens
  • This accelerates social transitions

Plan of approach
The project consists of four research lines:

  1. Develop methods for community building and development.
  2. Developing instruments for participatory governance and policy development – the Dialogue Dashboard.
  3. Establish a method to facilitate collective learning based on data-driven monitoring and evaluation.
  4. Linked to learning across collectives and domains to scale up efficiently.

Further information: TNO annual plan 2024 Early Research Programme (p48-49)