Governance of interorganisational and intersectoral collaboration: the Care Living Lab experience

Lukas Versteele, Lien Pots, Marcus Leys

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract (Journal)


Background In 2012, the policy program Care Living Labs Flanders (CLLF) was launched to stimulate innovation in elderly care. Six living labs (platforms) were introduced as a methodology to enhance innovative care and support grounded in a logic of open innovation. Collaboration between autonomous organizations from a wide range of sectors is promoted as a means to develop innovations in elderly care. One of the issues in health and social care systems innovation is how this collaboration can be effective. Appropriate governance to handle the diversity of partners is documented to be important for the overall success of a network.
Aims: This research focuses on the governance of living labs and aims to identify facilitating and hampering -factors with regard to implementing multisectorial collaboration.
Methods The research aligns with realist evaluation and studies the implementation of network governance in real life settings. Data were collected and analysed from focus groups with formal strategic and operational network partners of six platforms in Flanders, added with a lot of informal collection of knowledge on network development.
Results The platforms are going through a learning process in developing adapted governance of an interorganisational network for multisectiorial collaboration: The learning is about mutually adapting expectations of partners, building mutual trust, bridging cultural differences, and avoid conflicts between partners. This learning process is time consuming. Many platforms made changes in the governance structure, and in decision making practices. Interestingly, most of the changes are adaptation strategies to operational issues, which compromise the development of strategic management and vision on the mission and working practices.
Conclusions This is typical for networks which are initially project-based. Network partners who receive most funding are expected to take on most responsibilities in governance of the network. Coordinators are the only partners who are payed to perform in the network and are therefore seen as the crucial link in governing the network. They experience tension between their role as coordinator and representative of their parent organization.IONs should pay more attention to clearly define tasks and roles of coordinators and the different governing bodies. In this research, we outlined facilitating and hampering factors that can take into account when evolving network governance in (elderly) care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-488
Number of pages1
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016
EventEuropean Public Health Conference - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 10 Nov 201612 Nov 2016


  • living labs
  • governance
  • intersectorial collaboration


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  • European Public Health Conference

    Lukas Versteele (Participant)
    8 Nov 201612 Nov 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

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