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International

Northedge was founded in 1995 as a platform for the activities of Dr. Peter Noordhoek. It brings together his many activities in the public arena. Throughout the years many have partnered with him in order to turn ideas into reality. In this page an overview is given of some of the activities that might interest the visitor to this website. It is also a source page for articles and blogs written on the subject of international developments in the field of quality, associations policy and politics. Most, but not all, are in English.

Associations

Associations are the cartilage of society, the easy-to-miss-but-oh-so-important entities that connect people to a common goal and to each other. In a digital age they can come across as outdated, but in fact they are as relevant as ever. The remarkable fact is, that we know far less about associations than we know about businesses and government institutions. With partners, Northedge is now one of the leaders in the research into both quantitative and qualitative aspects of association life. A book in 2011, a PhD study and another book, accompanied by articles provide a vision on the nature and future of associations.

The research is partly based on extensive work in the design and implementation of peer based audits within associations and on the crucial relation between internal quality efforts and what external oversight bodies expect in terms of governance and compliance efforts.

Peter Noordhoek is one of the founders and board members of both the Dutch National Association (DNA) and the association for oversight and inspectorate professionals (VIDE).
In articles (some Dutch language) you can find reports on international developments in the world of associations. Part of this concerns the theme of ‘business diplomacy’: the influence businesses and their associations have on nation states and international actors.

Quality

For the past 25 years Northedge has been at the forefront of quality initiatives in the public domain and within associations. Not by pushing a single method or approach, but by providing oversight, knowing in depth the pro and cons of interventions, and by being very good trainers or advisors to auditors, quality managers and leaders. Do not expect checklists or too simple compliance efforts. In the end, it should not be about regulation as such. It should be about what your organization or sector needs, given your context and challenges.

Some aspects of quality that has been given much thought and have led to many actions and projects:

Quality of service delivery

FFrom citizen’s charters to integral concepts of service delivery, Northedge has led with conceptual breakthroughs. At present we work with partners to deal with specific issues like privacy (GDPR) and 30risk assessment through High Reliable Organizing (HRO).

Quality of organisation

There are many ways to strengthen the quality of organization. In practice, however, too often it comes down to formulating tougher standards and a top-down way of implementing changes. That is short termism at best. Learning from our experiences in the public domain and with associations, we for example use the integral approach as follows from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) or use an approach that is called ‘the politics of quality’. This means we look not just at the technical or systematic aspects of an approach, but also at how support and majorities can be gotten for an approach.

Peter Noordhoek has been involved in many British and European quality efforts. He translated quality initiatives from the British Cabinet Office to The Netherlands, was a member of several European Associations in the field of quality. Led a second look at the realities of New Public management, together with Prof. R. Saner of Switzerland and was twice selected as Evaluator for the European Public Sector Award. At present

Democracy, development and politics

Though not activities that are being done under the name and responsibility of Northedge, it might be useful to be aware of activities that its founder, Peter Noordhoek, is doing in the field of democracy, development and politics. There are several arenas, which sometimes overlap.

Europe

For many years there are activities at the European level. Some highlights:
- ‘Political auditor’, on behalf of the General Assembly of the Martens Centre responsible for the audit of the Centre. The Martens Centre for European Studies is the think tank and platform of the European Peoples Party (EPP)
- occasional work as member of the delegation representing the Dutch Christian democratic party, the CDA, within the EPP.
- resolutions and amendments as drafted or supported in the role of delegation leader of CDA South-Holland to the national congress of the CDA.
- informal activities on European and international themes for CDA and sister parties. Especially as trainer in (campaign) skills and democratization efforts in Central and Eastern Europe and North Africa.

United Kingdom

The idea for the name Northedge came after assignments from the Cabinet Office to help with the implementation of Citizen’s Charters and Charter Marks. In the end Northedge would become more of a Dutch enterprise. The contacts with the British government remained, leading to other quality initiatives, including the organization of several benchmarking tours of Dutch civil servants to projects in the UK. A new Conservative government came with the idea of the ‘Big Society’. Again, this was brought in The Netherlands. By then, Peter Noordhoek was contact person for the CDA to this party and a regular columnist on ConservativeHome, a leading opinion making website. However, Brexit came between this. In regular blogs the process of Brexit was followed, with disappointing results.

United States

Who is not fascinated by the United States? For better or worse, it is an example to us. Over the years, articles and blogs have been published by Northedge about presidential elections, fools and geniuses, the stock market and algorithms (or the combination of both), and so much more.

Northedge

@PeterNoordhoek
dpn@northedge.nl
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