Universiteit Leiden

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Mixed Methods in the Research of the Netherlands Court of Audit

  • Diny van Est (The Netherlands Court of Audit)
Monday 12 December 2016
Pieter de la Court Building
Wassenaarseweg 52

About the lecture

The Court of Audit checks that the government spends public funds and conducts policy as intended. The principal 'customers' are the House of Representatives and the government. Typical issues that Audit Offices all over the world often address are related to lack of public transparency of public spending, inefficient public agencies, underperformance of public agencies, and waste. But issues could also include environmental problems or social issues related to inequality, gender or illiteracy that the responsible governmental departments fail to tackle and to take effective measures to mitigate these problems. 

The NCA is more than 200 years old. In order to remain relevant, it invests in our audit methodology and techniques and  recently we started a Performance Research Academy, in which mixed methods are taught. Diny van Est will give examples of newly used methods by NCA in research and will explain  more  about  the various methods (e.g. data-inventory, product journey, case study, subjective atlas, document analysis, ”think sessions”)  the NCA uses to increase the impact of our research in the field of product safety. During the discussion, visitors can share and exchange ideas on the concept and method of “citizen audit”.

About Diny van Est

Diny van Est PhD is research/audit manager at the Netherlands Court of Audit. Her research projects examine public private partnersships in various policy fields: infrastructure, development, quango’s and state enterprises. She is particularly interested in following the money in issues of transparency and governance. She received a PhD in Social Sciences (Anthropology) from Leiden University. 

Both as an academic and as a research manager, she has gained extensive experience of team work and of project management in the course of  national (Coordinator network local audit organisations) and international research projects (Cameroon, Philippines, Rwanda, Hungaria and Serbia). In addition to her experience in research projects, her work now focusses on issues of  curriculum development, innovation including experimentation with the aid of a test circuit and  exploring new audit techniques and analytical methods (such as the use of ‘big data’, as well as information collected ‘on the streets’, inter alia by citizen auditors).

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