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HAN’s Applied Research Centre for Public Affairs (ARCPA) is a relative young applied research centre, established in 2012, and unique within HAN because of its interdisciplinary character. It had a successful audit in 2014 performed by an external agency.

Its mission is to enhance societal value by contributing to the quality of governance and stimulating the potential to innovate in the public service domain. Through its research programs ARCPA aims to intensify its relationship with different study programs, contribute to the development of curricula and stimulate transfer of knowledge between students, teaching staff and practice.

ARCPA has accumulated knowledge and expertise within the research programs ‘innovation’, ‘professionalization’ and ‘good governance‘.

In the first research program the focus is on the necessity of re-framing existing norms and values of professional practice with regard to innovations. The idea is that innovations cannot be fully made use of, if professionals stick to their routines.

The second research program focuses on changes that occur in the field of social and healthcare services. These changes affect the position of professionals and the character of their professions. Sometimes these changes evoke resistance, as they do not match with the stereotypes that often exist around professions. It is important to gain knowledge of these professional images, as policy and behaviour might be more influenced by these images than by reality. Previous projects in these research programs have shown that the changing professional image of professionals and new requirements in the public service sector is a hot topic among both public service organisations and teaching staff/curricula developers.

Finally, in the third research program the focus is on good governance.

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