Improving the governance effectiveness of river basin units (RBUs) is often the focus of academic studies. However, the literature on measuring the influencing factors of the river basin governance effectiveness in urban areas is relatively scarce. Therefore, this study employed the theory of governance across boundaries and adopted an exploratory research approach to discover influencing factors, namely Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and SPSS questionnaire survey. Resulting from the analysis of in-depth interviews, the top three attention-getting influencing factors in descending order are organizational structure, overall plan, and landscape recreation. In comparison, resulting from the quantitative analysis of the AHP questionnaire, the top three attention-getting influencing factors in descending order are flood protection, overall plan, and ecological conservation. These two findings are significantly different. This study's findings also indicate that the public's satisfaction towards the individual governance effectiveness reaches a score of 80.06. The analysis results provide a feedback to RBUs, which can be a policy for revising the plan–do–check–act (PDCA) cycle in order to improve the governance effectiveness.

  • Examines policy considerations from the perspective of the effectiveness of mutual interdependence governance.

  • AHP examines policies to reconcile the heterogeneity between RBUs and NRBUs.

  • Through the demonstration of multivariable linear equations, it can provide a reference for the feedback of the policy PDCA cycle.

  • Effectively shorten the information gap between supply and demand for executive decision-making.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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