In response to the growing discrepancy between the steadily rising steering ambitions and the increasing fragmentation of social and political life, governance networks are mushrooming. Governance through the formation of networks composed of public and private actors might help solve wicked problems and enhance democratic participation in public policy-making, but it may also create conflicts and deadlocks and make public governance less transparent and accountable. In order to ensure that governance networks contribute to an effective and democratic governing of society, careful metagovernance by politicians, public managers and other relevant actors is necessary. In this paper, we discuss how to assess the effective performance and democratic quality of governance networks. We also describe how different metagovernance tools can be used in the pursuit of effective and democratic network governance. Finally, we argue that public metagovernors must develop their strategic and collaborative competences in order to become able to metagovern governance networks.