Multi-level Governance, Public Investment and Subnational Finance

We help governments design adaptive multi-level governance systems and innovative finance tools, foster partnerships, and ensure more effective public investment outcomes, including to meet climate objectives in regions and cities.

Did you know?

OECD subnational governments are responsible for 57% of total public investment and 40% of total public expenditure.

Areas of Work

Project Highlights

Making Decentralisation Work: A Handbook for Policy-makers

The OECD identifies 10 guidelines for making decentralisation work. In addition, the report proposes concrete tools for policy-makers, including detailed sets of recommendations, checklists, pitfalls to avoid and examples of good practices in unitary and federal countries.

Report | Policy highlights | Policy highlights (Italian)

Working Paper: Asymmetric Decentralisation

OECD Recommendation on Effective Public Investment across Levels of Government

The outcomes of public investment largely depend on how it is managed. The OECD developed the Recommendation with 12 Principles for Action to support all levels of governments deliver public investment for regional development. To date, 39 countries have adhered to this Recommendation. The OECD regularly monitors how countries are implementing these Principles.

Recommendation | Online Toolkit Monitoring Report | Implementation brochure

Rethinking Regional Development Policy-making

This report identifies cross-cutting lessons to help policy-makers manage common trade-offs when designing public expenditure and investment programmes for the development of regions and cities. It brings together frontier economic theory and country practices and creating and implementing performance frameworks, financial instruments, policy conditionalities, contractual arrangements and behavioural insights for regional policy.

Access the report

Key publications

Read more on OECD iLibrary



Report launch: Decentralisation and Regionalisation in Bulgaria

23 February, 2021 (Virtual)

On 23 February 2021, the report Decentralisation and Regionalisation in Bulgaria: Towards Balanced Regional Development was successfully launched by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works of Bulgaria and the OECD, with the participation of a broad range of stakeholders including representatives from the national, regional and local authorities, private actors, NGOs, and academia. This Multi-level Governance Study considers the avenues Bulgarian national and subnational authorities could take to ensure more place-based regional development and governance. 

Report | Presentation

First Pilot Meeting on Multi-level Governance and Public Investment for Regional Development

17 November, 2020 (Virtual)

This Pilot Meeting gathered representatives and experts from 30 countries and international organisations to discuss how multi-level governance instruments or reforms can support recovery across levels of government and help generate more resilient territorial development post-COVID-19. 

Access the summary and presentations of the meeting

Partnerships with other organisations

OECD and European Committee of the Regions (CoR)
Joint Survey: The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Regional and Local Governments 

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the OECD conducted a survey in June/July 2020: The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on regional and local governments: governance, finance and recovery plans, carried out among representatives of subnational governments of the European Union. Answers were received from 300 subnational government respondents representing 24 countries. 

Access the main findings from the survey

OECD and United Cities and Local Government (UCLG)
The World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment (SNG-WOFI) Initiative

SNG-WOFI was launched in November 2017, as a joint endeavour of the OECD and UCLG. This initiative is the world’s leading source of internationally comparable data and analysis on subnational government structure and finance, covering over 120 countries and territories.

Access the SNG-WOFI website