Multi-level Governance, Public Investment and Subnational Finance

Multi-level Governance Country/Region Reviews




We partner with national and subnational authorities, to analyse the challenges and obstacles that they face in multi-level governance, public investment for regional development, and subnational public finance. We provide tailored and concrete policy recommendations to policy-makers, mobilising the experiences of OECD countries and beyond. 


Regional Development and Decentralisation in Ukraine: Advances and Success Factors
March 2021-September 2022

Ukraine is in the process of implementing ambitious decentralisation reforms and strengthening local self-governance. This project aims to improve the understanding by Ukrainian policy-makers of the success factors leading to effective decentralisation at the local level, and promote regional development more broadly. It will identify the factors explaining the improved performance of selected amalgamated communities that are considered to be “leading” in terms of service delivery, administrative capacity, and investment practices. Likewise, Ukraine’s regional development performance since 2018 will be assessed, as well as improvements and challenges to funding mechanisms for local investment.

This project builds on the findings and recommendations issued by the OECD in its 2014 Territorial Review of Ukraine and 2018 Maintaining the Momentum of Decentralisation in Ukraine report.

#local development #decentralisation #amalgamated communities #regional development #investment capacities

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Decentralisation and Regionalisation in Bulgaria: Towards Balanced Regional Development
February 23, 2021

Disparities exist across planning regions, districts, and municipalities in Bulgaria. Meanwhile, Bulgaria remains centralised, posing challenges on municipal governance. This study aims to help Bulgaria move towards a place-based and integrated approach for regional policy, improve municipal decentralisation and administration, as well as reform regional governance - through an incremental and yet comprehensive approach. It proposes 2 scenarios to strengthen the planning regions in Bulgaria as regional development public bodies:

  • Scenario 1: a minimal one consisting of providing planning regions with a legal personality.
  • Scenario 2: transforming planning regions into regional associations of municipalities or cooperative regions.

#regional disparities  #decentralisaion  #regional reform  #inter-municipal cooperation  

The Future of Regional Development and Public Investment in Wales, United Kingdom
September 17, 2020

The Welsh Government has set an ambitious and innovative path for regional development and public investment. It focuses on generating growth and increasing productivity, as well as on reducing territorial
disparities and ensuring the well-being of citizens, now and in the future. This report offers insight into how the Welsh Government and Welsh local authorities can increase their fiscal and public investment capacity, and strengthen their governance practices. It stresses that the Welsh Government’s ability to coordinate regional development policy and associated public investment is a determining factor in meeting growth and well-being objectives. To support more effective public investment, the Welsh Government and local authorities could refine their approach and take stronger action in three areas:

  1. Effective policy design and coordination.
  2. Sound and appropriate fiscal and investment frameworks.
  3. Capacity-building for policy implementation and learning by and at all levels of government.

#fiscal devolution  #territorial equalisation  #integrated strategic planning   #investment capacities  #coordination

Decentralisation and Regionalisation in Portugal: What Reform Scenarios?
February 17, 2020

Portuguese municipalities, parishes (freguesias) and intermunicipal co-operative units have much less spending and revenue powers than most of their peers in other EU countries. Meanwhile, Portugal has chosen not to establish a regional government level, which is currently in use by many other EU countries with similar population size. Taking into account the demographic challenges faced by Portugal in the coming decades and the growing regional differences in service delivery potential and economic sustainability that will come with it, the need for structural reforms in this area should be a priority for the country. Moreover, there seems to be unused potential in the current implementation of decentralisation. This study presents 3 approaches for regionalisation in Portugal, in the broader decentralisation context.

  1. Decentralisation and strengthened deconcentration without empowerment of the regional level.
  2. Decentralisation without full regionalisation by reinforced municipal and intermunicipal levels.
  3. Decentralisation through complementary regionalisation and inter-municipal co-operation reforms.

#decentralisation  #regionalisation  #fiscal capacity  #municipal tax  #inter-municipal cooperation 

Maintaining the Momentum of Decentralisation in Ukraine
June 15, 2018

With territorial disparities on the rise, it is becoming increasingly clear that Ukraine needs to continue modernising its approach to regional development policy. There is room to extract further benefits from agglomeration economies, by focusing efforts on functional urban areas (FUAs) and horizontal co-operation across administrative boundaries. Accurate territorial indicators, particularly population statistics and commuting flows, are essential to help Ukraine’s policy makers adapt infrastructure and spatial planning to an ageing and declining population. Increasing the efficiency of labour markets, upgrading transportation infrastructure and improving transparency can also help further unlock regional performance.

#regional disparities  #functional urban areas  #amalgamation  #citizen engagement  #territorial reform

Making Decentralisation Work in Chile: Towards Stronger Municipalities
September 19, 2017

Chile has opted for the mix of two models: an economic model that trusts the market’s ability to distribute resources and tends to limit public intervention, and a "centralist model" of political-administrative structure. This model has favoured social and economic concentration in Santiago and mining regions, reinforcing inter-regional and local disparities across the national territory. A new model is needed to maximise growth and productivity across the territory while making them more balanced and inclusive.  Moving towards such an approach in Chile requires establishing a governance structure capable of context-sensitive interventions and with reinforced role of subnational governments.

#regional disparities  #fiscal decentralisation  #administrative decentralisation  #human resource management  #municipal public service delivery

Making the Most of Public Investment in Colombia: Working Effectively across Levels of Government

October 13, 2016

Challenges for Colombia to sustain public investment lie essentially on the governance framework. Efforts to further support financing should be accompanied by a more systemic approach to the governance of public investment. Colombia needs to reduce the overall fragmentation of the system. Supporting more strategic investment requires greater links between planning and budgeting, incentives to support horizontal cooperation across jurisdictions, in particular to strengthen functional urban areas, relatively small in Colombia. Overall, subnational governments have the appropriate mandates and tools, but the low level of capacities in more than two thirds of Colombian jurisdictions is probably the most important bottleneck for effective public investment.

#capacities  #investment planning  #functional urban areas  #integrated investment  #horizontal cooperation

Making the Most of Public Investment in the Eastern Slovak Republic
April 01, 2016

In the Slovak Republic, governance bottlenecks stand in the way for public investment to improve regional conditions and attract private funding. The main obstacles are linked to the top-down orientation of public investment, high local fragmentation, limited private sector engagement, as well as the weak subnational capacities and complex regulatory framework in designing and implementing investment strategies that correspond to local needs. Drawing on a detailed set of indicators, the study provides concrete recommendations to address these challenges.

#public investment  #subnational public-private partnerships  #bottom-up approach  #investment capacities


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