OECD Regional Development Working Papers

2073-7009 (en ligne)
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Working papers from the Regional Development Policy Division of the OECD cover a full range of topics including regional statistics and analysis, urban governance and economics, rural governance and economics, and multi-level governance. Depending on the programme of work, the papers can cover specific topics such as regional innovation and networks, the determinants of regional growth or fiscal consolidation at the sub-national level.

Governance of Public Policies in Decentralised Contexts

The Multi-level Approach You or your institution have access to this content

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Claire Charbit1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

19 jui 2011
Bibliographic information
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The ability of sub national governments to “better spend”, by identifying relevant paths for territorial competitiveness and effective delivery of public services, is largely enshrined in their institutional background. Rather than isolated actors, sub national authorities and central governments are “mutually dependent”. In this context, and for a majority of OECD member and non-member countries, the key underlying question is not whether to “decentralise or not” or even opt for a specific decentralisation model, but to look at ways to improve capacity and coordination among public stakeholders at different levels of government to increase efficiency, equity and sustainability of public spending. This question of “multi level governance” is therefore accurate, whatever the constitutional framework of countries, federal or unitary. This paper provides: first, a methodology to diagnose multi level governance challenges; and, second, examples of tools used by OECD countries to bridge co-ordination and capacity “gaps”. This approach has been inspired by OECD regional development policy work, as regional development policy relies both on the diversity of territorial situations and the coherence of regional strategies at the national level. In practice, it has already been tested in a variety of public policies such as public investment, water, and innovation, which all contributed to enrich it with concrete sectoral evidence and experience.
regional development, intergovernmental relationships, multi-level governance, decentralisation, sub-national government, local and state governments
Classification JEL:
  • H1: Public Economics / Structure and Scope of Government
  • H5: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
  • H6: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
  • H7: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
  • R1: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / General Regional Economics
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