OECD Multi-level Governance Studies

English
ISSN: 
2414-679X (online)
ISSN: 
2414-6781 (print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/2414679x
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Governments at all levels are increasingly required to do more and better with less. They are searching for solutions to improve the quality of public services, the effectiveness of public investment and the fiscal sustainability of public finances. To meet these challenges, co-ordination arrangements between national, regional and local governments, as well as across jurisdictions, are needed, along with subnational capacity building. Countries are also seeking guidance in making decentralisation and territorial reforms happen. This series is part of a larger body of OECD work on regional development and provides international benchmarks based on statistics, analysis and good practices.

 
Multi-level Governance Reforms

Multi-level Governance Reforms

Overview of OECD Country Experiences You do not have access to this content

English
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    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/0417051e.pdf
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Author(s):
OECD
15 May 2017
Pages:
172
ISBN:
9789264272866 (PDF) ;9789264272644(print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264272866-en

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This report provides an overview of “multi-level governance” reforms in OECD countries. It looks at institutional reforms, which reorganise powers, responsibilities and resources across levels of government, as well as territorial reforms, which address territorial structures, often modifying regional and local government administrative areas. The report describes the rationale for different reforms, their characteristics and outcomes, as well as the obstacles faced by governments in designing and implementing them. The success - and failure - of past reforms provide useful lessons that can be applied to future reform efforts. The report includes five case studies that take an in-depth look at countries that have undertaken considerable multi-level governance reforms: Finland, France, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgements

    This report provides an overview of past, recent and current multi-level governance reforms in OECD countries. Multi-level governance reforms often have diverse objectives which may vary over time depending on economic, social and budgetary contexts. They include three main dimensions: an institutional dimension (re-organisation of powers and responsibilities across levels of government), a territorial dimension (reorganisation of territorial structures) and a public management dimension (re-organisation of subnational governments' administrative and executive processes).

  • Executive summary

    Multi-level governance reforms, involving several layers of government, represent a particularly complex type of public governance reforms. They need to take into consideration and co-ordinate a wide range of stakeholders with various, and sometimes opposite, interests and political views. Such reforms are generally conducted by central governments who need to adopt a systemic and integrative governance approach by considering all levels of government and their interactions. They are often controversial and resisted by government officials at all levels, and may also face resistance from citizens and local business communities.

  • Introduction

    Multi-level governance reforms, involving several layers of government, represent a particularly complex type of public governance reform. They need to take into consideration and co-ordinate a wide range of stakeholders with various, and sometimes opposing interests and political views. Such reforms are generally conducted by central governments who need to adopt a systemic and integrative governance approach by considering all levels of government and their interactions. They are often controversial and resisted by government officials at all levels (including local politicians and civil servants), and may also face resistance from citizens and local business communities.

  • Overview of institutional reforms

    Reviewing and restructuring multi-level governance systems to produce more functional and effective governments are put forward in many OECD countries as an integral part of public sector reform. In fact the difficulties encountered in implementing successful changes in particular for the provision of essential goods and services (like regulation reforms, post-shock policies) reveal the importance of institutional settings and functioning and the need to adapt them to increase effectiveness of public policy.

  • Overview of territorial reforms

    The structure of subnational governments (SNGs) is constantly evolving due to territorial reforms modifying administrative boundaries.

  • Political economy of multi-level governance reforms: Insights for policy

    This overview of past and recent multi-level governance reforms in OECD countries, with a special focus on Finland, France, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand, confirms that public administration reforms are sensitive and difficult to conduct. Policy makers face a variety of challenges, highlighted in the OECD “Making Reform Happen: lessons from OECD countries” framework (OECD 2010a). Firstly, governance reform processes are highly context-dependent and are framed by structural constraints including countries’ specific features (geography, population, economy, historical and cultural context, constitutional arrangements and organisational patterns) and political conjuncture. Secondly, multi-level governance reforms confront policy makers with the problem of “reforming the reformer” since the public administration must indeed design and implement its own reform, often imposing measures which may be contested both at central and local levels.

  • Bibliography
  • Case studies: Finland, France, Japan, Italy, New Zealand
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