Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED)

1990-1097 (online)
1990-1100 (print)
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A series of reports from OECD’s Local Economic and Employment Development Programme (LEED). The LEED Programme identifies analyses and disseminates innovative ideas for local development, governance and the social economy. Governments from OECD member and non-member economies look to LEED and work through it to generate innovative guidance on policies to support employment creation and economic development through locally based initiatives. See also OECD Reviews of Local Job Creation under Related Reading.

Also available in French
Breaking Out of Policy Silos

Breaking Out of Policy Silos

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Francesca Froy, Sylvain Giguère
29 Oct 2010
9789264094987 (PDF) ;9789264056800(print)

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In the context of the economic recovery and public budget cuts, policy silos and fragmented short-term policy interventions have become luxuries that our economies can no longer afford. Government intervenes in a myriad of ways at the local level, and rarely are these interventions co-ordinated effectively. Most of us are familiar with policy "silos". Such divisions are often taken for granted, blamed on historical working relationships ("it has always been like that") and organisational cultures ("they don’t work like we do").  However these divisions come at a cost. The issues and challenges facing local communities are often complex, and require a holistic approach to be resolved. This book provides concrete advice to policy makers at both national and local levels on how to better align policies, reduce duplication and waste, and "do more with less". It is based on comparative analysis of 11 countries in Australisia, Europe and North America and combines rankings on where countries stand in terms of the integration of employment, skills and economic development policies, with concrete examples of successful policy integration on the ground.

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  • Preface and Acknowledgements
    In the context of the recent economic downturn, carefully balanced strategies are needed so that agencies use their increasingly limited resources to help meet shared economic priorities at the local level and set local economies back on the track to economic growth. National government policies can make a great deal of difference in building economically viable, sustainable communities, but not if policies are fragmented, services duplicated and agencies do not communicate with each other on what they are trying to achieve. As government spending is reduced to pay off deficits, a drive is needed to make public policy more effective through reducing duplication at the local level and better aligning activities. Many lessons exist from different OECD countries on how to make local governance more effective, now is the time to put these into practice.
  • Executive summary
    Government intervenes in a myriad of ways at the local level, and rarely are these interventions co-ordinated effectively. Most of us are familiar with the policy "silos" which exist at the local level – employment offices, economic development agencies and local training institutions working separately from each other, following different policy objectives and working to different time scales. Such divisions are often taken for granted, blamed on historical working relationships ("it has always been like that") and organisational cultures ("they don’t work like we do"). However, these divisions come at a cost. The issues and challenges facing local communities are often complex and require a holistic approach to be resolved.
  • Better integrating policies at the local level
    This part provides a synthesis of the findings and international policy recommendations for how to better integrate policies at the local level. It explores the implementation of employment, economic development and skills policy in 11 countries to identify common obstacles to policy integration, and approaches which have led to policy alignment. Each participating country and region has a different institutional framework, different economic strengths and weaknesses, and a different culture regarding collaboration and partnership working. However, the study has found that common factors are at play for all 11 and the opportunity for learning through sharing experiences is great.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Local policy making: Country synopses

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    • Bulgaria
      The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) leads employment policy in Bulgaria, shaped by the National Employment Strategy 2004-2010. National Employment Action Plans (NEAPs) are the main instruments for delivering employment policy, which is implemented by the National Employment Agency. The Ministry of Education and Science (MES) is responsible for education policy and, in conjunction with the MLSP, is tasked with policy formulation and delivery in vocational education and training (VET), in tandem with regional counterparts.
    • Canada
      The overarching national government direction for improving the quality of life for Canadians by building a stronger economy is found in Advantage Canada. Each province and territory also plays a role in policy development and delivery in these policy areas, with municipal government playing a more limited role. In most cases the federal government transfers funds for programmes, with the role of provinces and territories being to deliver these programmes while ensuring they adhere to broad national outcomes.
    • Croatia
      The principle ministry for structural policy and regional development in Croatia is the Ministry of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development (MMTPR). The MMTPR is also responsible for co-ordinating interministerial working groups dealing with regional development and activities related to harmonisation with EU regional policy. The Ministry of Science, Education and Sport (MSES) is responsible for defining the legal framework for all levels of education in Croatia. The Ministry of the Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship (MINGORP) has responsibility for vocational education and training (VET). The Croatian Employment Service (CES) is the national employment service, a mainly centralised organisation with some regional co-ordinating bodies.
    • Denmark
      Denmark has a unique "flexicurity model" in which low barriers in hiring and firing (flexibility) is the foundation of the model and is supplemented by a high level of compensation (security) to the unemployed. This model constitutes a central element in the Danish welfare state model and has a strong influence on the design of employment, skills and economic development in the country.
    • Greece
      The state in Greece remains relatively centralised. The Ministry of Employment oversees employment policy through the Organisation for Manpower Development (OAED), the Greek public employment service.
    • Italy
      Italy has a relatively decentralised governance system characterised by a high level of regional flexibility. At the national level, the Ministry of Labour takes the lead on employment and vocational training policy, supported by two national agencies: Italia Lavoro for labour market and employment, and ISFOL, the Institute for Workers Vocational Training for VET. The Ministry of Development is in charge of (mainly industrial) regional development policies, while the Department for Development co-ordinates and evaluates development policy.
    • New Zealand
      The institutional landscape has changed quite considerably in New Zealand over recent decades. Between 1984 and 1994 the New Zealand government introduced a programme of wide-ranging reforms which transformed the economy by providing macroeconomic stability and a competitive market policy framework.
    • Poland
      A series of reforms introduced in the 1990s decentralised responsibility for policy design and implementation in Poland and created a relatively unique institutional framework; the country was divided into 16 administrative regions, each equipped with regional government, and 380 counties. As a result national level influence was limited and regional and local autonomy was strengthened.
    • Portugal
      Portugal maintains a centralised governance structure. Despite the country being divided into five regions on the mainland and two autonomous island regions, the mainland regions were created for administrative processes only and do not have an elected body or local government status. The regions are used mainly for planning purposes in the context of European Structural funds and are managed by Commissions for Regional Co-operation and Development (CCDR).
    • Romania
      The main actors in the field of employment policy in Romania are the Ministry of Labour, which defines policies and strategies for passive and active employment measures, the National Employment Agency (ANOFM), the main implementing body for policies and programmes, and the County Employment Agencies (AJOFM), who are in charge of implementing employment measures. Local authorities do not have formal responsibilities in this area.
    • United States
      Governance structures in the United States are relatively decentralised, particularly in relation to vocational education and training (VET) and economic development.
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  • About the authors
    Francesca Froy is a senior policy analyst at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), working within the Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme in Paris. She coordinates the work of the programme on employment, skills and local governance and has developed a stream of work on immigration and ethnic minority youth. She is the co-editor of the OECD publications From Immigration to Integration: Local Solutions to a Global Challenge, Designing Local Skills Strategies and Flexible Policy for More and Better Jobs. Prior to joining LEED, she was involved in evaluating European projects and helped to manage the DG Employment and Social Affairs initiative IDELE (identification and dissemination of local employment development). A British national, she has worked for the Public Employment Service and for a local municipality in the United Kingdom, where she led a multi-sector partnership to create employment and skills opportunities within social housing. She has a BSc in Anthropology from University College London and an MA in cultural theory from the University of Reading.
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