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Opportunities for All

A Framework for Policy Action on Inclusive Growth

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Globalisation, digitalisation, demographics and climate change are transforming our economies and our societies. They provide new opportunities for growth but at the same time increase the risk of deeper inequalities, in a context where these are already high. Reducing inequalities by making growth beneficial for all is the best way to build strong foundations for future prosperity and to give everyone the opportunity to contribute and succeed. To make this happen, equality needs to be considered from the start when governments design growth policies, rather than tackled afterwards through redistribution. Such an ex ante approach can help people, firms and regions fulfil their potential and drive growth, both locally and globally. By better aligning domestic and international policies, opportunities for growth can be used more effectively to provide higher standards for protection of social, environmental and human rights around the world. The OECD has developed a Framework for Policy Action on Inclusive Growth to help governments to improve the prospects of those currently being left behind. Using a dashboard of indicators, the framework presents key policy recommendations to sustain and more equitably share the gains of economic growth by investing in people and places that have been left behind, supporting business dynamism and inclusive labour markets, and building efficient and responsive governments.

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Build efficient and responsive governments

This chapter puts forward two crucial ideas: the need for a whole-of-the-government coordination and integration of inclusive growth actions, across multiple levels of government; and to inclusive policy-making, defined as the practice of identifying and incorporating citizens’ views and actual needs into the design, implementation and evaluation of policies. At the national level the chapter discusses inclusive policy-making, defined as the process, including with experimentation, by which governments enable the incorporation of citizens’ needs and views into the design, implementation and evaluation of policies which will help better target government programmes and increase their efficiency. Inclusive policy making requires capacity from governments to deal with complexity in policy making, assess differentiated policy impacts from broader viewpoints while eliminating discrimination and behavioural bias, and identify complementarities and trade-offs between and within policies and policy objectives. It also requires that public policy-making is protected from undue influence, where a public decision is captured by a narrow interest group to reflect its own interest. Integrity, openness and accountability in decision-making ensure that the needs, preferences and concerns of stakeholders, including underserved populations are reflected in decision-making. These components are measured by a number of indicators, including trust in national government and satisfaction and confidence across public services. A set of best practices on inclusive growth governance in sectoral areas (e.g. innovation, skills and labour market institutions) is presented together with some governance practices that cut across several policy areas. The Inclusive Growth Framework for Policy Action on Inclusive Growth consolidates some of the key policy recommendations to sustain and more equitably share the gains of economic growth from related OECD work, around broad principles to build efficient and responsive governments through:(i) aligned policy packages across the government; (ii) integration of distributional aspects upfront in the policy design; and (iii) assessing policies for inclusiveness and growth impacts.

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