Multi-level Governance Reforms

Overview of OECD Country Experiences

image of Multi-level Governance Reforms

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.



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.


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