Administrative burden: the costs involved in obtaining, reading and understanding regulations, developing compliance strategies and meeting mandated reporting requirements, including data collection, processing, reporting and storage, but not including capital costs of measures taken to comply with regulations, nor the costs to the public sector of administering the regulations.

Administrative simplification: a tool used to review and simplify the stock of administrative regulations. Its main objective is to remove unnecessary costs imposed on regulated subjects.

Competency framework: a competency framework articulates a set of common competency requirements at different job levels in a manner that reflects the required managerial capacity and staff autonomy. It can serve as a foundation for ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the selection and development of staff to adapt to an organisation’s changing needs. It can also serve as the foundation of talent management and be an integral part of recruitment selection, performance evaluation, learning and career development. It is not related to the local government act but is a standalone document outlining the expected skills of public officials.

County: An intermediate administrative level in Poland (powiat) between voivodeship and municipalities.

Evaluation (policy evaluation): structured and objective assessment of the design, implementation and/or results of a future, ongoing or completed policy initiative. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfilment of policy objectives, as well as to assess dimensions such as public policies’ efficiency, effectiveness, impact or sustainability. As such, policy evaluation refers to the process of determining the worth or significance of a policy.

Ex ante impact assessment (or evaluation): identification and critical assessment of the positive and negative effects likely to flow from regulatory and non-regulatory options for a policy or regulation under consideration. Like ex post assessment (below), it is an important element of an evidence-based approach to policy making.

Ex post assessment (or evaluation): assessment of the effects and impacts of policies and regulations once they are in force. It is essential to ensure that policies and regulations remain relevant and fit for purpose.

Functional Urban Area (FUA): FUAs consist of a densely inhabited core and its commuting zone whose labour market is highly integrated with the core.

Innovative financing mechanisms: In cases where public sources of funding are insufficient to cover expenditure and investment needs at the state government and local government levels, diversifying revenue sources by resorting to external sources of financing and innovative financing mechanisms can help cover this gap. Local and state governments can mobilise innovative sources of financing through partnering with the private sector and institutional investors, issuing bonds, Public-Private Partnerships, joint borrowing in capital markets or other instruments such as green bonds and social bonds.

Key performance indicator (KPI): a quantifiable measure to evaluate how effectively an organisation or individual is achieving a set of predetermined goals.

Large and medium-sized FUAs: A FUA of more than 250 000 inhabitants.

Local development strategy: is a document that details the strategy of a local self-government for the development of a particular area. A development strategy usually includes specific goals, priorities and objectives for local development in response to the local self-government’s needs.

Local self-government unit: the term local self-government unit covers both municipalities (gminas) and counties (powiats) in Poland.

Metropolitan regions: A TL3 region that has more than 50% of its population living in a FUA of at least 250 000 inhabitants. They divide into:

  • Large metropolitan regions - if more than 50% of the population live in a FUA of at least 1.5 million inhabitants.

  • Metropolitan regions - if the TL3 region is not a large metropolitan region and 50% of the population live in a FUA of at least 250 000 inhabitants.

Municipality: lowest administrative level in Poland (gminas) that can be divided into three categories: urban, rural and mixed (urban-rural) municipalities.

Non-metropolitan regions close to a FUA: Non-metropolitan TL3 regions that have their population living within a 60-minute drive from a metropolitan region or contain more than 80% of the area of a FUA of at least 250 000 inhabitants.

Non-metropolitan regions: TL3 regions, with less than 50% of their population living in a FUA. This category of regions divides into three categories depending on the level of access to FUAs of different sizes:

  • Non-metropolitan regions close to a FUA

  • Non-metropolitan regions with/near a small FUA

  • Non-metropolitan remote regions

Non-metropolitan regions remote: Non-metropolitan TL3 regions do not classify in the other groups of non-metropolitan regions and less than 50% of its population have access to a small FUA within a 60-minute drive.

Non-metropolitan regions with/near a small FUA: Non-metropolitan TL3 regions that have their population living within a 60-minute drive from a metropolitan region or contain more than 80% of the area of a FUA of at least 250 000 inhabitants.

Open government: a culture of governance that promotes the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation in support of democracy and inclusive growth.

Open government initiatives: actions undertaken by the government, or by a single public institution, to achieve specific objectives in the area of open government, ranging from the drafting of laws to the implementation of specific activities such as online consultations.

Open government literacy: the combination of awareness, knowledge, and skills that public officials and stakeholders require to engage successfully in open government strategies and initiatives.

Open government principles: Open government initiatives are inspired by and based on the following four principles:

  • Transparency: transparency in government is the disclosure and accessibility of relevant government information and data.

  • Integrity: public integrity is defined as adherence to shared ethical values, principles, and norms for upholding and prioritising the public interest over private sector preferences.

  • Accountability: accountability refers to government duty to inform citizens of its decisions and to provide an account of the activities and performance of the administration and its public officials.

  • Stakeholder participation: all the ways in which stakeholders can be involved in the policy cycle and in service design and delivery, including:

    • Information: an initial level of participation characterised by a one-way relationship in which the government produces and delivers information to stakeholders. It covers both on-demand provision of information and “proactive” measures by the government to disseminate information.

    • Consultation: a more advanced level of participation that entails a two-way relationship in which stakeholders provide feedback to the government and vice-versa. It is based on the prior definition of the issue for which views are being sought and requires the provision of relevant information, in addition to feedback on the outcomes of the process.

    • Engagement: when stakeholders are given the opportunity and the necessary resources (e.g. information, data and digital tools) to collaborate during all phases of the policy-cycle and in the service design and delivery

Open government strategy: a document that defines the open government agenda of the central government and/or of any of its sub-national levels, as well as that of a single public institution/unit/office or thematic area, and which includes key open government initiatives, together with short, medium and long-term goals and indicators.

Partnerships: refers to the different forms of formal cooperation structures that are specified in the Polish Law (e.g. Inter-municipal Union, Association of municipalities, Inter-municipal agreements, Partnership agreements – based on civil code).

Policy-making cycle: the stages of the policy-making cycle include: (1) Identifying policy priorities; (2) Drafting the policy document outlining the objectives to be achieved and initiatives to be carried out; (3) Implementation of the outlines initiatives; and (4) Monitoring & evaluation that the outlined initiatives have achieved the objectives set.

Regulation: the set of instruments by which governments set requirements on enterprises and citizens. It includes laws, formal and informal orders, subordinate rules, administrative formalities and rules issued by non-governmental or self-regulatory bodies to whom governments have delegated regulatory powers.

Regulatory decisions: refer to instances in which LGUs, when identifying a policy objective, decide to use regulation as a policy instrument and proceed to draft and adopt such regulation.

Small FUAs: A FUA with more than 50 000 inhabitants and less than 250 000 inhabitants.

Stakeholders: any interested and/or affected party, including: individuals, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, religious and political affiliations; and institutions and organisations, whether governmental or non-governmental, from civil society, academia, the media or the private sector.

Strategic Human Resource Management: Strategic human resource management allows governments to align their workforce with their goals. It enables governments to have the right number of people with the right skills at the right place.

Strategic planning: strategic planning is the mechanism through which local governments determine the direction of development of their territory, underpinned by in-depth SWOT analysis of the current context and the framework conditions under which it is implemented. Strategic planning helps build resilient local economies, which can respond to fast changing external dynamics. Spatial plans, economic local development plans and other policy frameworks are delivered through this mechanism. It is the lever to enable integrated planning.

Vision: it is the statement that shows how the organisation will look like in the future once the mission and objectives are accomplished.

Voivodeship: The highest-level territorial division of administration in Poland.

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