Effective management practices and crosscutting, integrated and innovative governance approaches enhance territorial development and can help governments at all levels improve services to citizens. This is particularly true for the local level, where policies meet people. This report advises Polish authorities at municipal, county, regional and national levels on how to strengthen local government capacity to design and deliver local development strategies that successfully meet the needs of residents and businesses. It was conducted by the OECD Public Governance Directorate (GOV) and Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE), under the auspices of the OECD Public Governance and Regional Development Policy Committees.

Based on international best practices in OECD member and partner countries, the report analyses local policies and practices in eight thematic areas of public governance and territorial development. It assesses municipal capacity in these interdependent and mutually reinforcing areas, and makes recommendations for reforms in Poland. An additional chapter provides a diagnosis of the main economic, social and demographic trends, strengths and challenges in Polish local self-government units (LSGUs) and their effects on local development. The ultimate objective is to strengthen the design and implementation of LSGU development strategies to better serve citizens, enhance local sustainable development based on engagement with stakeholders, to build a collective vision and actions using good governance methods. The report is supplemented by three synthesis assessments presenting OECD advice for different types of Polish LSGUs as well as a self-assessment tool that allows Polish LSGUs to identify their main strengths and weaknesses in public governance and local development practices. The report was produced with generous financial support under the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norway Grants mechanism; it was conducted in close collaboration with the Association of Polish Cities (APC) and supported by the Polish Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy (MDFRP).

The report was approved by the OECD Public Governance Committee (PGC) and the Regional Development Policy Committee (RDPC) on 16 June 2021.

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