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OECD Regional Outlook 2016

Productive Regions for Inclusive Societies

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Regions and cities are where the effects of policies to promote economic growth and social inclusion are felt in day-to-day life. The OECD Regional Outlook 2016 examines the widening productivity gap across regions within countries, and the implications of these trends for the well-being of people living in different places. It discusses how structural policies, public investment and multi-level governance reforms can help boost productivity and address inclusion. Drawing on a survey of OECD countries, the Outlook  highlights country practices in regional, urban, and rural development policy that guide public investment. The Special Focus Part II on rural areas looks at different types of rural area and their productivity performance trends, and suggests that countries move towards a “Rural Policy 3.0”. The Policy Forum on Regions and Cities: Implementing Global Agendas includes chapters by many leading global organisations on how regions and cities can be instrumental in achieving the targets of agreements such as the Paris Accord and the Sustainable Development Goals.  Individual country profiles provide an overview of regional, urban and rural development policies as well as performance in terms of productivity and well-being among different regions.

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Investing in "voice" to implement global agendas

The recently adopted global agendas, notably the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement of COP21, Habitat III, Financing for Development and the Sendai Framework, provide a vision for common values through a global governance system. This chapter raises questions about when and how localising these agendas makes sense to ensure that policy meets people’s expectations and needs by giving them a greater voice in the process and implementation. The chapter considers three questions: i) Are regions and cities indeed the places where policies and people meet? ii) Do regions and cities have the right tools and capacities to localise SDGs and other targets? and iii) How can national and subnational governments work better together, using a more structured engagement with people in the process?

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