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OECD Territorial Reviews: Colombia 2014

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Colombia 2014

Regional development policy is a priority of Colombia’s government. The country has experienced sustained economic growth over the past decade; yet several territories still lack development opportunities. To promote growth in all regions the government has engaged in a series of reforms. For instance, it started allocating royalty payments generated by hydrocarbon resources to all departments and most municipalities, including those that are not endowed with natural resources. The reform also promotes better multilevel governance and represents a good policy practice for countries seeking to link natural resource development with regional development.

To support the current efforts of Colombia’s government, this report illustrates policy recommendations to help national authorities adopting a territorial approach to inclusive economic development. In particular, the OECD recommends to: a) improve the quantity and quality of regional statistics and formulate urban and rural taxonomies that help tailor policies to places; b) involve territorial constituencies in the design of policy interventions and allocate to them more implementation responsibilities within the framework of the National Development Plan; c) promote coordination among subnational bodies to scale up investment in territories to avoid that public investment – and royalty payments – gets dispersed in a myriad of small-scale projects.

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Negotiated territorial development in Colombia

The Contrato plans

This chapter analyses governance tools to co-ordinate public investment across levels of government in Colombia. In particular, it focuses on the use of intergovernmental contracts, so far applied in seven regions (departementos). The chapter is organised into four main sections. The first outlines the characteristics of the seven contracts that have already been drawn up and discusses the financial aspects and key strategic priorities selected by each region. The second section assesses the instrument, discusses the policy/legal framework of the contracts (Contrato Plan), and makes some international comparisons. The third section evaluates opportunities and challenges for the use of contracts in Colombia, presenting evidence from case studies. Finally, specific recommendations to improve the use of contracts are outlined.

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