Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED Programme)

LEED projects you can join in 2011-2012


Under the guidance of its governing board and in consultation with partner organisations, LEED has elaborated six projects to help governments and communities as they emerge from one of the worst economic crisis in generations. The overall aim of each of these projects is to contribute to the creation of more and better quality jobs through:

  • More effective policy implementation 
  • Innovative practices
  • Stronger capacities 
  • Integrated strategies at the local level

Project Outlines:

LEED Topic: Quality jobs and skills Supporting good quality job creation in the recovery

LEED Topic: Preventing exclusion Preventing exclusion from the labour market

LEED Topic: Entrepreneurship & Social economy Unleashing the potential of entrepreneurship, SMEs and the social economy

LEED Topic: Green growth Delivering green growth

LEED Topic: Local economic development Delivering local development

LEED Topic: Building capacity Building capacity



Supporting good quality job creation in the recovery

Labour market policy can play an important role in boosting economic growth in the recovery, as long as local policy makers have the flexibility to align policies to broader local economic development activities and strategies. Human resources will play a key role in boosting growth, but it can be difficult to build skills and human resources locally at a time of rising mobility and demographic change. A coordinated approach is necessary to ensuring that skills are well utilised in good quality jobs and that local economies move towards higher productivity. Better employment outcomes will be generated by policies which can adapt quickly to changing economic conditions and be delivered holistically on the ground.

Indicators on skills, mobility and job quality and the adaptability of labour market policy

The LEED Programme is collecting data on the supply and demand for skills at the level of local labour markets (territorial level 3), in order to help local policy makers better match skills supply and demand, and build more resilient local economies that generate quality jobs. All LEED member countries are invited to participate in this project which is feeding into the OECD Skills Strategy. Read more

The impact of demographic change on local employment

Work to analyse the impact and opportunities of population decline and ageing at the local level will be carried out, examining  i) the need to adapt local development models; ii) the opportunities offered in the emerging ‘silver’ labour market; and iii) the role of the social economy in providing new services while contributing to job creation and social inclusion. The work will be carried out through research and collection of case studies. Read more

Reviews on local job creation

This project will seek to enhance the contribution of labour market policy to the creation of more and better quality jobs. It will assess the capacity of labour market policy to enhancing competitiveness and employment outcomes by better matching skills supply to demand, improving training provision, addressing skills gaps and improving skills utilisation by firms. A dash board will be applied to assess how prepared local policy makers are to contribute to job creation at the local level, exploring four main themes: aligning employment and training policies to local economic development; adding value through skills; policy readiness to target policy to new growth areas and inclusiveness. Read more



Preventing exclusion from the labour market

Certain groups are affected more than others by the economic downturn, and many have been facing long-term obstacles that have preceded the crisis. What are the innovative ways of supporting labour market reattachment and preventing structural unemployment?

Local strategies for youth employment

The work will analyse the factors leading to youth exclusion from the labour market at the local level and review the programmes and locally differentiated national measures put in place to support youth in the school-to-work transition, labour market integration, retention and progression. It will identify and assess multi-dimensional area-based strategies to facilitate youth employment. The project will build on earlier LEED work on youth entrepreneurship, asset building, skills upgrading, local skills strategies and social economy. Case studies will be examined and workshops will be organised. Read more

Tackling long-term unemployment amongst vulnerable groups

Many factors put people at risk of long-term unemployment, including poverty and social exclusion, poor basic skills levels, discrimination, cultural distance from the mainstream labour market and poor local social capital. At the local level a holistic approach can help tackle such issues, with direct interventions in the fields of education and employment complementing wider actions to build social cohesion and community capacity. This project will explore OECD experiences by collecting and building data, analysing material and holding roundtable meetings at the local level. Read more



Unleashing the potential of entrepreneurship, SMEs and the social economy

Maximising the job creation potential of enterprises in local economies requires comprehensive and integrated strategies to address local market, government and institutional failures. Some of the obstacles faced by entrepreneurs in the private sector are similar to those of the social economy. 

Job creation through social entrepreneurship and the social economy

Social enterprises and the social economy contribute to job creation in various sectors, supplying new services and products targeting disadvantaged users (among others) or innovating in the delivery of services. The work will assess the job creation potential of the social economy in various institutional frameworks, examine the conditions under which the contribution of social economy organisations to employment can be maximised and identify obstacles faced by social entrepreneurs in creating and developing their activity and in delivering social innovation. The work will build on the results from the 2009-2012 project on "Improving social inclusion at the local level through the social economy". It will build data on activities of social entrepreneurs, extract relevant material and hold workshops in interested countries. Read more

High-employment-growth enterprises

High-growth firms and “gazelles” (young high-growth firms) account for high proportions of net job gains in national and local economies and play a vital role in local job creation. The work will examine the aspects of local entrepreneurship and SME environments that favour and hinder the development of high-employment-growth enterprises. It will analyse locally-disaggregated firm-level data on the numbers and growth performance of high-growth enterprises at local level and explanatory factors in their local environments in selected countries. Read more

Reviews on boosting local entrepreneurship and enterprise creation

The work will examine SMEs, entrepreneurship (including social entrepreneurship) and local development in participating countries. The aim is to examine the capacity of localities to support the creation and growth of new and small firms and how such capacity is affected by local policies. It would be possible to concentrate the work on either private sector entrepreneurship or social entrepreneurship/economy, and to address the gender issue.

Reviews may also focus on the specific issue of the provision of entrepreneurial skills, which enable motivated people to turn their business projects into successful ventures. In addition to the country reports, the work will provide material and analysis for a report on skills for entrepreneurship. Read more



Delivering green growth

Facilitating the transition to a greener economy is a way to contribute to sustainable job creation while mitigating climate change. The work contributes to the Green Growth Strategy, a horizontal project across the OECD.

Indicators on the local transition to a low-carbon economy

How efficient are local economies, their firms and value-chains, in adjusting to a low-carbon economy, adapting their labour market and re-structuring their production processes? What are the mechanisms utilised in training and skills ecosystems to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon development? The work would build data to monitor how local economies and firms adjust to a low-carbon economy. The analysis will help to provide guidance on policy and practice to speed up transition to a greener economy and create sustainable employment. Read more

Improving the effectiveness of green local development initiatives

The need to speed up transition to a low-carbon economy has stimulated the development of local initiatives seeking to seize new opportunities for employment, economic and social development with a sustainable approach. There is a lot of interest in understanding how these initiatives can play a significant role in contributing to local development while adapting the local economy and the labour market to a greener economy. This work will identify a range of initiatives and the mechanisms they use, analyse their impact on the local level and examine how national and local policies can facilitate their development. The work will use data gathered through related projects of the current biennium, and will be completed by additional research, case studies and surveys. Read more



Delivering local development

The success of local development depends on a set of framework conditions, institutional capacities, intelligence, leadership interventions and development instruments which come together in the design and delivery of local development strategies. Mayors, elected officials and appointed officers heading various local agencies and public organisations can make a difference in the outcome of public policy and joint local initiatives, especially if they invest their time and energy in organising local development and leveraging private sector and civic sector capabilities and interests.

Reviews on delivering local development

The reviews will examine the framework conditions and instruments for intervention to achieve successful local economic development in participating countries and localities. They will cover strategic themes encompassing finance and investment, building the knowledge base, delivery vehicles and economic strategies. In addition to the reviews, the work will provide analysis for two reports:

(i) what are the requirements for local economic leadership in supporting the recovery and organising local development effectively; and

(ii) enhancing the impact of local development systems (networks of public, business and non-governmental partners which work within a defined area to create better conditions for economic growth, social cohesion and employment generation).

The work will examine ways to understand how local development systems work to improve their functioning and impact. Read more

Supporting evidence-based local strategy making

The work will provide guidance to local development organisations on how to prepare evidence-based strategies using relevant local information systems and evaluation frameworks. Practical manuals, web-based tools and peer learning mechanisms will be provided for information gathering, evaluation and their analysis. Read more



Building capacity

The development of capacities is becoming increasingly important in a globalised economy where policies are interdependent and implementation requires a deep understanding of the local dimension. LEED has developed over the years a number of effective instruments to build capacity among both policy makers and local development practitioners, and to support the exchange of experiences between them. These instruments have been increasingly used outside the OECD area and thus contribute to disseminate policy lessons worldwide.

Capacity development sessions, reviews, reports and seminars

The OECD LEED Trento Centre for Local Development will continue to develop capacities of policy makers and practitioners in the various areas of LEED expertise. Taking an integrated approach in the design, implementation and evaluation of local economic and employment development strategies and policies requires high skills and abilities.

Capacity building sessions and active reviews involving a capacity building component will target policy makers and practitioners in member and non-member countries, with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe, and in Enhanced Engagement countries and other emerging economies. Read more

Exchange of experience with/among practitioners

The OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance will continue to facilitate the exchange of experiences between the LEED Directing Committee, the broader policy-making community and practitioners worldwide. It will aim to enhance dissemination of the results of LEED work, improve its relevance through feedback from stakeholders involved in policy implementation, and identify innovative practices emerging from the ground. The Forum will organise capacity building seminars and an annual meeting; issue country fact-sheets on partnership models, handbooks and pedagogical materials on partnership working issues; collect and disseminate relevant reports through a dedicated website and information database. Read more

Exchange of experience in Southeast Asia

The initiative on Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia (ESSSA) will continue to facilitate the exchange of experiences on employment and skills development between OECD and Southeast Asian countries, identify innovative policies and practices in the region and generate guidance and recommendations. Analytical reports will be produced on emerging policy issues, expert meetings will be held and networking will be supported through a dedicated website. The initiative is jointly led with ILO (International Labour Organisation), in collaboration with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Read more



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