The information base on local development suffers from insufficient depth, detail, continuity and methodological rigour. The economics of scale often does not allow central statistical offices to collect information at detail corresponding to the needs of local actors. Resources available at local level to collect information are limited, the capacity of local level to work with information is often perceived by the local level itself as insufficient. However, successful local communities often build their own information systems by collecting the information they need in addition to that available from professional statistics providers. This happens in an uncoordinated manner and usually, the information collected in this manner is not suitable for more general use. As a result, a broader picture on the local development policies and tools is hard to be drawn.
The OECD LEED Programme is seeking to address this gap in information collection on local development trends.
There are two dimensions to this activity:
One part of the initiative seeks to address the information collection needs that could lead to an inventory of local development trends and actors. The inventory approach could potentially lead to an information base including examples of recent local development approaches and their outcomes, typology of actors exercising development functions at local level, formal versus revealed local development frameworks both at national and local level. This type of information is systematically of vital interest to both national and local policy makers and practitioners because of the potential of the inventory information to clarify the context of local area performances.
Complementary to the inventory approach, another work stream of the OECD focuses on local development indicators. The emphasis is put here on how to enhance capacity of local actors to work with already available statistical information and to support the local level in undertaking a self-collection of information that is of interest but is not available.
The OECD LEED Programme suggests that one way of providing an effective support in this area is to develop an information collection and analysis framework. Such a framework would enable economic development professionals active at sub-national level to undertake collection, comparison and usage of information on local area trends and performance in economic and employment development. The local actors targeted for use of the framework include regional governments, municipalities, regional development agencies and other professional organisations actively involved in local development processes in Central, East and South East European countries.
Objectives of the workshop
The expert workshop on Local Development Policy and Performance Information Tools aimed at discussing the options for developing a framework for information collection, analysis and comparison for use by local development actors in Central and Eastern Europe.
As a follow-up to the workshop, the OECD information collection methodology document will be finalised. The OECD will seek to identify local organisations that would be interested in testing the approach within pilot project implementations of the OECD information collection methodology.