Regional, rural and urban development

Multi-level Governance, Public Investment and Subnational Finance



At the OECD, we help governments design adaptive multi-level governance systems and innovative finance tools, to foster partnerships and ensure more effective investment outcomes, including to meet climate objectives in regions and cities.













We collect and analyse data on subnational government structure and finance to support evidence-based policy-making.


We carry out a wide range of studies - from multi-level governance and decentralisation, to subnational public finance and climate-related investment in regions and cities.


We cover OECD Member countries and beyond, at the national and subnational levels.

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 COVID-19 and Multi-level Governance

MLG_COVID note cover

Policy Paper

The impact of the COVID-19 global crisis has a strong territorial dimension. Municipalities and regions are at the frontline of managing this public health crisis and its economic and social impact, as well as the long-term recovery. Success depends on a coordinated response by all levels of government.

Check out our new paper to find out what measures governments are taking:





The Role of Local Government in Building Sustainable Communities in a Post-COVID-19 World

The OECD participated in the international web forum organised held by Wellington City Council, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and United Cities and Local Government Asia Pacific (UCLG-ASPAC). The different sessions of the forum highlighted successful strategies employed to drive social, cultural and economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19, as well as the new approaches to strengthening resilience and sustainable communities, among others.

Date: 24-25 August, 2020


OECD presentation by Maria Varinia Michalun 


Other presentations and more information


European Regional Science Association (ERSA) Webinar: Spatial Challenges for the New World

The OECD participated in the ERSA 2020 Web Conference to share the key findings of our latest policy note, regarding the health, economic, social and fiscal impact of the COVID19 crisis among regions and municipalities. The presentation highlights why place-based approaches are needed to respond to the crisis.

Date: 25-27 August 2020


OECD presentation by Dorothée Allain-Dupré



More information of the event




Check out the past events related to the COVID-19 crisis


Access more policy responses on COVID-19 from the OECD 




Enhancing subnational climate and environment-related public finance

Access the subnational climate finace page

Report: Financing climate objectives in cities and regions to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth

Upcoming project: Tracking and enhancing subnational climate-related finance for climate action


Making Decentralisation Work: A Handbook for Policy-Makers

The report identifies 10 guidelines for more effective decentralisation to support regional and local development. The report proposes concrete tools for policy-makers, including detailed sets of recommendations, checklists, pitfalls to avoid and examples of good practices, both in unitary and federal countries.

Access the publication


OECD-UCLG World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment Initiative

Covering over 120 countries, the SNG-WOFI initiative is the world’s leading source of internationally comparable data and analysis on subnational government structure and finance.

Access the SNG-WOFI website

Implementing the OECD Recommendation on Effective Public Investment across Levels of Government

12 Principles to promote more effective public investment and a Toolkit with insight on good practices in OECD countries and beyond.

Access the Toolkit

Access the implementation brochure


Access the Recommendation



Pilot Database on Regional Government Finance and Investment: Key findings Decentralisation and Regionalisation in Portugal:
What Reform Scenarios?
Strengthening Governance of EU Funds under Cohesion Policy

Financing Climate Objectives in Cities and Regions to Deliver Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

Making Decentralisation Work: A Handbook for Policy-Makers

Rethinking Regional Development Policy-Making

Multi-Level Governance Reforms
MLG_Regional database MLG_COVER_Portugal  Cover of report: Strengthening Governance of EU Funds under Cohesion Policy

 Access more publications