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Reports


  • 8-February-2021

    English

    Perspectives on Decentralisation and Rural-Urban Linkages in Korea

    The economic development of Korea is widely considered as a success story. Yet, as the country joins the ranks of the world’s most advanced economies, its rapid pace of development has not fully reached every part of its territory. The pace of urbanisation, particularly around Seoul, has placed mounting pressure on the capital’s quality of life, while in rural regions the country’s success has felt distant. To address these regional disparities, successive governments have pursued a policy of balanced national development, with major initiatives aimed at spreading economic opportunities throughout the country while at the same time transferring authority and resources to regional and local governments, to increasingly empower them to navigate their own path forward. This study takes stock of these efforts in the context of rural development and finds evidence of progress in several areas, yet opportunities remain in others. The study includes advice and recommendations on multi-level governance, rural-urban linkages and other issues drawn from the experience of OECD countries on how Korea’s efforts in pursuit of inclusive growth may be further strengthened to improve the well-being of the country's rural regions.
  • 27-January-2021

    English

    Mining Regions and Cities Case of Västerbotten and Norrbotten, Sweden

    Sweden’s northern region, Upper Norrland, is one of the most important mining regions in Europe and has the potential to become a global leader in environmentally sustainable mining. With the largest land surface and the lowest population density in Sweden, Upper Norrland contains two sub regions, Västerbotten and Norrbotten. Both sub regions host the greatest mineral reserves in the country, containing 9 of the country’s 12 active mines and providing 90% of the iron ore in the European Union. Upper Norrland has the potential to become a global leader in environmentally sustainable mining due to its competitive advantages, including a stable green energy supply, high-quality broadband connection, a pool of large mining companies working closely with universities to reduce the emissions footprint across the mining value chain, and a highly skilled labour force. Yet, the region must overcome a number of bottlenecks to support a sustainable future, including a shrinking workforce, low interaction of local firms with the mining innovation process and an increasing opposition to mining due to socio environmental concerns and land use conflicts. This study identifies how Västerbotten and Norrbotten can build on their competitive advantages and address current and future challenges to support a resilient future through sustainable mining.
  • 19-January-2021

    English

    Africa’s Development Dynamics 2021 - Digital Transformation for Quality Jobs

    Africa’s Development Dynamics uses lessons learned in the continent’s five regions – Central, East, North, Southern and West Africa – to develop policy recommendations and share good practices. Drawing on the most recent statistics, this analysis of development dynamics attempts to help African leaders reach the targets of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 at all levels: continental, regional, national and local. The 2021 edition, now published at the beginning of the year, explores how digitalisation can create quality jobs and contribute to achieving Agenda 2063, thereby making African economies more resilient to the global recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report targets four main policy areas for Africa’s digital transformation: bridging the digital divide; supporting local innovation; empowering own-account workers; and harmonising, implementing and monitoring digital strategies. This edition includes a new chapter examining how to finance Africa’s development despite the 2020 global economic crisis. Africa’s Development Dynamics feeds into a policy debate between the African Union’s governments, citizens, entrepreneurs and researchers. It aims to be part of a new collaboration between countries and regions, which focuses on mutual learning and the preservation of common goods. This report results from a partnership between the African Union Commission and the OECD Development Centre.
  • 9-January-2021

    English

    Accelerating Climate Action - Refocusing Policies through a Well-being Lens

    This report builds on the OECD Well-being Framework and applies a new perspective that analyses synergies and trade-offs between climate change mitigation and broader goals such as health, education, jobs, as well as wider environmental quality and the resources needed to sustain our livelihoods through time. This report takes an explicitly political economy approach to the low-emissions transitions needed across five economic sectors (electricity, heavy industry, residential, surface transport, and agriculture) that are responsible for more than 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Synergies between emissions reduction and broader well-being objectives, such as reduced air pollution and improved health, increase the incentives for early mitigation action. At the same time, the impact of climate policies on issues such as the affordability of energy and jobs need to be taken into account to counter growing economic and social inequalities within and between countries. The report argues that reframing climate policies using a well-being lens is necessary for making visible such synergies and trade-offs; allowing decision-makers to increase the former and anticipate, manage and minimise the latter. This requires us to rethink societal goals in terms of well-being, reframe our measures of progress and refocus policy-making accordingly.
  • 8-January-2021

    English

    A comprehensive approach to understanding urban productivity effects of local governments - Local autonomy, government quality and fragmentation

    This paper advances our understanding of the spatial dimension of productivity by investigating the link between subnational governance arrangements and urban labour productivity. It presents a detailed study of the direct and indirect effects of decentralisation (local autonomy), government quality and fragmentation and empirically demonstrates the need for a comprehensive approach when considering the effects of governance-related characteristics on regional economic outcomes. Multi-level analysis of data for Functional Urban Areas (FUAs) in Europe during 2003-2014 suggests that labour productivity tends to be higher in regions with higher quality of government. Productivity, on average, is lower in more decentralised countries. However, under 'the right' conditions (high quality of government and low fragmentation), decentralisation is positively linked to productivity. Overall, cities with high levels of government quality and local autonomy but low horizontal fragmentation tend to be the most productive.
  • 22-December-2020

    English

    Policy Framework on Sound Public Governance - Baseline Features of Governments that Work Well

    The interconnected challenges of our times call for a coherent and multidimensional approach to public governance. The OECD Policy Framework on Sound Public Governance provides governments at all levels with an integrated diagnostic, guidance and benchmarking tool that aims to improve the quality of public governance – an objective that takes on immediate strategic importance for governments as they strive to manage the COVID-19 crisis and plan for a sustainable and inclusive recovery. The Framework builds on OECD legal instruments in the area, on lessons learned over the past decade through the OECD’s Public Governance Reviews (PGRs) and other country and sector-specific assessments. The first part shows the importance of key governance values and provides an overview of enablers of sound public governance that governments can adopt to pursue successful reforms. The second part presents an overview of management tools and policy instruments that can enhance the quality and impact of policy-making at the different stages of the policy cycle. Each chapter poses a number of strategic questions that policy-makers can use to self-assess the institutional and decision-making capacity of their governments in key public governance areas.
  • 18-December-2020

    English

    Towards Water Security in Belarus - A Synthesis Report

    This report presents the results of collaboration on improving water security in Belarus, between the beneficiary country, the OECD and its partners implementing the EU-funded European Union Water Initiative Plus project. It provides an overview of the composition and distribution of the country’s water resources, including the particular challenges facing different regions (oblasts), and lays out the policy responses that Belarus has taken and planned to progress its overarching policy objective of ensuring water security within the framework of the future national Water Strategy in the Context of Climate Change for the Period until 2030. The report also provides an assessment of potential opportunities to boost water security in Belarus by supporting the country’s ongoing water policy reform agenda.
  • 15-December-2020

    English

    Asymmetric decentralisation - Trends, challenges and policy Implications

    A growing number of countries in the OECD and beyond are moving toward asymmetric decentralisation, i.e. a differentiated assignment of competencies across subnational governments, for the same level of administration. While from the 1950s to the 1970s, asymmetric arrangements happened mostly at a regional level, the present trend seems to apply asymmetric decentralisation mostly in case of urban areas. Such trends may be further reinforced by the current global COVID-19 crisis, which has had highly asymmetric impact within countries. This paper aims to shed light on the various forms of asymmetric decentralisation. The study examines arguments from both economic research and policy practice angles. The paper highlights the pitfalls to avoid and good practices when implementing asymmetric decentralisation policies to reap their benefits and to minimise their costs.
  • 14-December-2020

    English

    Linking Indigenous Communities with Regional Development in Australia

    There are approximately 800,000 Indigenous Australians, which is 3.3% of Australia’s total population. Indigenous Australians are custodians of the world’s oldest living continuous culture and make a vital contribution to contemporary Australian society. Indigenous Australians are also important for the future of the national economy. For example, the amount of land with Indigenous ownership and interest has increased significantly in the last 50 years and now covers approximately half of Australia’s land mass. Indigenous Australians play an important role in the development of regional economies. Compared to the non-Indigenous population, Indigenous peoples are more likely to be located in predominantly rural regions. However, significant gaps in socio-economic outcomes with non-Indigenous Australians remain and these gaps are larger in rural regions. The report provides three key recommendations to improve economic outcomes for Indigenous Australians: improving the quality of the statistical framework and the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in the governance of data; promoting entrepreneurship to provide opportunities for Indigenous peoples to use assets and resources in ways that align with their objectives for development; and, implementing an approach to policies that is adapted to places, and empowers Indigenous institutions and communities.
  • 11-December-2020

    English

    Transport Bridging Divides

    Transport connects people, places and cities. Investment in transport infrastructure therefore helps bridging economic and social divides. It promotes economic growth and catching up of regions by providing access to jobs for workers and markets for firms. This report summarises evidence on the benefits of transport investment for economic growth and job creation and thereby for catching up in OECD regions. Beyond economic divides, the report consider inequality in access to opportunities using the EC-ITF-OECD Urban Access Framework. It considers how transport can bridge social divides by taking a closer look at accessibility within OECD cities (functional urban areas). Cities differ greatly in their ability to provide inclusive access to opportunities across more affluent and poorer neighbourhoods. To bridge divides, the report highlights the need to go beyond transport infrastructure investment and consider wider urban planning, as well as complementary measures in regions.
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