Regional development

Workshop: Accessibility to services in regions and cities - Measures and policies


Workshop organised by the Working Party on Territorial Indicators

Significant differences in the access to basic and advanced services, such as transport, water and sanitation, education, health and ICT, still persist across and within regions, affecting the opportunities available to people. A better understanding of drivers and impacts of the territorial disparities in the access to services can thus help designing policies that promote inclusive growth and well-being.

During the workshop, participants discussed the policy relevance of inequalities in the access to services in regions and cities, including the institutional and territorial organisation for service delivery. Countries shared experiences on how to measure these inequalities and monitor progress towards fairer provision and better quality services; and they discussed a set of services for OECD and non-OECD countries for which to provide internationally comparable measures. The workshop  was aimed at defining the conceptual framework and discussing the methodological challenges to include the measurement of spatial inequalities in access to services in the WPTI project How’s life in your region? Measuring regional and local well-being for policy making (forthcoming June 2014).

The main objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Discuss the implications of spatial disparities in access to services on policies to promote inclusive growth and well-being of countries
  • Identify the key dimensions of accessibility to services - such as physical distance, quality of outcomes or affordability – and the availability of data to develop measures for assessing the quality of service provision for international comparisons

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Moderator: Paul LeBlanc, Chair of the OECD Territorial Development Policy Committee

Session 1: Framing the issues: Objectives and policies to improve access to services


Eloi Laurent, OFCE/Sciences Po “Towards territorial equality”

Abstract | Bio | Presentation

Jean-Yves Barcelo, UN-Habitat “Lessons from the implementation of the UN guidelines on decentralization and access to basic services for all”

Abstract | Bio | Presentation

Session 2: Improving measures of accessibility to services in regions and cities


Jose Viegas, International Transport Forum “Urban Accessibility: perception, measurement and equitable provision”

Abstract | Bio | Presentation

Sylvie Marchand, INSEE “Accès aux soins en France: indicateurs et analyses territoriales”

Abstract | Bio | Presentation

Alessandro Alasia, Statistics Canada “Methodological issues in the development of accessibility measures to services: challenges and possible solutions in the Canadian context”

Abstract | Bio | Presentation

Conclusions and way forward: Duarte Rodrigues, Chair of the OECD Working Party on Territorial Indicators


References to related work were made during the workshop:

Cátia Nunes (Statistics Portugal) “Potential accessibility indicators to school” pdf
Vicente Ruiz and Paolo Veneri (OECD) “Access to hospitals: preliminary indicators for OECD regions” pdf
Tadashi Matsumoto (OECD) and Lewis Dijkstra (EC) “Accessibility to public transport: The OECD approach” pdf
Marco Daglio (OECD) "An introduction to the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation" pdf