Regional development

Launch of the World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment


17 November 2017 OECD Headquarters

There is a growing demand worldwide for reliable, objective and comparative information and data on different topics regarding multi-level governance and finance. However, a limited amount of comparative data exists at the global level on subnational government structure and finance. 

To help bridge this gap, the OECD and United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) are joining forces to set up a world Observatory on Subnational Governments Finance and Investment which will be launched at the first meeting of the Steering Committee on 17 November at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

This initiative follows a 2016 pilot study conducted by the OECD and UCLG on Subnational Governments Around the World: Structure and Finance. The study was the first undertaken at such a large scale, covering over 100 countries. It highlights that subnational governments are responsible for 25% of public expenditure worldwide, or 9% of GDP, and 40% of public investment – 60% in OECD countries. 


About the Observatory

The Observatory is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the OECD and UCLG dedicated to collecting comparable data and information on subnational finance and territorial organisation from over 100 countries. Led by a steering committee, it offers comparable information to support decision-making of national and subnational governments around the world.



➤ Ensure standardised, reliable and transparent access to data on subnational government structure, finance and investment.
➤ Support international dialogue and decision-making on multi-level governance and subnational finance.
➤ Serve as a capacity-building tool on subnational governance and finance.



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