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  • 18-January-2022

    English

    Paying for results - Contracting out employment services through outcome-based payment schemes in OECD countries

    OECD countries deliver publicly-funded employment services through different institutional arrangements. While in most OECD countries the majority of such services are delivered by public employment services, in two in five OECD and EU countries (or regions) they are partly or fully contracted out to external providers, including for-profit and not-for-profit entities. Contracting out employment services to outside providers offers many potential benefits: an increased flexibility to scale capacity in line with changes in unemployment, the possibility of offering services more cost-effectively, the option to better tailor services through the use of specialised service providers and the possibility to offer jobseekers choice of providers. However, achieving these benefits will depend on the actual design and monitoring of the contracting arrangements that are put in place. Focusing on the job brokerage, counselling and case-management employment services typically provided by public agencies, this paper reviews the experiences of OECD countries that have contracted out employment services through outcome-based payment schemes. It highlights the need to carefully consider questions related to the design and implementation of this form of contracting: fostering competition amongst potential providers, setting appropriate minimum service requirements and prices for different client groups, and ensuring the accountability of providers through monitoring and evaluations. These issues are discussed based on country examples, which are also detailed in factsheets contained in the online annex of the paper.
  • 18-May-2021

    English

    Policy brief on e-learning and digital business diagnostic tools for entrepreneurs

    This policy brief discusses recent international policy experiences in developing e-learning and digital business diagnostic tools for entrepreneurs. E-learning tools can develop entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and competences among users and increase their confidence and success in business creation. Business diagnostic tools offer entrepreneurs ways to assess their business management practices against peer companies or good practices, building competence and diffusing good practice. This brief sets out considerations for the successful development and implementation of these tools. It presents eight international cases of tools and discusses the public policy lessons from these international experiences.
  • 17-November-2020

    English

    The impact of COVID-19 on SME financing - A special edition of the OECD Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs Scoreboard

    The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound impact on SME access to finance. In particular, the sudden drop in revenues created acute liquidity shortages, threatening the survival of many viable businesses. The report documents an increase in demand for bank lending in the first half of 2020, and a steady supply of credit thanks to government interventions. On the other hand, other sources of finance declined, in particular early-stage equity. This paper, a special edition of Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs, focuses on the impacts of COVID-19 on SME access to finance, along with government policy responses. It reveals that the pre-crisis financing environment was broadly favourable for SMEs and entrepreneurs, who benefited from low interest rates, loose credit standards and an increasingly diverse offer of financing instruments. It documents the unprecedented scope and scale of the policy responses undertaken by governments world-wide, and details their key characteristics, and outlines the principal issues and policy challenges for the next phases of the pandemic, such as the over-indebtedness of SMEs and the need to continue to foster a diverse range of financing instruments for SMEs.
  • 16-November-2020

    English

    A territorial approach to the Sustainable Development Goals in Flanders, Belgium

    Global demographic, climate and digitalisation megatrends are transforming the policy environment in Flanders, Belgium. With strong economic performance, low unemployment and a well-educated population, Flanders is using the SDGs to respond to these megatrends in pursuit of the seven transition priorities outlined in its Vision 2050 policy framework, namely circular economy, smart living, industry, lifelong learning, caring and living together, transport and mobility, and energy. The SDGs provide a common language and framework to mobilise Flemish cities and municipalities, private sector, civil society and youth in such a transition. This is why, Flanders has also developed Focus 2030 with more concrete and mid-term objectives to adapt and implement the SDGs at regional level. The report argues that a territorial approach to the SDGs can accelerate the transition to more sustainable pathways in Flanders if federal, regional, provincial and local sustainable development strategies are strategically aligned, and sufficient funding from both public and private sectors is ensured for innovative sustainability solutions.
  • 14-April-2020

    English

    Synthesising good practices in fiscal federalism - Key recommendations from 15 years of country surveys

    The design of intergovernmental fiscal relations can help to ensure that tax and spending powers are assigned in a way to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Decentralisation can enable sub-central governments to provide better public services for households and firms, while it can also make intergovernmental frameworks more complex, harming equity. The challenges of fiscal federalism are multi-faceted and involve difficult trade-offs. This synthesis paper consolidates much of the OECD’s work on fiscal federalism over the past 15 years, with a particular focus on OECD Economic Surveys. The paper identifies a range of good practices on the design of country policies and institutions related strengthening fiscal capacity delineating responsibilities across evels of government and improving intergovernmental co-ordination.
  • 20-January-2017

    English

    Boosting Skills for Greener Jobs in Flanders, Belgium

    The Flemish economy is extremely diversified with a number of value-added industries and a highly skilled workforce. The shift to a green economy will however require specific knowledge, values and attitudes from the Flemish workforce. This report analyses the skills dimension of the transition to a green economy at the local level, with specific reference to emerging needs in the agro-food, construction and chemicals sectors. It also provides recommendations for the development of green skills and occupational profiles at the organisational level, while advising policy makers on the best method of assisting firms to transition to a green economy.
  • 27-March-2015

    English

    Employment and Skills Strategies in Flanders, Belgium

    This report delivers evidence-based and practical recommendations on how to better support employment and economic development in Flanders, Belgium. It builds on sub-national data analysis and consultations with local stakeholders in two case study areas (Antwerp and Limburg). It provides a comparative framework to understand the role of the local level in contributing to more and better quality jobs. The report can help national, regional, and local policy makers in Belgium build effective and sustainable partnerships at the local level, which join-up efforts and achieve stronger outcomes across employment, training, and economic development policies. Co-ordinated policies can help workers find suitable jobs, while also stimulating entrepreneurship and productivity, which increases the quality of life and prosperity within a community as well as throughout the country.
  • 6-October-2014

    English

    How's Life in Your Region - Country Notes

    Country notes outlining regional variations in health, jobs, safety, environment, access to services, civic engagement, housing, education, income, and employment. These notes are from the OECD publication "How's Life in Your Region?".

  • 6-October-2014

    English

    Regional Outlook 2014: Belgium

    Getting regions and cities 'right', adapting policies to the specificities of where people live and work, is vital to improving citizens’ well-being. View the country factsheets from the publication OECD Regional Outlook 2014.

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  • 5-December-2013

    English

    Regions at a Glance 2013: Information by country

    Individual country notes assessing how regions and cities contribute to national growth and the well-being of society.

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