Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Capacity building seminar for New and Nascent Local Development Partnerships in Central-East and South-East Europe (Trento, Italy))




Organised by the OECD LEED Trento Centre for Local Development

Trento, Italy,

10-12 November 2008


BackgroundAgendaMaterial / Contact



Throughout OECD countries, local partnerships are being set up as governments, business and civil society increase co-operation to promote economic development and to address social issues, such as exclusion from the labour market and limited access to public services. Often supported, and sometimes initiated, by government, these partnerships contribute to making policies more adaptable to local needs and more effective in their delivery. Partnerships undertake a range of activities, such as fostering co-operation amongst local development actors, developing synergies between different initiatives, and proposing ways to improve current practice. They conduct strategic planning exercises, set common objectives to reach better outcomes, and implement local development strategies.

However, to undertake their mission, significant effort is required to ensure trust and commitment from all actors. Local partnerships operate within a multi-level governance context. To make local partnerships effective, certain requirements need to be fulfilled by central and local governments, and the partnerships themselves. From the governments’ perspective this includes the need for flexible and adaptable policies, which create the necessary space for partnership activities, and the presence of communication channels that allow for bottom-up feedback. Partnerships themselves need to ensure the transparency and accountability of their structures and activities. International experience can inform governments and partnerships on how the requirements for effective partnerships can best be fulfilled.


The Seminar

The objective of this 2.5-day seminar was to improve the functioning of local partnerships. The seminar was aimed at local partnership practitioners and their counterparts in local and national governments. It provided an opportunity for the sharing of experience, as well as discussion of the interests, expectations and demands of different partners. It contributed to an improved understanding of the issues faced by local partnerships. The seminar focused on three main themes:




What makes local partnership building successful?

To improve understanding of how a local development partnership can operate as effectively as possible, as well as the utilisation of effective communication techniques to facilitate relationships between partners and between the partnership and the wider community.

What are the key elements of a national support framework for local development partnerships?

To identify the key elements of a positive national support framework. Furthermore, to consider how the introduction of these elements could be promoted or, if these elements already exist, how their effectiveness could be improved.

How to manage and improve performance?

To develop knowledge of current evaluation and performance management systems.



The seminar was based on the findings of recent OECD country reviews and research on decentralisation and local development governance in Central-East and South-East Europe. Participants also benefitted from learning how peers are making local development partnerships work. The programme was structured around a mix of short presentations by invited experts and OECD staff, followed by discussions and group work based on the case studies developed by participants prior to the seminar.



There were approximately 20 participants at the seminar, including local development partnership managers, practitioners responsible for the organisational development of partnerships, as well as national co-ordinators of partnership networks, and policy makers at national, regional and local levels from Central-East and South-East Europe.



Download the final agenda.



Download the full presentations.



For more information on the seminar, please contact