Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Local Partnerships for Better Governance


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Publication Date:
15 November 2001


Local Partnerships for Better Governance

To better respond to a new set of concerns of the population and promote sustainable development, governments today actively seek a broad partnership with civil society and the private sector. Yet, it is at local and regional levels, closer to the problems and the individuals, that partnerships are most often formed. Partnerships are being established throughout OECD countries to tackle issues of economic development, employment, social cohesion and the quality of life. What all partnerships share is a common desire to improve governance -- how society collectively solves its problems and meets its needs. Through partnerships, civil society and its NGOs, enterprises and government at different levels work together to design area-based strategies, adapt policies to local conditions and take initiatives consistent with shared priorities. An ambitious mission, which raises the challenge of harmonising public accountability and participatory democracy. Local Partnerships for Better Governance presents the lessons learnt from the most recent experiences in seven countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy and the United States. This book proposes a strategy that governments can implement to improve governance through partnerships. Applying this strategy will enforce local capacities in a globalising economy, and contribute to reconcile economic competitiveness, social cohesion and environmental progress.
Country case studies include the following: 

  • Innovation in Local Governance: the Irish Partnership Model
  • Fighting Unemployment and Social Exclusion with Partnerships in Finland
  • A New Approach to Economic Development in Sicily: Planning in Partnership
  • The Role of Partnerships in Economic Development and Labour Markets in the United States
  • Partnerships in Austria: Enhancing Regional Co-operation in a Decentralised Policy Framework 
  • Broadening Social Dialogue: the Experience of the Flemish Region of Belgium 
  • Tripartism, Partnership and Regional Integration of Policies in Denmark

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