Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Fostering co-operation with subnational governments at the OECD Trento Centre


To be most effective, policies should fully account for the potential trade-offs and complementarities inherent to the ongoing trends, having in mind that subnational scales are often the best suited to address them


  • What’s the issue?

In the aftermath of COVID-19, OECD countries will undergo new transitions, such as the rise of teleworking and green jobs, adding to foregoing megatrends, such as digitalisation, automation and ageing, which will affect people, places and firms in different ways. In such a context, new solutions conducive to resilience and sustainable development are needed, including in the local labour market.

To be most effective, policies should account for different political, economic and social contexts existing at subnational level and tailor their own place-based policies since there is no “one-size-fits-all” policy framework.

Co-operation between different levels of government, adequate local institutional capacities, and a place- sensitive approach to policy design and implementation will be key to achieving a fast, inclusive, and steady recovery tailored to local assets and needs as well as driven by well-thought objectives and instruments.

Focussing on policy innovations and emerging trends, as well as on bottlenecks and skills shortage that first appear locally, the Trento Centre brings its expertise on local implementation to make policy analysis and advice more actionable and relevant. Tapping the OECD global network of subnational actors allows for a wider variety of practices and innovations to learn from.


  • What can the OECD offer?
  • Insights into emerging policy trends and challenges.

  • Support to policy making through the analysis of local dynamics and comparison with international practices.
  • Peer learning between practitioners and participation in high-level international policy fora.

Blog post | Making remote your country takling spatial divides?

Blog post | The comeback kid: how smart policy turned Trentino around

Blog post | More than just a desk: can co-working spaces make labour markets more inclusive? 


Ongoing projects

Towards person-centered integrated care in Italy

Italy is currently undergoing a reform process to strengthen integrated care at the community level to better address the health and social needs of non-self-sufficient people in Italy. This project aims at supporting this reform process, leading to greater availability and better quality of health and social care services provided to non-self-sufficient at home.



Improving the disability assessment and social protection system in Italy

This project aims to support Italy in the design, development and implementation of reforms that will increase the adequacy of disability assessment and protection system in Italy, allowing for greater participation and inclusion of people with disabilities.

Enhancing international partnership and co-operation in Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto Regions in Italy

The project aims to support the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region, Italy, and the Veneto Region, Italy, in enhancing their strategy on international partnership and co-operation (IPC). This should aim to maximise impacts on all local communities involved, moving from a one-way to a mutual approach. 


©getty/fizkesThe future of teleworking: A place-based toolkit for local development

This project aims to support national, regional and local governments of the OECD in promoting a smooth transition to the likely large-scale and enduring use of teleworking conducive to sustainable social and economic local development.


Policy analysis and advice papers

Disability, Work and Inclusion in Italy: Better Assessment for Better Support
November 2023

This report reviews the effectiveness of the social protection system for people with disability in Italy and summarises the results of a pilot carried out in four regions testing an alternative disability assessment, providing evidence that reform can improve outcomes for people with disability. Available also in Italian

Unlocking the potential of teleworking to address labour shortages in the Ems-Achse, Germany
October 2023

In the north-western corner of Germany, the Ems-Achse, a rural region, has witnessed a decade of economic growth. This growth has exacerbated labour shortages, primarily due to an aging population and the outmigration of youth. Acknowledging the potential of teleworking, regional stakeholders aim to explore its capacity to address labour gaps and attract a broader talent pool. Available also in German


Enhancing International Partnership and Co-operation in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
October 2023

Friuli Venezia Giulia, a small region in north-eastern Italy with extensive policy autonomy, has been active in international co-operation and is seeking to get more out of its actions both for the region and with its co-operation partners around the world. Available also in Italian


‌Italy: Trentino's turnaround 1980-2020
May 2023

Trentino is a mountainous province situated in the northern part of Italy with approximately 500 000 inhabitants. In 40 years, Trentino transitioned from a region with large employment shares in agriculture and manufacturing to a knowledge-intensive economy and high value-added agriculture. Blog post: The comeback kid: how smart policy turned Trentino around

Potential spatial impacts of the war in Ukraine
A case study from Italy
July 2022

The impacts of the war in Ukraine will be felt severely within OECD economies, especially in border regions on the front-line of the humanitarian refugee crisis. The economic impacts, in particular those driven by rising energy prices, will also be spatially differentiated, affecting some regions more than others. Italy is no exception.


Enhancing the impact of Italy’s start-up visa
What can be learnt from international practice?
December 2021

Italy’s start-up visa aims to make the national start-up ecosystem more easily accessible to foreign talent, rich with knowledge and skills, and more integrated into global markets. This report identifies five gateways for attracting more foreign entrepreneurs.

The future of remote work. Opportunities and policy options for Trentino

‌The future of remote work. Opportunities and policy options for Trentino
November 2021

In Italy, the Autonomous Province of Trento has plans to design a comprehensive plan for teleworking as a way to foster local economic and social development. This paper identifies six policy areas for recommendations, reflecting the conditions needed to achieve these objectives. Available also in Italian

Blog post: Making remote your country takling spatial divides?

Internationalisation of the next Smart Specialisation Strategy
Opportunities and barriers in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region
November 2021

The paper develops recommendations on how to make the most of the Research, Technology, Development and Innovation endowments in FVG through enhancing the innovation-internationalisation nexus in order to improve competitiveness of the region.


Exploring policy options on teleworking
Steering local economic and employment development in the time of remote work 
November 2020

This paper explores and classifies some of the most common policy options adopted by national, regional and local policy makers in the context of or prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to enable, encourage and make the most of teleworking. Available also in Italian

  An insight into the innovative start-up landscape of Trentino
Is it time for the “Start-up Valley” to scale up?
November 2020

This paper offers an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of innovative start-up firms in Trentino, a high-income mountainous area in the North East of Italy. Available also in Italian

An insight into the innovative start-up landscape of Friuli-Venezia Giulia
A tale of two sub-regions? 
November 2020

This paper offers an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of innovative start-up firms in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, an autonomous region situated at the extreme North East of the Italian territory, bordering with Austria and Slovenia. 


An insight into the innovative start-up landscape of South Tyrol
A language barrier to effective policy transfer? 
November 2020

The characteristics of innovative start-up firms in South Tyrol, the northernmost province of Italy, entirely mountainous, hosting a high-income population belonging to three main language groups.


COVID-19: SME policy responses by Italian Regions
Updated at 22 April 2020

The note provides a preliminary inventory of the policy responses adopted by the Italian regions to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Available also in Italian 


Previous related work

Report: Territorial wide area co-operation in the Adriatic-Ionian region - Outlook on future Transnational Cooperation in the Region
April 2019

Report: Territorial wide area co-operation in the Adriatic-Ionian region
January 2018

Review: Developing local development strategies for remote, peripheral areas - Trentino, Italy
February 2016 - December 2019 

Report: Supporting the development of local innovation systems in Colombia - The case of Medellin, Antioquia | ES version
October 2013 - April 2015

All previous activities




For more information, please contact [email protected].


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