Regional development

Multi-level governance, subnational finance and investment


Subnational governance and finance matter for regional development

At the global level, subnational governments are key economic and social players. They represent on average in the OECD:

  • 40% of public expenditure
  • 63% of total public staff expenditure
  • 57% of public investment
  • 32% of public tax revenue
  • 20% of public debt

The OECD is the leading international forum on multi-level governance, identifying policy options and recommendations to strengthen subnational capacities and multi-level mechanisms for more effective and inclusive regional development policies.

In 2016, the OECD created the Multi-Level Governance Studies series, focusing on decentralisation reforms, public investment, municipal governance, subnational finance and territorial reforms.

See launch event of the World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment




See launch event



The OECD organised with the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR) a conference on “Subnational Finance and Investment Ten Years after the Crisis” on 12 November 2018 in Brussels.

This joint CoR/OECD conference reveiwed the current state of subnational finance and investment, exploring the constraints and demands that subnational governments face. It also looked ahead to different solutions and opportunities that exist for cities and regions to reach their investment objectives and deliver public value, now and in the years to come. New OECD publications on subnational finance in the EU and on subnational Public Private Partnerships were presented during the event.






Conference programme


Webstreaming available


More information

Multi-level governance Subnational finance
Public investment


The OECD is a leading forum on multi-level governance, identifying policy options and recommendations to strengthen subnational capacities.

Learn more

The OECD gathers and publishes annually updated data on subnational governments in 35 OECD member countries.

Access the data

Our online Toolkit will guide you in implementing the OECD Principles on Effective Public Investment Across Levels of Government.

Access the Toolkit


  Read more    
Asymmetric decentralisation:
Policy implications in Colombia
  Subnational Public-Private
Partnerships (2018)
  Key Data on Local and Regional Governments in the European Union (2018)   Rethinking Regional Development
Policy-making (2018)
‌‌   EUSAIR Synthesis report    Self-assessment tool EUSAIR ‌  
Subnational Governments
in OECD Countries (2018)
  Synthesis Report: Multi-level Governance and Cross-Sector Practices Supporting EUSAIR (2019)    OECD National EUSAIR Multi-Level Governance Self-Assessment Tool (2019)    

Consult the full list of publications on multi-level governance


Related Documents