Regional Development

Multi-level Governance


Why Multi-level Governance is important

In the context of growing regional inequality, the advent of megatrends, and the "geography of discontent", governments at all levels must work in a strategic, collaborative and evidence-based fashion. To do so, robust multi-level governance arrangements among national, regional and local governments, as well as across jurisdictions, are called for. This can require adapting inter-government roles, relationships, and institutional frameworks to improve the quality of public services, the effectiveness of public investment and the sustainability of public finance.

 Rethinking Regional Development Policy Multi-level Governance Reforms: Review of OECD Country Experiences





Decentralisation is among the most important reforms of the past 50 years. Decentralisation refers to the transfer of powers and responsibilities from the central government level to elected authorities at the subnational level (regional governments, municipalities, etc.) and that have some degree of autonomy. Decentralisation outcomes – in terms of democracy, efficiency, accountability, regional and local development – depend greatly on the way decentralisation is designed and implemented.

Regionalisation and regional reforms

The regional level of government has become more important in both centralised and decentralised countries. While there is no single explanation for this development, the motive for regionalisation indecentralised countries has often been the desire to utilise a bigger scale in public service provision, while still securing the benefits of decentralised decision-making.

Inter-governmental coordination

  • Coordination across levels of government for effective public investment 
  • The Territorial Impact of COVID-19 Crisis: Managing the Crisis across Levels of Government

Other topics

  • Inter-municipal cooperation
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Experimental governance


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