Good practices by country - Principle 1


< Adopt an integrated, place-specific strategy


The Regional Development Agencies promote investment strategies tailored to different places to support regional development. Regional Development Agencies across Canada help to address key economic challenges by providing regionally-tailored programs, services, knowledge and expertise that: (i) Build on regional and local economic assets and strengths; (ii) Support business growth, productivity and innovation; (iii) Help small- and medium-sized businesses effectively compete in the global marketplace; (iv) Provide adjustment assistance in response to economic downturns and crises; and (v) Support communities.



France introduced competitiveness poles in 2004. A pôle de compétitivité brings together large and small firms, research laboratories and educational establishments, all working together in a specific region to develop synergies and cooperative efforts. Other partners may be brought in, such as public authorities, either local or national, as well as firms providing business services. There are 71 poles, with 16 poles of international rank. In an evaluation report in June 2008, the networking, SME involvement and visibility of the poles were viewed positively, but there were some concerns about their different performances. Responding to this concern, it was recommended that 39 poles be extended unconditionally for three years, 19 be extended for three years but subject to a funding review after 18 months, and 13 be evaluated after one year. The strategic approach to the poles will be consolidated via new “performance contracts” and the new calls in the field of eco-technologies.



The OpenCoesione web portal provides analysis and monitoring on the use of regional policy resources, offering information, accessible to anyone, on what is funded, who is involved and where. The web portal contains information about any single project carried out to implement cohesion policy, and more specifically: funds used, places and categories, subjects involved and implementation timeframes. Users can either download raw data or surf through interactive diagrams itemised by expenditure categories, places and type of intervention, as well as have access to files on single projects and subjects involved. Data on the local economy and social context are provided as well.



Integrated territorial development and infrastructure development. Japan’s National Spatial Strategy (NSS) outlines the principles for integrated territorial development and infrastructure development. It is the guiding strategy for national and regional level plans in these areas. The strategy is linked to the 2007 Act on Infrastructure Development for the Revitalisation of Large Regions. The Act promotes co-ordination in cross-sectoral projects within the regional plans of the NSS, and establishes that sub-national governments formulate their Infrastructure Development Plan for Regional Revitalisation in line with the Basic Policy of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism (MLIT). Once this is in place sub-national projects can obtain financial and technical support from the central level.



In Mexico, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography developed an integrated system of geo-referenced data, matching information from different sources and at different geographical scales. Indicators are used to help link budget allocations to socio-economic variables in regions in order to provide simulations of further funding according to policy objectives, such as fighting poverty.


New Zealand

All sub-national governments are required to adopt long term plans that set out spending and investment intentions for the coming ten years. The plans are designed to ensure investment decisions by sub-national governments are integrated and linked to each community’s desired outcomes.


United States

A specific example is the Promise Zones federal programme. The President’s Promise Zones aim at providing tools to revitalize the 20 communities hardest hit by the recession by attracting private investment, creating jobs, improving affordable housing, expanding educational opportunities, providing tax incentives for hiring workers and investing within the Zones, and partnering with local leaders to navigate Federal programs and cut through red tape. $750 million are available in the programme, to provide a tax incentive to secure private investments that will help build homes and create jobs. The objective of the programme is also to align initiatives from the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and the Department for Agriculture in 20 communities hardest hit by the recession, to ensure that federal programs and resources are focused intensely on these “Promise Zones”.



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