Principle 2 - Co-ordinate across sub-national and national levels



Effective Public Investment Line 2



To bridge the information gaps that may occur across levels of government.
Effective public investment across levels of government requires substantial coordination to bridge a series of information, policy or fiscal gaps that may occur. Collaboration for public investment strategies across jurisdictions and levels of government is difficult, even in situations where the actors involved clearly recognise the need for it. Transaction costs, competitive pressures, resource constraints, differing priorities and fears that the distribution of costs or benefits from co-operation will be one-sided, can all impede efforts to bring governments together.

To identify investment priorities and minimise the potential for investments to work at cross-purposes.
The scale and positive (or negative) spillovers of a public investment may require joint action, either to reduce the cost of the investment or to implement the complementary measures needed to make the most of that investment. While co-ordination on all aspects of public investment is not necessarily feasible, at a minimum, there is an aim to not opt for contradictory approaches across levels of government.


  • Develop integrated national strategies with clear long-term goals for public investment (at all levels).

  • Use contracts/formalised agreements between levels of government.

  • Ensure co-financing arrangements between levels of government.

  • Formalise consultation of sub-national governments in the development of national plans.

  • Establish platforms for regular inter-governmental dialogue.

  • Institutionalise the dialogue of national representatives in regions with respective sub-national authorities.


  • Under-estimate the coordination challenges at stake and engage in coordination with other levels of government too late in the investment decision-making process.

  • Multiply coordination bodies without clear value added in the decision-making process.

  • Create a proliferation of inter-governmental contracts that are complicated to manage


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See real life examples on how countries have been putting this principle into practice. Read more


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Country profiles on how they have been using the toolkit to assess public investment capacity . Read more


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Indicators and self assessment questionnaire on this principle. Read more




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