Multi-level Governance, Public Investment and Subnational Finance

We help governments design adaptive multi-level governance systems and innovative finance tools, foster partnerships, and ensure more effective public investment outcomes, including to meet climate objectives in regions and cities.

Did you know?

OECD subnational governments are responsible for 57% of total public investment and 40% of total public expenditure.

Areas of Work

Project Highlights

Regional Governance in OECD Countries: Trends, Typology and Tools

The OECD presents key information on regional governance reforms over the past 50 years and their drivers, with a focus on the role of regions in the COVID-19 crisis response. The report provides an innovative typology of regional governance models across OECD countries and multi-level governance instruments, to help enable sound regional governance and ensure these arrangements effectively serve their purpose.

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Making Decentralisation Work: A Handbook for Policy-makers

The OECD identifies 10 guidelines for making decentralisation work. In addition, the report proposes concrete tools for policy-makers, including detailed sets of recommendations, checklists, pitfalls to avoid and examples of good practices in unitary and federal countries.

Report | Policy highlights | Policy highlights (Italian)

Working Paper: Asymmetric Decentralisation

OECD Recommendation on Effective Public Investment across Levels of Government

The outcomes of public investment largely depend on how it is managed. The OECD developed the Recommendation with 12 Principles for Action to support all levels of governments deliver public investment for regional development. To date, 39 countries have adhered to this Recommendation. The OECD regularly monitors how countries are implementing these Principles.

Recommendation | Online Toolkit Monitoring Report | Implementation brochure

Rethinking Regional Development Policy-making

This report identifies cross-cutting lessons to help policy-makers manage common trade-offs when designing public expenditure and investment programmes for the development of regions and cities. It brings together frontier economic theory and country practices and creating and implementing performance frameworks, financial instruments, policy conditionalities, contractual arrangements and behavioural insights for regional policy.

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Key publications

Read more on OECD iLibrary



Expert Workshop (Webinar): Tracking and Measuring Subnational Climate Finance

13 October, 2021, 15:30-17:30 (CEST)

This expert workshop webinar gathered subnational government representatives, international partners and climate finance stakeholders engaged in tracking and measuring subnational climate finance worldwide. The event consisted of two sessions featuring keynote presentations from the OECD followed by roundtable discussions to discuss the preliminary findings of the project.


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Watch the video

Multi-level governance and active subsidiarity for sustainable recovery and resilience

13 October, 2021, 11:00-13:00 (CEST)

The European Committee of the Regions and the Conference of Regional Legislative Assemblies of the EU (CALRE) co-organised this workshop​ within the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities​. Dorothée Allain-Duppré, Head of Regional Development and Multi-Level Governance Division in the OECD participated in the dialogue focusing on the trade-offs between strong regional powers, leadership and multi-level governance in the recovery agenda 


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Read the OECD Policy Note The territorial impact of COVID-19: Managing the crisis and recovery across levels of government  

Trust in Government: Understanding its Territorial Divides:

7 July, 2021 (Virtual)

On 7 July 2021, the OECD organised this webinar, which brought together experts from around the world to build the knowledge base and promote international dialogue on

  • the drivers of regional divides in trust in government and the challenges in measuring these;
  • the local drivers of trust in government and strategies to address the trust divide across territories, notably among urban and rural areas.

The Webinar explored whether local characteristics and socio-economic conditions can influence trust in government, as well as the role of place-based policies and multi-level governance mechanisms in addressing the underlying determinants of trust and mistrust. 

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First Pilot Meeting on Multi-level Governance and Public Investment for Regional Development

17 November, 2020 (Virtual)

This Pilot Meeting gathered representatives and experts from 30 countries and international organisations to discuss how multi-level governance instruments or reforms can support recovery across levels of government and help generate more resilient territorial development post-COVID-19. 

Access the summary and presentations of the meeting


Partnerships with other organisations

OECD and European Committee of the Regions (CoR)
Joint Survey: The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Regional and Local Governments 

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the OECD conducted a survey in June/July 2020: The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on regional and local governments: governance, finance and recovery plans, carried out among representatives of subnational governments of the European Union. Answers were received from 300 subnational government respondents representing 24 countries. 

Access the main findings from the survey

OECD and United Cities and Local Government (UCLG)
The World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment (SNG-WOFI) Initiative

SNG-WOFI was launched in November 2017, as a joint endeavour of the OECD and UCLG. This initiative is the world’s leading source of internationally comparable data and analysis on subnational government structure and finance, covering over 120 countries and territories.

Access the SNG-WOFI website