Regional, rural and urban development


Regional Governance in OECD Countries

Trends, Typology and Tools

In recent decades, federal and unitary countries have increasingly adopted or deepened regional governance reforms, especially in the OECD and Europe, but also in Asia, America and to a lesser extent Africa. Approximately two-thirds of countries around the world have increased the power of regions over the last 50 years. This trend has happened in parallel with countries increasingly embedding a territorial approach into policy-making at the national and subnational levels. This process, however, does not follow a linear path. The rationale behind regional governance reforms differs from country to country, and over time, leading to a broad spectrum of governance models with varying institutional and financing arrangements. Taking stock of these trends, this report provides key data on regional governance reforms and their drivers, with a focus on the role of regions in the COVID-19 crisis response. The report also presents an innovative typology of regional governance models across OECD countries and the multi-level governance instruments that enable sound regional governance and help ensure these arrangements effectively serve their purpose.

Available from December 20, 2022

In series:OECD Multi-level Governance Studiesview more titles


Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive summary
Assessment and recommendations
Understanding regional governance in OECD countries
Regional governance reforms: Trends and drivers
Towards a typology of regional governance
Multi-level governance tools: Enabling sound regional governance
Annexes4 chapters available
Regional governance structures in OECD and EU countries
Table of responsibilities of regional governments
Overview of regional reforms in OECD and EU countries since 1980
Regional initiatives to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery
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