How to use Local Economic Development (LED) as tool for Sustainable Territorial Development?
  • January 13, 2014

This week, from the 6-10 January 2014, the Seventh Session of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals is taking place, focusing on sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport, sustainable consumption and production and climate change and disaster risk reduction.

In this framework, specialized institutions organized a side event on Local Economic Development for Sustainable Territorial Development, giving local, regional, as well as national authorities and UN agencies the occasion to exchange on how local economic development can address the main challenges and create opportunities shaping human settlements and territories. In two sessions participants were invited to share best practices to explore how LED could best be integrated into the design of the post-2015 global development agenda, looking in the first part into “Creating the Necessary Political and Policy Clout for Sustainable Development” and discussing in the second part the merits of “LED as a Methodology and Tool for Sustainable Transformation”.

Ministers, Mayors, representatives of regional Institutions and development agencies and practitioners of the UN shared experiences compiled from four continents, and agreeing that though there is no one-fits-all-solution, strong coordination mechanisms and linkages between different levels of government, as between governments and the private sector are the basis for an inclusive economic and territorial development.

UNCDF’s Local Development Practice Deputy Director, Mrs. Christel Alvergne, explained how UNCDF is working to integrate economic growth and political reforms in LDCs by mainly focusing interventions on the regional level to yield a maximum impact through connecting governmental levels up- and downstream. An important aspect consists on fuelling investment streams and creating channels to redistribute funds, on one hand through the intragovernmental fiscal transfer system, but also through the private sector via e.g. financial institutions and through government to people programmes in social protection. On this background, Mrs. Alvergne also stressed the importance on creating intragovernmental, as well as intersectoral linkages to support an inclusive growth process.