Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Europe \ Local economic development

Local economic development is a central part of developmental local government. It is a process which brings together different partners in the local area to work together to harness resources for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Local economic development is increasingly being seen as a key function of local government and a means of ensuring that local and regional authorities can address the priority needs of local citizens in a sustainable way. There is no single model for LED; approaches reflect local needs and circumstances. Themes include local economic development guides, tourism, support to small, medium and micro enterprises, microfinance and credit and public-private partnership.

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Location of Repository The public value of urban local authority collaboration as economic development policy: the role of institutions

The thesis aims to understand: what constitutes urban collaboration and its relationship with policy outcomes? The research develops a conceptual understanding of the public value (PV) (Bardach, 1998; Moore, 1995, Smith, 2004) of Urban Local Authority Collaboration (ULAC) as economic development policy, relative to three theoretical domains in the literature: economic collaboration (i.e. new/old institutional economics: Ostrom 1990, 2016; Williamson, 2000); spatial collaboration (i.e. institutional economic geography: Ostrom, 2010; Gerber, 2015; Tarko and Aligica, 2012), and governance collaboration (i.e. collective action theory: Hulst and van Monfort, 2012; Feiock, 2008, 2013). Theoretically, the ‘institution’ (Amin, 2001; Jessop, 2001; Williamson, 2000; Aligica and Boettke, 2009; Gertler, 2010) is a distinct conceptual dimension connecting the theoretical literature, bridging scholarly boundaries across compatible ontological insights (Bathelt and Gluckler, 2003; and Hay, 2011). \ud A conceptual framework is developed to help understand: a) what ULAC looks like; b) how ULAC creates PV and, c) why institutions explain the PV of ULAC. A purposeful single case study of ULAC (i.e. the Scottish Cities Alliance (SCA): a formalised institutional policy network involving seven Urban Local Authorities (ULAs) and the Scottish Government) involved collecting data using semi-structured interviews, secondary data, policy documentation and non-participant observation. The emergence of the SCA as economic development policy in Scotland – conducive to an institutionally sensitive theoretical approach – presents a valuable opportunity to contribute towards an empirical and theoretical understanding of ULAC. Using template analysis, findings emerged through process-tracing, sense-making and thick narrative descriptions to reveal aggregate dimensions and second-order themes and first-order concepts. The thesis responds to calls for in-depth case study research of the way local government collaboration operates and performs (Hulst and Montfort, 2012), engaging with the ‘fuzzy’(Markhusen, 2003) concepts and processes of ‘urban collaboration’, ‘policy outcomes’ and ‘institutions’ to reveal a lack of empirical and conceptual understanding of how ULAC operates: particularly the role of ‘urban’ institutional context as a ‘key actor attribute’ (Hulst and van Monfort, 2012: 139). Using a critical realist ontology (Jessop, 2005), the research is best suited to Stake’s (2005) interpretive methodological approach to contextualised theorising, using the SCA in Scotland to investigate the ‘contextualised’ Institutional context, to help inductively conceptualise the PV of ULAC as economic development policy. Whilst conscious of the risks of methodological and conceptual ‘stretching’ (Stubbs, 2005: 71) , the research uses Scotland as a case study to conceptualise the more generic, abstract features of ULAC as a ‘theoretically vague’ term that may ‘travel’ (Stubbs, 2005: 71). The results validate a realist perspective of the theoretical role of formal and informal institutions shaping the contextual path dependant nature of the PV of ULAC. The methodological contribution of the thesis highlights how a new evolving model of economic and spatial governance in Scotland, presents potential challenges for the future delivery of urban policy and practice in Scotland, before closing with a discussion of research limitations and recommendations for areas of future academic research

Author: Linda Christie Publisher: University of Glasgow Publication year: 2018


Commonwealth Trade Review 2018 - Strengthening the Commonwealth Advantage

Deepening intra-Commonwealth trade and investment – and using these opportunities to empower women and young people as entrepreneurs – can help drive economic growth, create jobs and increase the prosperity of Commonwealth citizens. The theme of Commonwealth Trade Review 2018 is ‘Strengthening the Commonwealth Advantage: Trade, Technology, Governance’. This edition presents new empirical findings, rich insights and practical recommendations on how to boost the ‘Commonwealth advantage’ in trade and investment. Part 1 - Commonwealth trade and investment trends Part 2 - The Commonwealth in multilateral and regional trade Part 3 - Harnessing digitisation for Commonwealth trade, investment and prosperity Part 4 - Deepening the Commonwealth advantage through 21st-century trade governance

Author: Commonwealth Secretariat Publisher: Commonwealth Secretariat Publication year: 2018


Train, attract and retain: increasing Birmingham’s skilled workforce

This report looks at Birmingham's skills profile and the implications for its economy.
 

Author: Gabriele Piazza Publisher: Centre for Cities Publication year: 2018


A Human Rights Approach to Localising The MDGs Through Gender-Equitable Local Development

Until now, the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Gender Equitable Local Development (GELD) programme has not been presented within an explicit human rights framework. This is strange given that the human rights based approach to development (HRBAD) aims to ensure that all human beings can live their lives fully and with dignity. HRBAD is fundamentally about the healthy and full development of individuals and communities. In addition, one of human rights’ central concerns is that people have equal access to the benefits of society. Initiatives to realize human rights therefore give priority to the most marginalized - the poorest - in a society. It is those individuals who have most difficulty in securing the basics that are essential to living their lives with dignity. Women in all communities are disproportionately represented among the poor. Thus, human rights have gender equity as a central focus. Put another way, we are dealing with the feminization of poverty. We are dealing with the concept of equal access (to development). In short, we are dealing with those who need (and deserve) greater priority in access to infrastructure and supporting services in order to reach a point of equality.

Author: Ron McGill Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2009


The Commonwealth Local Government Forum: An Overview

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) was established in 1994, coinciding with rapid moves towards decentralisation at that time, especially in Commonwealth Africa. It uniquely brings together national associations of local government and individual councils, ministries responsible for local government, and training and research institutes with an interest in local government, on a common platform. This reflects an understanding that local government needs effective central government and vice versa if decentralisation is to be truly successful, and that research, training and practice need to be brought together in a constructive and creative way. CLGF’s developmental work can be divided into three main categories: Promotion and advocacy of local democracy and good governance, Exchange of experience and Capacity building.This article provides a brief overview of the activities and projects which CLGF has underway in respect of these objectives. It will be complemented by more detailed papers on specific programmes and projects in this and future issues of the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance.

Author: Lucy Slack Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2008


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