Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Local economic development

Local economic development (LED) is a central part of developmental local government. It is a process which brings together differetn partners in the local area to work together to harness resources for sustainable economic growth. 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.

Cardiff consensus for local economic development

The Cardiff consensus for local economic development was adopted by the CLGF members at the 2011 Commonwealth Local Government Conference. The consensus called on governments, development agencies and other partners to support and strengthen local government's role in local economic development to help reduce poverty, and promote economic prosperity across teh Commonwealth. It gives guidelines on key actions  to enable local government to play its full role in LED around: 

  • providing a clear national framework for local economic development
  • creating an enabling environment for LED
  • local strategies to promote LED
  • LED partnerships with the private sector and other partners.

View the full Cardiff consensus for local economic development

The consensus has been used by a number of CLGF members and Commonwealth government in developing their own LED policy and practices.

Guides and resources on LED

The CLGF knowledge hub has a dedicated section on local economic development which we would recommend you search and browse. 

CLGF project and other activities around LED

Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED)
CLGF Southern Africa programmes

CLGF resources on LED

CLGF has developed a number of resources and studies as part of CLGF project work to assist our members understand what activities come under local economic development, how it is practiced and conceived in different regions and countries across the Commonwealth, and to provide good practice cases studies for peer learning.


Local economic development in South Asia - a review of policy and practice, 
a research paper on the trends and good practice across the five Commonwealth Countries Southern Asia region, CLGF 2015

Local economic development in Southern Africa, a research paper on the trends and good practice across the Southern Africa region, CLGF 2014

LED concepts and intervention in Sri Lanka , a short study paper on LED concepts and case studies from Sri Lanka, CLGF 2014

Local economic development in Asia Pacific: A review of policy and practice,  a research paper on the trends and good practice across the Asia Pacific region, CLGF 2015 

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