Workshop 5: Local and Regional Development – Methodology and Tools

Day 1: Strategy Building, Programming and Streamlining Institutions

09.30 hrs Welcome to the Participants

10.00 hrs Introduction: Content and Purpose of the Workshop

Introducing background, approaches and procedures of strategy building and programming. Features of streamlined inter-institutional relations conducive to the economic performance of regions and Regional Development Agencies (RDA) able to manage regional recovery and innovation. Developing clusters and innovation platforms as tools to foster economic development. Promotion of SMEs and start-ups by means of incubation approaches and Business Incubators. Best practices from EU regions.

10.15 hrs Conceptual Background 1 – Features of Regions as Multifunctional Entities 

Understanding the multitude of functions, relations, interactions, interests in regions, which are interrelated and mutually conditional and determine the options for and the formation of policy tools.

10.45 hrs Conceptual Background 2 – Principles of Region Building and Intra-regional Relations

Key actors at various institutional levels and intra-regional competence structures. Regional identity, transparency and communication. Top-down versus bottom-up approaches. The principle of subsidiarity.

11.15 hrs Coffee Break

11.30 hrs Institutional Reform 1 – Streamlining Institutions to Improve Economic Competitiveness

Character and functions of institutions and organisations relevant with an impact on the regions economic competitiveness. Division of competences in and between public administrations at all levels. Features of horizontal and vertical coordination of public actions. Decentralization, transparency and service orientation of administrations. 

12.30 hrs Lunch

13.30 hrs Institutional Reform 2 - Regional Development Agencies (RDA) as a Tool for Economic Promotion of Regions

Outline of basic structures, functions and tasks of RDAs. Description of different types of agencies and their role in the institutional framework of regions. Best practices of RDAs from EU regions.

14.00 hrs Political Environment – Partnership, Participation and Regional Consensus

Introduction of the main features of the partnership approach and its relevance fort he sustainability of regional development actions and ownership of results. Outline of approaches of participative planning and the inclusion of major stakeholders and interest groups in the regional development processes. Institutionalisation of consensus building at local and regional level. 

14.30 hrs Strategy Building and Programming 1 – The Phases and Steps of Strategy Development (Overview)

Introduction of the major feature and logical background of the elaboration process of strategies and programs.

15.00 hrs Strategy Building and Programming 2 – The Regional Analysis

Outline of the main elements of the regional analysis and highlighting of its significance for the sustainability and impact of strategic decisions. Introduction of the SEA/SENA methodology and the SWOT analysis. Explaination of the major methodological/technical tools to be applied during the analysis phase 

15.30 hrs Coffee Break

15.45 hrs Group Work - Preparation of a Simulated SWOT Analysis for a Model Region

The participants are divided into working groups and simulate the elaboration of a SWOT analysis for their regions of origin. Methodological guidelines and criteria for this activity are provided in advance.

17.00 hrs Discussion

17.30 hrs End of the first day 

20.00 hrs OPTIONAL: Panel discussion with regional economic development experts, politicians and representatives from Regional Development Agencies.



Day 2: (Part 1) Strategy Building, Programming and Streamlining Institutions (Continued)

09.00 hrs Group Work 2 – Presentation and Discussion of the Group Work Results

10.00 hrs Strategy Building and Programming 3 – Defining the Strategy

Ways to turn the results of the regional analysis into strategic actions. Introduction of methodological steps of problem analysis („problem tree“) and of turning identified problems into strategic objectives („Objective tree“). The role and function of scenario´s and how to elaborate the strategic document.

11.00 hrs Coffee Break

11.15 hrs Strategy Building and Programming 3 – Elaborating an Operational Program or Action Plan

Outline of the relation between strategy, program and funds for its implementation. Methodological steps to build a program and to strategically allocate funds. Logical framework and time planning. 

12.00 hrs Strategy Building and Programming 4 – Program Management, Monitoring and Evaluation

Basic principles of program management. Understanding the role of indicators for the effective implementation of a project. Introduction of different types of indicators and methods as well as sources for their verification. Reasons for project monitoring and evaluation as well as the difference between monitoring and evaluation. Main principles of M & E and the information/data required. Outline of project/program monitoring procedures and methodology as well of the basic steps of a project/program evaluation procedure.

13.00 hrs Lunch 

Day 2 (Part 2) Strategic Tools to Foster Economic Development (selected Examples)

14.00 hrs Clustering and Innovation – The development of clusters and innovation as tools to promote the competitiveness of regions and businesses.

The systematic development of local and regional clusters as well as the strategic use and promotion of innovation potentials in regions and companies is times of globalization and rapid technological change an important determinant of the competitiveness of regions and businesses. The interplay of regional economy and innovation is presented along with targeted measures to stimulate the corporate innovation potential. Outline of the methodological tools of the Regional Innovation and Technology Transfer Strategy (RIS / RITTS).

14.45 hrs Investment Promotion - Marketing tools and concepts of regional investment promotion and FDI attraction.

Against the background of increasing global competition among regions, the strategic marketing of regions and their potential is becoming increasingly important. A systematic benchmarking of regional assets is essential for successful and pro-active investment promotion activities. Core elements of investment promotion are introduced through best practice examples from European regions.

15.30 hrs Coffee Break

15.45 hrs Promotion of Enterprises – Business Incubators and Innovative Start-ups

Systematic and consistent measures to improve the regional environment for business making are crucial for a strong competitive position of a region. Outline of the business incubation concept and best practices of business incubators as a tool to foster entrepreneurship and support innovative start-ups.

16.30 hrs Discussion, Questions and Answers

17.00 hrs Evaluation of the Workshop

17.30 hrs End of the Workshop