Facilitate participation and strong partnerships!

The involvement of local stakeholders in the process of developing their own territory is a prerequisite for sustainable economic development. Bringing local stakeholders around one table, e.g. through a Local LED Forum, helps to build trust, encourages innovation and promotes the creation of social networks and activities.

There is a consensus among practitioners that LED is the result of joint planning by a municipality, its community and business sectors. This means that all economic forces in the local situation have to be brought on board to identify resources, understand needs and work out plans to find the best ways of making the local economy fully functional, investor friendly and competitively productive.

Private enterprise in a local economy includes all large, medium, small and micro enterprises. This expanded view means that large mining companies and factories as well the smallest spaza shops are part of private enterprise in a local economy.

Partnerships not only benefit the planning stage but are crucial for the successful implementation of the strategy. The coordination of different development activities deters actors from ineffective go-it-alone approaches and allows the pooling of resources of different local actors.

Key questions:

  • Who are the key stakeholders?
  • How have they been included in the process and at what stages?
  • Is there evidence of private sector involvement or commitment (business especially)?