Ideally, the development of a Local Economic Development (LED) strategy will be an integral part of a broader strategic planning process for a subnational region, city, town or rural area. Effective strategic planning ensures that priority issues are addressed and limited resources are well targeted. The five-step planning process shown below should be tailored to complement, and correspond with, other local planning processes. The process is not prescriptive and should be adapted to meet the needs of the individual community.
For detailed information on organizing an LED strategy, see the toolkit: Making Local Economic Strategies: A Trainers' Manual.
Stage One: Organizing the Effort
A community begins the LED strategy planning process by identifying the people, public institutions, businesses, community organizations and other groups with interests in the local economy. The skills and resources that each of these stakeholders bring to the strategy process provide a critical foundation for success. more
Stage Two: Conducting the Local Economy Assessment
Each community has a unique set of local attributes that can advance or hinder local economic development. The aim of the local economy assessment is to identify the community's strengths and weaknesses including its human resource capacity, local government's 'friendliness' to all types of business activities. more
Stage Three: Developing the LED Strategy
As part of the LED strategy, a shared economic vision for the community and LED goals, objectives, programs, projects and action plans will be developed. This process ensures that all major stakeholder groups are given the opportunity to define what is to be achieved, how it is to be achieved, who will be responsible and the timeframes associated with the implementation of the LED strategy. more
Stage Four: Implementing the LED Strategy
Strategy implementation is driven by the LED action plans. Ongoing monitoring is provided through the formal structures identified and created in step one, and evaluation of specific project outcomes ensures that the strategy continues to lead to the achievement of the LED vision, goals and objectives. more
Stage Five: Reviewing the LED Strategy
Good monitoring and evaluation techniques help to quantify outcomes, justify expenditures, determine enhancements and adjustments, and develop good practices. This information also feeds into the review of the complete LED strategy. more
Funding a LED Strategy
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