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Local Economic Development Programme

SODIA local economic development is to build up the economic capacity of a local area to improve its economic future and the quality of life for all. It is a process by which public, business and non-governmental sector partners work collectively to create better conditions for economic growth and employment generation.

The success of a community today depends upon its ability to adapt to the dynamic local, national and international market economy. Strategically planned LED is increasingly used by communities to strengthen the local economic capacity of an area, improve the investment climate and facilitate an increase in the productivity and competitiveness of local businesses, entrepreneurs and workers. An understanding of the principles and practices of strategic LED planning will position communities to be able to improve their quality of life, create new economic opportunities and fight poverty.

Communities within and between regions often compete to attract external and local investment; however, opportunities exist for communities to collaborate with each other to help all their economies grow. They can do this for example, by supporting strategic infrastructure or environmental improvements that demonstrate a broad regional impact. An association of local Communities, Districts and municipalities or regional governments working together can serve to facilitate LED efforts by acting as an intermediary between national and municipal governments. Metropolitan areas can offer many opportunities through agglomeration economies, economies of scale and effort as a result of the size of the physical and human capital available, as well as the size of its services and internal market. Uncoordinated and disparate institutional frameworks and planning bodies in metropolitan areas can serve to undermine area-wide economic growth.

Metropolitan-wide LED agencies, consortia and networks can be created to address these constraints. These innovative institutional frameworks, which represent the interests of different municipalities and partner agencies in the same metropolitan area, can bring benefits to the key actors of each municipality (public departments, business and civil society organizations). These frameworks can serve to unite the efforts of different localities and increase LED results, and can strengthen representation in higher levels of decision-making.
SODIA will promote and support innovative ways in which Communities and MMDAs can contribute to improving their local economies.