For the SDC, local economic development is not just an economic matter but a cooperative approach which provides an excellent tool for bringing together different interest groups to agree on local cooperation that can help create jobs and income, in addition to improving governance.

SDC focus

Moreover, local economic development can also strengthen governance at national level. In countries like Kosovo or Burkina Faso, the SDC conducts local economic development activities which have been implemented simultaneously in several towns. This has enabled municipalities (or rather territories, because each town has close links with its peri-urban and rural hinterland) to exchange information and experience that are specific to them. This has led to better cooperation among local authorities and thus added weight to the local dimension in dialogue with central government.


Local economic development brings together various stakeholders from civil society, as well as the public and private sectors. Its goal is to promote cooperation so as to develop a given area. Cooperation is a key factor in governance. Local economic development (LED) triggers a political process in which the protagonists have to negotiate the priorities bearing in mind the limited human and financial resources at their disposal.

Forces that drive the economy

Economic considerations drive the private sector. Cooperation on creating public goods, such as improved framework conditions for investment, calls for a private-public collaboration that is built into concrete projects ("We'll build the road, and you'll build the factory. You tell us what's not right about the investment climate, and we'll put it right."). In this way, combined LED efforts create new business prospects. The public sector needs the private sector for local economic development.

In virtually every country, it is the private sector that creates most jobs and generates income, and jobs and income are a priority for the public sector's customers and voters. Poverty reduction and – perhaps more important for a civil servant – re-election of the mayor and his staff depend on the generation of income.

Governance as a process

Civil society, like local associations, should also be part of planning and implementing development projects in which the economic dimension is obviously not the only issue at stake. The State and local government do not cover all the ground. So the three stakeholder groups – the public and private sectors and civil society – negotiate and cooperate on the basis of concrete information derived from evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the local economy, as well as the opportunities and risks involved. This dynamic exchange between partners improves governance at local level.

Current projects

Object 1009 – 1020 of 1287

Swiss Better Gold Initiative, Phase III

01.06.2021 - 30.06.2025

SECO and the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA) promote the creation of value chains for responsibly sourced gold from artisanal and small-scale mines through a public-private partnership called the Swiss Better Gold Initiative.

Integrated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Programme

01.06.2021 - 30.06.2028

The Programme promotes sustainable private sector investment and helps to reduce negative externalities in selected countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America by improving environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices of both the financial and real sectors. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) 2021-24

01.05.2021 - 30.06.2024

ESMAP is the World Bank Energy Trust Fund. Through its analytical work, ESMAP supports the design and implementation of innovative business models and specific World Bank projects, shapes country policies and increases client capacity on topics such as the reform of utilities and energy subsidies or the establishment of sustainable hydropower.

Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Phase IV

01.05.2021 - 31.12.2024

Since 2002 the EITI promotes openness and accountable management of natural resources by setting a global transparency standard. Since 2009, SECO supports the EITI International Secretariat’s activities in promoting and implementing the EITI Standard. This phase continues the successful collaboration with the EITI.

Technical assistance for the Tax Administration Burkina Faso, Phase III

01.04.2021 - 31.07.2025

Burkina Faso is fighting against poverty and social inequality. Increased transparency and better domestic revenue mobilization help in dealing with those challenges. SECO supports the country to this end by providing technical assistance to its Central Tax Administration.

ETH-Ashesi Masterprogram Ghana

01.04.2021 - 31.12.2029

The program will support the establishment of a new Master’s degree program in mechatronics engineering in Ghana in cooperation with the private sector. It will provide a tertiary education to highly skilled and talented Ghanaian and other African students, empowering them to contribute to the sustainable development of the region.

Medium Term Budget Planning Framework Azerbaijan

01.02.2021 - 02.02.2026

The engagemen supports Azerbaijan in making public spending more effective, predictable and sustainable. It will enhance capacity for macroeconomic planning, managing public investments, understanding debt sustainability and increasing transparency. The project capitalizes on SECO’s cooperation with the authorities on Financial Programming (FP).

Better Work Phase IV

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024

Improving working conditions and productivity in the global garment sector: Promoting compliance with national law and international core labour standards and supporting factories benefits workers, managers, countries and consumers and delivers a better normal in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Financial Sector Strengthening Indonesia, Phase III

01.01.2021 - 30.04.2025

The Indonesia Financial Sector Strengthening Program (IFSSP) aims at strengthening the stability of the financial sector and promoting the development of a sound and inclusive financial sector that fosters sustainable economic growth and job creation in Indonesia.

Sustainability Reporting for Responsible Business

01.01.2021 - 28.02.2025

Mainstreaming good corporate governance is key to achieve sustainable development. We partner with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to improve the sustainability reporting systems in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, leveraging GRI's established networks to engage a wide set of local stakeholders in government and the private sector.

Strengthening Quality of Auditing and Reporting, Albania, Phase III

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2025

The Project represents phase III of the overall Corporate Financial Reporting (CFR) Reform Program in Albania, which SECO has been supporting since 2011. It aims to cover remaining gaps, to further strengthen capacities of public and private institutions, and to ensure the application and enforcement of the CFR regulations and standards.

Sustainable Long-Term Finance Facility

01.01.2021 - 30.06.2026

The Sustainable Long-Term Finance Facility aims to leverage private finance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and climate change assets through the development of local capital markets. It will be implemented by the World Bank Group.

Object 1009 – 1020 of 1287