Around the world, local governments increasingly perform a pivotal role in promoting LED within their localities. Local governments are no longer mainly seen as providers of basic services but are now regarded as sparkplugs of local competitiveness and economic development. However, experience has shown that LED is not an exclusive responsibility of local governments. Local economic development is a joint responsibility of local stakeholders that work together to harness local resources for sustainable and balanced local economic growth.
The LED4LGUs program is based on a LED process that emphasizes the enabling role of LGUs in promoting economic growth and employment generation. As an enabler of local economic development, LGUs are responsible for creating a favourable environment for business development and success. LGUs are also responsible for providing strategic guidance to LED actors by actively coordinating and consolidating their actions towards achieving strategic local economic development objectives; ensuring business friendly policy and/or regulatory environments; providing strategic investments (directly or through innovative public-private partnerships) to support their economies’ infrastructure and growth needs; and, providing business support services to promote priority economic sectors, clusters and value chains in their localities.
The LED4LGUs program curriculum was designed to enhance LGU capacity in carrying out a more enabling role for LED. The focus is to help LGUs create a business friendly and competitive local environment, and to support the development of local economic sectors that maximize the localities’ competitive advantage and promote pro-poor growth. This strategic shift in their LED role implies certain changes in LGUs’ existing views and practices on LED.