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Effective Local Development in the Context of LEADER – A Matter of Management Capacity

A Matter of Management Capacity

Günter Salchner

Steering local development processes in the context of LEADER is widely acknowledged as a complex and demanding task which consequently calls for sufficient staffing and effective management structures. However, management units of Local Action Groups often have an extremely lean structure and/or struggle with a rather weak institutional embedding. Issues of management have so far received less attention in programme evaluations and independent research. This article aims at showing shortcomings and potentials of LEADER implementation by explicitly focusing on staffing and different management models. The empirical part of this article is based on an analysis of LEADER implementation in Austria in the 2007-13 period and interviews with experts in the field of regional and local development in German-speaking countries. It shows how management capacity effects the extent of cooperation activities and the effectiveness of such decentralised steering bodies for local development.

Günter Salchner has been the manager of the development agency ‘Regionalentwicklung Ausserfern’ since 2001. This agency is responsible for local and cross-border development in the Austrian district of Reutte (Tyrol).


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