As more people move to urban centres, especially in developing countries, infrastructure such as water and waste services are under strain. Many cities don't have enough infrastructure in place to support their growing populations, or the staff to maintain that infrastructure. Poor and marginalized people—particularly women and youth—often bear the brunt of this shortage.

To address these issues, our Partnerships for Municipal Innovation - Local Economic Development (PMI-LED) focused on:

  • Creating environments in which local governments get citizens involved in creating an economic vision for the local economy.
  • Giving women and youth better access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
  • Promoting local trade and regional economic development opportunities.
  • Encouraging women's participation in the economic and political life of their community.
  • Creating a space where local governments and their regional and global networks can engage with strategic partners.

PMI-LED was implemented in six countries: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Vietnam. The project aimed to strengthen the capacity of municipal governments to facilitate local economic development (LED) including attraction and retention of investment and trade promotion between municipalities and internationally. As with all FCM programs, a strong emphasis was placed on inclusive and sustainable economic development.  

In Bolivia, PMI-LED helped three municipalities and the association of women elected official, ACOBOL, develop services and tools to foster inclusivity in the local economy. With the support of Canadian municipal experts, our Bolivian partners were able to strengthen their local economic development services and support local entrepreneurs. They also, received training on tourism planning and city branding. The project also supported women and youth entrepreneurship initiatives with seed funds and access to e-commerce. We thank the municipalities of Truro (NS), Timmins (ON) and Drayton Valley (AB) for their participation. 

In Burkina Faso, PMI-LED helped four partner municipalities develop services in support of local economic development. This allowed them to offer improved strategic planning advice for business development and local job creation. The project also supported community initiatives led by young women through the Local Innovation Fund. We thank Canadian municipal experts from MRCs des Laurentides and Vaudreuil-Soulanges (QC) for their participation.  

In Cambodia, PMI-LED helped four partner communities strengthen their regional economic development and trade capacity. The project also established a Northwest Cambodia Regional Economic Development Committee to help improve agricultural practices and marketing techniques, as well as the development of the tourism sector. Through PMI-LED and the advocacy of the National League of Cities of Cambodia (NLC), the national government has increasingly recognized the leadership role that local governments play in promoting economic development. New LED offices in local governments were mandated across the country, providing a home for economic development efforts at the municipal level. We thank Canadian experts from Chilliwack (BC), Edmonton (AB) and the British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) for their participation.  

In Côte d’Ivoire, PMI-LED helped create local committees to support business development and encourage the employment of women and young people. The project also guided local economic development actors as they worked to improve their sustainability practices. We thank the staff and elected officials of MRCs Argenteuil and Marguerite D’Youville (QC) for their participation. 

In Mali, PMI-LED worked with eight communities in the Sikasso region, which has become a national model for its support to the region’s local economic development community. The project also helped the Association des Municipalités du Mali develop a guide for the implementation of local and regional economic development practices. We thank the staff and elected officials at the city of Rigaud (QC) for their participation. 

In Vietnam, PMI-LED helped the region of Cao Lanh learn about regional economic development, especially in the agricultural sector.  The region’s new Trade Development Strategy is increasing the capacity of local governments to assist mango growers, exporters and other service providers pursue sales in foreign markets, including Canada. We thank Canadian partners in Edmonton (AB) and Rossland (BC) for their participation.

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This program is funded by Global Affairs Canada.

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