Decentralised Development Cooperation—the new driver for SDG implementation

CC.0 Annie Spratt /


Development cooperation isn’t only a matter between national governments anymore, a recent article by Stefano Marta and Aziza Akhmouch from the OECD finds – collaboration proves to be rather successful between local and regional authorities in different countries too. The process known as “decentralized development cooperation” has become a real driver for regional self-determination and active development work – in particular with regards to the SDGs.

There is no common definition as to what exactly constitutes DDC, the authors write, and thus accounting for its success is still a blurry task. There is, however, a key similarity: “Across most countries, it is cities that tend to be directly implementing DDC activities, particularly those that aren’t linked to official development assistance.”

This new form of cooperation is increasingly recognised as a key tool to complement traditional development assistance and achieve global commitments beyond a top-down implementation model, and to mainstream SDGs into cities’ policies and plans. For more details on the OECD work around understanding and promoting this place-based collaboration, please see the full article on

Localising the SDGs: Learning from Tuscany

An interesting case study for DDCs makes a recent regional report from Tuscany, which structures its local cooperation experiences in view of better systematising and capitalising on its decentralised cooperation initiatives. The report feeds into the Toolbox for Localizing the SDG, an international initiative that aims at empowering local governments and other actors by offering a growing set of “practical, adaptable mechanisms and instruments to address the most pressing development challenges, thereby facilitating the implementation of the Global Goals”.

The full report can be accessed on

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