Local economic development – State, economy and civil society acting in concert

The local economic development (LED) concept is a holistic strategy for economic and social development in order to reduce poverty at the regional level and improve people's living conditions. This requires close cooperation between the state, private sector and civil society.

The SDC’s focus

The SDC supports LED strategies in its partner countries, with the aim of promoting economic growth geared to local conditions and resources, creating income and employment opportunities for all segments of the population and enhancing good governance at the local and regional level. The emphasis is on:

  • Project-based initiatives:  The SDC supports initiatives based on individual projects if they contribute to LED in the widest sense or can be used as a starting point for formulating comprehensive regional development strategies.
  • Strategically planned initiatives:  In its partner countries, the SDC promotes initiatives which are strategically planned and directed at the region as a whole.


In a globalised world, competitive relationships exist not only between companies but increasingly also between entire regions.  Their attractiveness as a centre of business depends on a variety of factors such as the level of education and health of the population, the infrastructure and the quality of public governance.  These factors are instrumental in determining whether the companies in a region operate productively, deliver competitive products and services and hence are able to create and sustain income opportunities for the local population.

LED aims to strengthen a region's performance and competitiveness over the long term. This is done by means of structured, integrated approaches that accord equal consideration to the economic, socio-cultural, political and institutional aspects.

Current challenges

The development and implementation of a comprehensive regional structural policy requires dedicated efforts on the part of all involved actors: the public sector, the economy and civil society.  A successful process calls for institutions and platforms that allow all affected parties to participate.

Current projects

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Programme d’appui à la commercialisation du bétail en Afrique de l’Ouest (PACBAO)

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2023

L’élevage et les marchés des produits animaux contribuent à l’intégration régionale et à la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique de l’Ouest. La Suisse soutient la Communauté Economique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) et le secteur privé de la région afin de fluidifier les échanges des produits animaux entre les 15 Etats plus le Tchad. La finalité est d’accroitre le revenu des éleveurs, développer des emplois surtout pour les femmes et les jeunes et favoriser une transhumance apaisée dans la région.

Supporting livestock traceability in the South Caucasus

The image shows a close-up of a calf with an identification tag in its right ear.

15.06.2016 - 31.12.2021

Identifying where animals have come from and recording information about their health is essential in modern agriculture to prevent the spread of diseases and stop products from diseased animals reaching the market. A system to ensure traceability will help to improve the incomes of farmers in the South Caucasus by increasing both herd productivity and the producers’ access to markets.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Caucasus
Agriculture & food security
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)

15.06.2016 - 31.12.2021

CHF  5’935’000

Seeds and Access to Markets Project (SAMP) Phase 3

01.10.2015 - 31.12.2021

The project contributes to increased food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers by improving availability of and access to adequate quantities of quality seeds and planting material of suitable and diversified crop varieties. This enables smallholder farmers to produce enough food to sustain themselves, their communities, and earn higher incomes. The project strengthens national and local farmer-led institutions, supports community seed and commodity production and strengthens seed and commodity distribution networks.

Contribution to the Pan African Bean Research Alliance PABRA

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2021

The greatest global challenge today is how to ensure food and nutrition security of a rapidly growing human population, considering climate change and without adversely affecting the natural base upon which the production is dependent. Beans, as the most important consumed grain legume, are a very good source of vitamins, minerals, and plant derived micronutrients. Significant yield increase of more than 60% are possible, following access to and use of improved varieties coupled with integrated crop management practices.

Programme d’Appui au Secteur de l’Elevage au Mali – PASEM

01.12.2014 - 30.06.2022

Malgré son importance dans l’économie, l’environnement et les sociétés (agro)pastorales, l’élevage rencontre plusieurs contraintes dont la faible productivité, l’insécurité foncière, la faible organisation des acteurs et une forme de marginalisation sociale des éleveurs. La DDC souhaite valoriser les immenses potentialités de l’élevage en renforçant l’approche chaine de valeurs orientée vers le développement des marchés et des acteurs du secteur privé, favorisant la prise en compte des pauvres, des femmes et des jeunes.

Programme d’appui à la production agricole en Haiti

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2021

Le développement et le renforcement des services financiers et de conseils agricoles ainsi qu’un ciblage des groupes vulnérables en milieu rural contribueront – à travers de plus grands investissements dans l’agriculture - à une productivité et à une qualité accrue dans les filières concernées, à des revenus plus importants, à une sécurité alimentaire améliorée, à une vulnérabilité réduite et à une meilleure protection sociale des petit-e-s producteurs-trices et des personnes les plus défavorisées.

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