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CLLD versus CDD 8 November 2013

Posted by cooperatoby in EU.
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LEADER's 7 principlesI’ve just been to a seminar at the Fisheries DG (MARE) which compared notes between the EU’s concept and practice of community-led local development (CLLD) and the World Bank’s corresponding ‘community driven development’ (CDD).

The two organisations have some degree of overlap: the WB has large programmes in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary, as well as advisory programmes in other EU member and candidate countries. And the LEADER method has been very successfully exported to countries such as Mozambique, where ELARD is supporting 36 projects worth €40 million in the Alto Ligonha province.

The differences are:

  • The WB devotes much more money to CDD – $-4 billion per year or 15% of all its lending. Its portfolio currently comprises 800 projects worth $40 billion;
  • The WB’s main aim is to reduce poverty through participation, whereas the EU aims to engender a much more nebulous transformation of social relations to achieve economic development;
  • The EU has codified CLLD much more finely: first through the 7 LEADER principles and now through the rule that no single stakeholder group may control the local partnership (the 49% rule);
  • The definition of ‘community’ is more radical in the EU version – the local partnership must involve economic actors and civil society. In contrast many WB CDD projects the ’community’ means the local authority;
  • The WB also works with ‘communities of interest’ whereas in the EU case CLLD is definitely a territorial tool.
  • The WB has a simpler chain of accountability, often dealing direct with local groups to avoid inefficiencies due to corruption.

Obstacles: delegation, audit and impact assessment

Policy-makers and practitioners at the seminar came up with three main obstacles to the widespread adoption of the CLLD method:

  1. Reluctance to relinquish control to the local level seems more like a ‘complication’ than an opportunity. In the view of some evaluators present, there is a ‘silo’ problem both vertically and horizontally;
  2. Impact assessment is thorny: there is always the pressure to count the number of jobs created, while the underlying social capital that enables the jobs to be created is hard to measure, and therefore discounted. The WB’s report on impact evaluation reports that although CDD produces good results on economic development, service use and targeting, the evidence on social capital building is mixed. There are reasons to doubt this conclusion, which may be based on inadequate ways of trying to measure it. Measuring it well, as the WB now does using control groups, costs a lot of money as well as raising ethical issues.
  3. Audit: particularly in ‘net contributor’ countries, the adding of another layer into the chain of accountability is an unnecessary expense; they may as well simply fund it from national resources.

I wondered aloud whether the mechanism of Joint Action Plans could be an answer to this. These involve the beneficiary agreeing a set of results indicators with the Commission at the start. Payment is then made if the results are achieved – and it was confirmed at the seminar that the inputs will not be audited as well. So if the right indicators are agreed, it should be possible to fund those intangible processes of building stakeholder capacity and social capital which ‘dumb’ indicators rule out.

This is backed up by published Commission guidance: “The financial management of the JAP is exclusively based on outputs and results, reimbursed via standard scales of unit costs or lump sums applicable to all types of projects. The audits by the Commission and the audit authorities of the JAP will therefore exclusively aim at verifying that the conditions for reimbursement have been fulfilled, e.g. the achievement of agreed outputs and results. When a JAP is used, the Member State may apply its usual financial rules to reimburse the projects. These rules shall not be subject to audit by the audit authority or the Commission.” (Simplifying Cohesion Policy for 2014-2020, page 11)

However article 93.2 of the Common Provisions Regulation COM(2011) 615 lays down that “The public support allocated to a joint action plan shall be a minimum of EUR 10 000 000 or 20 % of the public support of the operational programme or programmes, whichever is lower.

See: How to use CLLD on the AEIDL website


1. Franco - 13 November 2013

Well, JAP is surely different, but you don’t seem to consider that CLLD approach under the form of Leader has been implemented in Europe since 1994. So, there is a widespread experience and consolidated practice in place. This is a fundamental basis to enhance the method, but there are quite scarce criticisim about the negative role of the management authorities’ capability in using this tool as a real opportunity for development.

cooperatoby - 13 November 2013

Of course LEADER is the big model, but the undertaking is to extend this successful approach to urban and social issues. And the ‘audit culture’ seems to be getting to me more and more of a hindrance.

2. cooperatoby - 10 November 2013

That is of course the big question, and why I quoted the regulation verbatim. One can well imagine the chaos if a big JAP achieved all it was agreed at the start that it would do – and was then retrospectively ruled ineligible! There will be control along the way through milestones, which would point up if things were going off-beam. I would guess that before they use it, authorities will want quite a lot of reassurance that they won;t be caught both ways.

3. Samuel - 10 November 2013

What do you mean by ” the inputs will not be audited as well”?

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