In a nutshell LED is defined as joint actions of the local public and private sector in order to make use of local resources and turn them into a competitive advantage. This very brief definition captures the essence of LED that local people use local resources for local economic development. The provocative question would then be: What do we need funding for?
Whenever there are meetings, workshops or discussions around LED the question of funding usually comes up - usually expected from national governments, international donor organisations or other "outsiders". While it is obvious that a certain degree of funding is needed for training and capacity building measures and also necessary to drive the LED process, there seems to be a contradiction when it comes to financing LED-initiatives. Isn't LED supposed to be handled by local resources only? Very often LED-funding is spent on expensive consultants, over-extensive studies and research, but also on "allowances" and "refreshments".
How is it possible that funding plays such a prominent role in the LED discussion? What is your own experience: Can LED be done with local resources only or do we need outside resources?
Please join the discussion and share your experience with the LED community!