OECD/UCLG World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance launches its third edition

The OECD/UCLG World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment (SNG-WOFI) initiative is the world’s leading source of internationally comparable data and analysis on multi-level governance and subnational finance frameworks. Launched on October 24, 2022, the 2022 edition includes data from 135 countries, covering almost 90% of the world surface area, 93% of the world population and 94% of global GDP.

The Observatory includes a fiscal database that covers dozens of indicators on subnational expenditure, investment, revenue and debt as of 2020, as well as on subnational government organization and reforms as of 2021-2022.

The 2022 edition includes specific foci on the territorial impact and management of the COVID-19 crisis and recovery, property taxation, subnational public-private partnerships, innovative subnational budgeting practices and an extended analysis for Least Developed Countries.

Explore the database: https://www.sng-wofi.org/data/

Key findings of the 2022 edition

  • The fiscal impact of COVID-19 has been asymmetric between and within countries;
  • There is a need to boost the resilience of multi-level governance and finance frameworks to
  • cope with recent shocks and future crises;
  • Decentralization frameworks have continued to evolve in many countries across the world. As countries decentralize, territorial reforms such as municipal amalgamations but also municipal partitions take place;
  • Subnational government spending represents over 21.5% of total public spending around the world;
  • Subnational governments play a key role for public investment, but such investment remains low in many regions;
  • Subnational governments still depend largely on grants for more than half of their revenue;
  • Subnational government debt remains low;
  • The 31 LDCs included in the database are mainly unitary countries (with the exception of Ethiopia, Nepal and Somalia). Most of them have undergone decentralization reforms in an attempt to pursue democratization and enhance service delivery. Many LDCs have implemented a system falling between decentralization and deconcentration.

The highlights of the 2022 edition are available in English and in French.

SNG-WOFI Country and Territory Profiles

To complement the World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment (SNG-WOFI) fiscal database, 135 country and territory profiles have been developed for the third edition of the SNG-WOFI. These country and territory profiles provide fine-grained analysis and qualitative takeaways on fiscal decentralization. They can be accessed from the drop-down menu on the left. They are grouped in seven world regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Euro-Asia, Europe, Latin American and the Caribbean, Middle East and West Asia, and North America.

The country and territory profiles prepared as part of SNG-WOFI follow a harmonized template, which consist of six main parts:

  1. Basic socio-economic indicators
  2. Main features of the multi-level governance framework
  3. Territorial organization
  4. Subnational government responsibilities
  5. Subnational government finance (including expenditure; revenues; fiscal rules and debt)
  6. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the organization and finance of local and regional authorities