The PACA Approach:
From the PACA Exercise
to the PACA Process
Jörg Meyer-Stamer
Key elements of PACA:
The product and its evolution
Development and
refinement of highly
effective miniworkshop formats
and other diagnostic tools
Documentation and
codification of PACA
process = facilitate
transfer and training
Territorial upgrading
Territorial change
management
Scanning of international
good practice
Execution and evaluation
of PACA Projects
worldwide
Scanning of research /
academic literature on
territorial development
and upgrading
The origin of PACA
 Conducting a rapid, action-oriented appraisal of a
local economy
 Encouraging, empowering and motivating local actors
to implement practical, short-term LED activities
Challenges in the follow-up to
PACA Exercises
 Limited facilitation skills of local actors
– inefficient meetings
– little creativity in overcoming obstacles
 Lower than expected planning skills
 Quick evaporation of excitement created during
PACA Exercise
Lessons learnt: practical
 More external input into supporting the follow-up
necessary
 External facilitators play a crucial role
– to overcome fragmentation and miscommunication
among local actors
– to stimulate creative problem-solving
 More effort necessary to develop efficient workshop
formats for planning and monitoring implementation
activities
 More effort necessary to maintain excitement
Lessons learnt: conceptual
 Overcoming a traditional, planning-oriented, top-downand government-driven approach is a big, challenging
learning and change process
 PACA must put more emphasis on developing tools for
change management
– i.e. changing the mental models and behaviour of local
actors
 Re-packaging PACA: An approach which provides, for the
entire project cycle, innovative, efficient tools
– efficient communication tools (e.g. mini-workshops)
– participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation tools
Evolution of PACA
PACA as a
process-oriented concept
Cluster and
value chain
development
Revolving
activities for
locational
upgrading
CommunityBased Economic
Development
PACA
as a diagnostic tool
Rapid
Appraisal of
Local Innovation
Systems
Efficient
Corporate Social
Responsibility
PACA as a diagnostic tool
 Emphasis on the initial PACA Exercise
– understanding the opportunities and potentials for
action to strengthen the local economy
– initiating a first round of practical LED activities
– quickly visible, albeit modest results to motivate
local actors for more LED
– initiating a learning process on LED
Revolving activities for locational
upgrading
 Basic idea: Series of targeted PACA Exercises
– to investigate parts of the local territory
– to investigate a sector, a cluster or a value chain in
the local economy
• to get to more specific LED activities
• to give breadth and depth to the initial PACA
Exercise
 Conduct repeated PACA Exercises to monitor,
refocus and energise the implementation of earlier
PACA proposals
Community-based economic
development
 Basic idea: Stimulate activities in poor communities
– which do not require individual entrepreneurship,
since this is a bottleneck
– which follow a clear business logic
– which create income for the local community
Efficient corporate social
responsibility
 Basic idea: Increase the efficiency of CSR
interventions
– Observation: CSR interventions are often
measured by input, not by outcome
– CSR interventions often follow a fuzzy logic, not a
business logic
– CSR interventions may become more efficient if
they follow a clear business-logic
 PACA is based on business principles and thus
particularly attractive and convincing for corporates
Cluster and Value Chain
development
 Basic idea: Identify quick win opportunities within a
cluster or a value-chain
– Observation: Cluster and value chain initiatives
often require a long build-up and awarenessbuilding effort before they produce an outcome
– PACA principle: quick wins encourage buy-in
• move from simple activities with modest results
to more complex activities with bigger returns
– Specific, highly efficient mini-workshop formats
which accept the time-constraints of cluster and
value chain actors
Rapid Appraisal of Local
Innovation Systems
 Model case of a PACA derivate
– created as an assessment tool
– evolving into an action-oriented tool
• for government technology promotion agencies
• for technology transfer organisations
Repackaging PACA
PACA Project
PACA Exercise
PACA
PACA
Tools
Tools
PACA
PACA
PACA
Tools
Tools
Tools
PACA Tools
 Very efficient Mini-workshop formats
– existing formats
– newly developed formats for specific purposes
 Rapid diagnostic tools
– rapid cluster diagnosis workshop
– rapid value chain diagnosis workshop
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From the PACA Exercise to the PACA Process - PACA