Riga Planning Region Takes Local Outputs to New Regional Development Program

Riga Planning Region Takes Local Outputs to New Regional Development Program

EmpInno Monitor S3 partner in Latvia – Riga Planning Region - have begun to elaborate the new regional development planning document – the Regional Development Program 2021-2027. The Regional Development Program is the most important regional medium-term planning document in Latvia that includes future development priorities and lists measures and instruments that allow to implement the long-term development goals.

Practical advancement of the new regional planning document started in September 2020 and it is expected that the programme will be drafted as soon as in spring / summer of 2021 to ensure that it is well aligned with the national development planning documents, such as the National Development Plan (NDP) for Latvia 2021-2027 and the Operational Programs associated with NAP.

EmpInno Monitor S3 expert at Riga Planning Region Ilgvars Francis was appointed a coordinator one of the five thematic or priority areas of the new development programme - “Competitiveness”. This priority area will address issues related to overall economic growth, innovation and specialisation on local or regional levels by identifying future growth sectors that have or will have enough potential to produce goods and provide services with high added value as well as encouraging changes and growth in sectors with significant horizontal impact that could contribute to transformation of the regional economy. 

This allows to establish direct linkages between EmpInno / EmpInno Monitor S3 and the official regional development monitoring system. Given that all previous regional development programmes had not addressed issues related to the introduction and monitoring of smart specialisation processes explicitly, the added value of the project outputs becomes even more important. 

All regional development programmes in Latvia must consist of at least three main parts – 1) the strategic part that describes the existing situation and identifies priorities, 2) the action (investment) plan that should be aligned with identified priorities and 3) the monitoring and review system, which must be developed to measure changes over time. As well, all local (municipal) development programmes must be consistent with the development programme of the respective planning region.

During the implementation of EmpInno and now as part of EmpInno Monitor S3, the Riga team strives to introduce the RIS3 approaches, including monitoring techniques, to the regional and local levels of administration simultaneously searching for ways how to become a systemic part of the national monitoring system. Apart from becoming a part of the RIS3 stakeholder community and involving local municipalities, several analytical tools have been developed to allow for better understanding of RIS3 processes in Riga region and to form the basis for the RIS3 monitoring on a regional level. It started with the elaboration of an analytical review on the implementation of smart specialization strategy in the Riga Planning Region, which included an extended description of all priority ecosystems and their participants by location. Then continued with the online analytical platform that allows mapping of the added value produced by all relevant enterprises represent the core branches within the five priority sectors at the national and regional RIS3 strategy. 

The latest EmpInno Monitor S3 local outputs are the maps and datasets that contain spatially disaggregated data on the processes of change, such as a number of enterprises by the sector of economy in RIS3 priority areas, the annual turnover of enterprises by the sector of economy in RIS3 priority areas, a number of employed persons by the sector of economy in RIS3 priority areas as well as many other performance indicators, more than 30 maps and datasets in total (Figure 1). These efforts allow to integrate the regional innovation monitoring system into the overall development monitoring framework.

Figure 1. Example of the RIS3 monitoring Maps and Spreadsheets

Two types of monitoring reports will be elaborated within the scope of the supervision and monitoring of the new regional Development Program: 1) a simplified annual report on the processes within the region and 2) a broader report once every four years before the municipal elections (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Elaboration of Regional Development Program monitoring reports

The Riga Planning Region has started the public consultation process and meetings with regional stakeholders (Figure 3) and expect that these initiatives will continue until the end of EmpInno Monitor S3 and even further on as new funding sources become available. There are already certain plans and projects that would allow to monitor different indicators of change until 2027.

Figure 3. EmpInno Monitor S3 / Regional Development Program 2021-2027 Stakeholder Meeting at Riga Planning Region in October, 2020

Compiled by and for further information, please contact: Ilgvars Francis, Project Expert at Riga Planning Region , , + 371 29 229 690   , . Oct 2020.

* Picture: Example of the RIS3 monitoring Maps and Spreadsheets.

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