Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA ®) - Advantages and Limitations

  • Implements activities where a demand is identified by the group of local economic key actors.
  • Is a result oriented, event driven initiative and leads to quickly tangible results, which motivates actors to commit themselves.
  • Improves local economic development, where joint visions lead to joint actions.
  • Stimulates local actors to reflectv on their local competitive advantage.
  • Initiates group oriented learning processes.
  • Is currently applied successfully in about 100 regions world-wide.
  • Is supported by local consultants and promotors.
  • Can be also applied in the analysis of value chains and business clusters.
  • Long term economic development often requires the modification of a political framework, therefore PACA can identify shortcomings but itself is not sufficient for local and regional economic development. The creation of an enabling environment attracting local and foreign investors relies on a number of factors, which can be influenced on the macro policylevel (e.g. by taxes, subsidies, laws, education or infrastructure).
  • PACA is a local economic development tool. Therefore, it is limited in strenthening local and regional economies.
  • PACA does not highlight long-term strategic interventions, such as catalytic projects.


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