Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA ®) - Main Users / Purpose

files/images_static/user.jpg Local Economic Development Projects and Activists,
Chambers, Economic Development Institutions,
Donors, Municipalities, Entrepreneurs

Therefore, a successful local economic development initiative relies to a substantial extent on voluntary work – businesspeople, government staff, and representatives of associations and organizations spending time in meetings and doing work which often is unpaid following a shared vision. Any local economic development initiative is therefore in need of visible, tangible results, and preferably quick results. Quick and tangible results motivate local actors to continue dedicating their time and other resources.

PACA is a methodology to prepare an action-oriented diagnostic of the local economy. It launches a local economic development initiative. It is a tool to assess and refocus ongoing local economic development activities.   
It is a methodology to motivate local stakeholders to take an active role in an LED initiative. PACA projects are based on a business- and opportunity-driven concept of Local Economic Development.

The aim of PACA is to identify economic potentials and challenges and elaborate a clear idea of the capacity, motivation, and cooperative spirit of all key actors involved. This stimulates an organic LED process that stimulates the local economy:

  • by creating a business-friendly environment,
  • by improving the quality of the location for firms,
  • by stimulating the upgrade in companies through inter-firm
  • learning,
  • through support in fields like training, management,
  • technology,
  • by refocusing and strengthening supporting institutions
  • by stimulation of closer interaction between companies and
  • supporting institutions.

As a result, new companies are attracted, entrepreneurship is stimulated. PACA is driven by opportunities, looking at shortterm results, maximising the efficiency in the use of time, addressing market failure, stimulating business networking, addressing fragmentation of institutions and actors in a projectand opportunity-driven way.