PACA® Pictures

Evolution of PACA

We started to develop PMM in 1998 so that Fundação Empreender, a private-sector organization in Santa Catarina/Brazil, could respond to some local chambers' request for advice on how to better "sell" their locale to potential investors. It soon became obvious that attracting firms is just part of an effort to strengthen the local economy through locally formulated initiatives.

The key actor in a PMM was the local chamber (ACI). Fundação Empreender directly participated in the very first phase, i.e. conducting (together with local actors) a diagnosis of competitive advantages and disadvantages and formulating and discussing with local actors some proposals for concrete local activities. This took about two weeks. After that, the ACI, the municipal administration and other local actors took the responsibility for implementation. Fundação Empreender gave very limited support and advice in the implementation, depending on the demand formulated by the ACI.

The philosophy of PMM is simple. The key issues are ownership, credibility, and motivation. These factors depend on the involvement of local actors from the beginning and on the formulation of a limited set of realistic proposals which can be implemented immediately and give quick results; there must be concrete, measurable results after no more than three months, and preferably before that. The concept is based on the principles of Participatory Learning & Action. We have developed the concept as an alternative to long-term, expensive activities of the "strategic planning" variety or approaches which leave most of the work to external consultancy firms.

In Santa Catarina, PMMs have been initiated in Mafra (09/98), São Bento do Sul (10/98), Blumenau (03/99), Jaraguá do Sul (09/99), and Brusque (10/99). A case study on Mafra, in German, is available here. This document is also available in Portuguese and Spanish.

In November 2000, a "field trial" of PACA® was successfully conducted in Secunda, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, on behalf of Carl-Duisberg-Gesellschaft (CDG). Jörg Meyer-Stamer worked together with Bernhard Adam (CDG) and Henning Banthien (IFOK). Building on this experience, CDG commissioned us to execute the Local Competitive Advantage Training Initiativ (LOCATI), which combines PACA® with further training activities on local economic development concepts and instruments. LOCATI is planned to run until September 2003.

In January 2002 Jörg Meyer-Stamer was contracted by a GTZ project in Thailand (SSIPP) to train local stakeholders and professionals in different parts of Thailand (Chiang Mai, Lampang, Korat, Suphanburi) in PACA. Sbsequently, PACAs were executed in these places. By September 2002, various practical results were visible.

In October 2002 Jörg Meyer-Stamer and Christian Schoen were contracted by a GTZ project in Vojvodina (Serbia) to train local stakeholders in various municipalities in PACA. In November 2002, Jörg Meyer-Stamer co-ordinated a PACA in a part of Mbombela municipality, Mpumalanga, South Africa, and in December in a part of Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka.