Frequently Asked Questions on PACA

I am working for a donor agency in a transformation/developing country and I want to conduct a PACA. What do I have to do?

I am working for a donor agency in a transformation/developing country and I want to train local people in PACA. What do I have to do?

I am working for a local development agency and I want to conduct a PACA. What do I have to do?

I would like to conduct a PACA, but only for a part of our local economy (a part of the territory, a sector or subsector). Is that possible?

In our location, LED activities have been going on for a while, but recently they have not been going well. Would it make sense to conduct a PACA Exercise in our location?

Is PACA a method that can only be applied in locations in less-advanced countries?

I understand that PACA is mostly a method to conduct a quick scan of a local economy. What happens after the PACA Exercise has been conducted?

I understand that the success of PACA crucially depends on the motivation of local stakeholders. It seems that we suffer in our local economy from a lack of motivated key actors willing to drive LED initiatives. Does the conduction of PACA make sense anyway?

The local actors in our economy usually expect spectacular LED activities. Would the typical PACA proposals not rather disappoint them?

Our local economy is characterized by a relatively advanced stage of development. Is PACA not rather suitable to less-advanced regions in our country?

Why it is appropriate to apply to the PACA variation of Porter's Diamonds and not the Original?

Is it possible to conduct the PACA Exercise over a longer period (for example within 3 month)?

In our location, there is already a strategic planning exercise going on. Does it make sense to conduct a PACA as well?


I am working for a donor agency in a transformation/developing country and I want to conduct a PACA. What do I have to do?

Get in touch with one of the Mesopartners and discuss with them whether you should contract an experienced PACA Consultant or rather conduct a local PACA Training.

I am working for a donor agency in a transformation/developing country and I want to train local people in PACA. What do I have to do?

Please get touch with one of the Mesopartners, and also have a look at PACA-Training.

I am working for a local development agency and I want to conduct a PACA. What do I have to do?

Get in touch with one of the Mesopartners and discuss with them whether you should contract an experienced PACA Consultant or rather conduct a local PACA Training.

Please do not expect us to just send you the manual so that you can conduct a PACA on your own. Our experience shows that just reading the PACA Manual is not sufficient to conduct a PACA of adequate quality.

I would like to conduct a PACA, but only for a part of our local economy (a part of the territory, a sector or subsector). Is that possible?

Yes. Such PACAs have already been conducted, and they came up with useful proposals. You can even consider to roll a series of PACA Exercises across your territory.

In our location, LED activities have been going on for a while, but recently they have not been going well. Would it make sense to conduct a PACA Exercise in our location?

Perhaps. It depends on the reasons for the decline in motivation and performance. PACA can have the effect to come up with practical proposals which have a quick, visible impact and thus motivate local stakeholders to dedicate time and effort to LED.

Is PACA a method that can only be applied in locations in less-advanced countries?

No. It serves perfectly well in any locality where local actors want to go for a pragmatic, action-driven approach to LED.

I understand that PACA is mostly a method to conduct a quick scan of a local economy. What happens after the PACA Exercise has been conducted?

The result of the PACA Exercise is a number practical proposals which can be implemented by local actors. It sometimes happens that the PACA Team identifies project champions during the fieldwork. In other cases, the PACA Team will suggest that certain persons or institutions ought to take care of a given proposal, and the PACA Team must be prepared to discuss with those persons or institutions how exactly to implement this proposal.

As implementation of proposals has been going on for a few months, the PACA Team ought to conduct an Interim Appraisal to verify the progress and to discuss further steps with project champions.

I understand that the success of PACA crucially depends on the motivation of local stakeholders. It seems that we suffer in our local economy from a lack of motivated key actors willing to drive LED initiatives. Does the conduction of PACA make sense anyway?

Perhaps. It depends on the reasons for the lack of motivation. PACA can have the effect to come up with practical proposals which have a quick, visible impact and thus motivate local stakeholders to dedicate time and effort to LED, in particular if they understand that a given LED project must not necessarily involve a huge effort in terms of time and resources.

The local actors in our economy usually expect spectacular LED activities. Would the typical PACA proposals not rather disappoint them?

This is possible. If there is a widespread expectation of great projects with spectacular results, it may be wise to delay the PACA - to a point in the future when local actors have understood that their grand designs do not materialize.

Our local economy is characterized by a relatively advanced stage of development. Is PACA not rather suitable to less-advanced regions in our country?

No. PACA aims, in a business-like way, at the identification of opportunities for LED activities. This makes sense in any kind of location.

Why it is appropriate to apply to the PACA variation of Porter's Diamonds and not the Original?

Porter's diamond is one of several tools used during a PACA Exercise. It has been adapted in a way which makes it easier to understand for non-economists.

Is it possible to conduct the PACA Exercise over a longer period (for example within 3 month)?

Yes, but this is not necessarily recommendable. One of the special features of a PACA Exercise is the little time between the involvement of local actors (business-people, representatives of supporting institutions etc.) in Mini-workshops and interviews and the PACA Presentation Event. If the PACA Exercise takes much longer than the usual one to two weeks, local actors may have forgotten about their involvement by the time they get invited to the Presentation Event. Moreover, what is the point in spending more time doing the PACA? If the reason is that you want more evidence, you are missing the whole point of the PACA method.

In our location, there is already a strategic planning exercise going on. Does it make sense to conduct a PACA as well?

Perhaps. It depends on the focus of the strategic planning exercise. If it is mostly around urban planning, zoning, infrastructure, social services and other issues which are not at the core of LED, a PACA may make a lot of sense. But if strategic planning claims to focus at LED, you may just generate conflict if you suggest to do a PACA as well.

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