FADEL RA approved last July a new steering committee through an extraordinary assembly organised for this purpose, in which the Executive Director of the Development Agency of Rafaela, Daniel Frana, was appointed as the President of the organisation for the period 2020-20221
FADEL RA, the Argentinian Federation of Development Agencies, approved last July a new steering committee through an extraordinary assembly organised for this purpose, in which the Executive Director of the Development Agency of Rafaela, Daniel Frana, was appointed as the President of the organisation for the period 2020-2022. Since EURADA is a European association with strong links to international organisations which deal with similar challenges on a daily basis, we would like to introduce to our European network one of these transnational peer organisations. Furthermore, making the most out of this special announcement, we would like to give a warm welcome to the new Board of Directors of this twinned organisation with which we are joined by a deep professional relationship.
The Federation of Development Agencies of the Argentinian Republic is a non-profit organisation that gathers the majority of Argentinian Development Agencies and aims to foster regional economic development through dialogue between regional stakeholders, exchanges of best practices, international cooperation between its members, and promotion of the role of local and regional development agencies as key actors for the regional economic environment. It was founded in 2014 when 30 regional agencies joined efforts and signed a Constitutive Act with the aim of addressing unemployment in Argentina through the fostering of vocational training among unemployed people, the development of tools for labour insertion of workers in a vulnerable situations, and the kick-off of different initiatives targeting the same objective. Additionally, it provides linkages between all agencies and institutions of local development from Argentina to create an institutional space for public and private consensus to promote economic, environmental, and social development at regional, sectorial, and national level in Argentina.
At the moment of writing, the organisation is composed of 15 regional development agencies belonging to 12 Argentinian provinces and another 12 associated agencies across the country. These agencies are:
In the last week of August our colleagues from Argentina organised a very interesting meeting to share experience. Over 80 regional practitioners take part in these meetings together with academics and high-level representatives of the national government.
All Argentinian development agencies are due to take part in a three-day virtual meeting to exchange good practices which will inspire its attendees with many useful ideas put into practice by development agencies to facilitate economic growth in their provinces. On all three days (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), four regional development agencies will pitch for 15 minutes each to explain their organisational structure, stakeholders, fields of action, partners, revenues, and internal organisation. These interventions are moderated by a different academic expert to conduct the discussion with questions formulated in the videoconference chat.
The debates were open to the public and took place in Spanish. The conclusion and the recordings can be seen on Fadel RA’s Facebook account
Argentina is an extremely diverse country with almost 45 million inhabitants in 23 provinces featuring a high level of political decentralisation. It makes a lot of sense to have development agencies there located in each province that are capable of adapting economic development policies to the specific situation of their territory. Despite the differences, there are many common aspects between them. All the agencies are in permanent close contact with companies (especially SMEs) to provide public support to foster competitiveness. Tailored support is in the core business of the agencies. Mr Guillermo Merediz, secretary of SMEs and entrepreneurship at the Ministry of Productive Development, indicated during the meeting that “the best moments of the Argentinian economy were those with better development of small and medium size enterprises”
Every development agency from Argentina has a clear segmentation of clients to produce accentuated impacts: consolidated enterprises, entrepreneurs, artisans, professionals, and so on. They pay attention to the staff to provide valuable advice to the agency stakeholders. For example, the agency of the Province of Misiones has in its staff two experts trained by the Brazilian service for supporting small enterprises (SEBRAE). Both experts have a continuous support service to solve challenges of consolidated companies using a working system that seems to be very similar to the assistance provided by French development agencies. Other agencies provide training to would be exporting companies; the agency from Tucuman explained its strong branding activities to promote their territory. ACERCA, the development agency of El Chaco has strong rural development programmes including indigenous population. Also interesting are their activities related to facilitation of the sales with the creation of public platform for online commercialisation of products developed by entrepreneurs.
The realities on both sides of the Atlantic are rather different, in terms of not only economic concerns, but also political structure, regional interests and administrative competences. In spite of this, the relationship between FADEL RA and EURADA has been smooth and characterised by activities such as mutual support for initiatives, the cooperation and dissemination of international projects, the identification of new tools and practices in the economic development, exchanges of best practices, and the fostering of mutual knowledge of the activities and programmes carried out by each other. In this sense, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by both organisations to further develop such common activities.
In consequence, in recent years collaboration and dialogue between EURADA and FADEL RA has been constant. For instance, at the beginning of the year, EURADA signed a backup declaration to support the application of FADEL RA to a call of the European Commission under the Europe Aid programme to boost the participation of the civil society in the decision making process in Argentina. The overall objective of this project is to empower the civil society of the province of Santa Fe in two main tasks: to achieve more inclusive and sustainable development and to design and implement strategic initiatives that will maintain focus on value chains and productive networks, making sure that no one is left behind.
EURADA looks forward to fruitful, continued cooperation with our Argentinian colleagues.
Written by Ulises PISANO, Project Officer at EURADA