How does PACA® work in practice?
There are two ways of explaining PACA®:
PACA® needs a champion -- a local agency (governmental, private or non-governmental) which is determined to do it, and who organizes it. A PACA® Exercise starts with a kick-off workshop with the local stakeholders, followed by a series of interviews with local players (firms, business associations, supporting institutions, local government, and others), and mini-workshops with groups of local actors. Depending on the size and diversity of the locality, this takes between one and two weeks. The diagnostic and the proposals are elaborated and presented immediately afterwards. The presentation includes a moderated discussion with the local stakeholders.
The PACA® Exercise leads to implementation of practical projects to strengthen the competitiveness of companies and create a unique locational advantage. The PACA® Champion is a likely candidate to co-ordinate this, but implementation will involve a variety of actors. During implementation, in particular in the early phase, when local actors are still unexperienced, it is desirable to have some degree of external support, in particular in terms of facilitation of meetings and coaching for PACA® practitioners.
PACA® is based on concepts such as
PACA® employs several tools which have been developed in the context of participatory learning and action. Workshops are normally conducted using the card-based visualization method. Tools such as mapping, life-line, and four-field matrixes are used to structure discussions.