LED and CER Projects in Central and Eastern Europe

This section provides information about three types of technical assistance projects: (1) a UNDP-funded International Labor Office (ILO) project that resulted in the development of innovative training materials that could be used to facilitate local economic development and renewal in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE); and (2) a bird’s eye view of how millions of American taxpayer dollars were used to help the nations of Central and Eastern Europe promote democratic forms of planning at the national and local levels and transition to market economies.

ILO Regional LED Project.

I developed the initial training materials for the USDOL LED/CER projects in the CEE region for a UNDP-funded ILO Regional LED Project in Central and Eastern Europe carried out in 1995. Unfortunately, that project ran out of money by the time the training materials were completed, although the manuals were made available to the ILO International Training Center in Turin, Italy, for their use in courses taught at the Center. Subsequently, I took these manuals to USDOL in early 1996 and proposed their use on a pilot basis as part of the Hungary Rapid Response Project then underway. This offer was accepted.

Central and Eastern Europe

Beginning in 1991, after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the demise of the Soviet Union, the USDOL was among the first of the U.S. federal agencies to use Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act funds passed by the U.S. Congress to conceptualize, design and implement technical assistance and training programs to governments in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, and Ukraine to help them transition from centrally planned economies to market economies. The projects included:

Most of the materials in this section are directly related to the USDOL projects carried out in Central and Eastern Europe beginning in June 1996, and they provide a wealth of information about how the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided community economic renewal (CER) and local economic development (LED) guides and workbooks developed that were used by local community leaders in USDOL projects carried out from 1996 to 2004 in Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, and Ukraine. The materials also provide insights about how difficult it was to provide technical assistance to CEE governments, including some of the problems and issues related to the practice of federal government bureaucrats and politicians outsourcing technical assistance to the private sector in order to reduce the numbers of federal employees.

This section also includes the final version of the LED and other manuals and guides prepared in 2003 for the USAID and made available for use in other countries in the CEE region at the conclusion of the USDOL projects, plus some World Bank funded projects in Romania and Serbia from 1993–2004.


  1. A guide to Entrepreneurial Initiatives for Local Economic Development. A two volume guide that I wrote for an ILO/UNDP SHIELD Program in 1995. It was the first edition of a guide that was first used in the ILO Training Center in Turin, Italy, and, subsequently, adopted and used by the USDOL over the next 8 years in LED projects carried out in six countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It went through six editions and was translated into five languages.
  2. "A Model to Achieve More Successful Worker, Community and Enterprise Adjustment in Central and Eastern European Countries Undergoing Economic Restructuring and Privatization." A paper with a long title that I presented at the 5th European Regional Congress on Industrial Relations, held in Dublin, Ireland, on August 26-29, 1997. This paper set out my conceptualization of and components in the “USDOL Adjustment Model.” that I had created. For the first time an outside audience learned about this model. It became the essential organizing framework that we (USDOL and WSI staff) would use to design and help national and community leaders implement in six CEE countries over the coming years.
  3. Job Creation and Retention: Innovative Approaches to Local Economic Development in America. Logan: Utah Center for Productivity and Quality of Working Life, Utah State University, December 1986, 23 pp. (Also, March 1986, November 1986 versions)
  4. “The promotion and development of entrepreneurial initiatives for employment and enterprise creation,” Chapter 12 in The Design and Implementation of Strategies for Local Employment and Economic Development, Ed. By Angel L.Vidal Alonso and Dorthe Nielsen Short. Geneva: International Labour Organization, 1993. (Also, edited copy of paper for this publication dated 17 August 1993).
  5. “Local Economic Development Experiences in the U.S.A." Presentation at the Workshop on Local Economic Development Strategies, sponsored by ILO/UNDP LED Regional Project for Central and Eastern Europe, CIS and Baltic States, Plock, Poland, September 22, 1994.
  6. “The Importance of LED Strategies within the New Economic Context.” Presentation at the plenary session of the Workshop on Local Economic Development Strategies, Plock, Poland, September 22, 1994. Workshop sponsored by the ILO/UNDP LED Regional Project for Central and Eastern Europe, CIS and Baltic States.
  7. “An Evaluation of Microcredit Programs Designed to Facilitate Entrepreneurship in the Republic of Bangladesh,” in Proceedings of the Sixth ENCEC World Conference on Entrepreneurship, Shanghai, China, December 7-9, Singapore: Nanyang Technological University, 1995. Pp. 856-872. (Co-author with Steven H. Hanks, et. al.)
  8. Incubating enterprises and creating jobs: A proposal to establish “Enterprise Development Technical Training Centers” as part of community-building and employment-creating strategies in developing countries. (Logan: Utah Center for Productivity & Quality, Utah State University, January 19, 1998) 10 pages.
  9. “Innovative approaches to worker and community adjustment in Hungary.” Chapter 6 in Martin Kuene (ed.) Regional development and employment Polich: Lessons from Central and Eastern Europe. (Budapest: ILO-Central and Eastern European Team, ILO Action Programme for Privatization, Restructuring and Economic Democracy, 1998) pp. 126-143. (With Maria Heidkamp)
  10. Mitigating the impacts of the Asian financial crisis on workers, enterprises and communities: Strategies and tools to help workers and promote economic and employment growth in the enterprise sector. Working Paper. (Geneva: ILO Enterpreneurship and Management Development Branch, April 1998). 66 pages. Contributing author with Gerry Finnegan and Taka Uede)
  11. The USDOL Adjustment Model: An innovative approach to help workers and communities successfully cope with economic restructuring. (Washington D.C.: Office of Foreign Relations, U. S. Department of Labor, January 1999) 15 pages
  12. Implementing the USDOL Adjustment Model: Results of the USDOL Rapid Response Project, 1994-1998. July 31, 1999. (Adapted from Final Report of the project.)
  13. Guide to Worker, Community and Enterprise Adjustment: Project Director’s Manual. (1st Edition, USAID CEE Regional Project, December 2002) 165 pages. Published by Worldwide Strategies Incorporated for use in subsequent worker, community and enterprise adjustment projects in CEE and other regions. (Assisted by Julie Hillebrand, Marion T. Bentley, and Virginia Stacey)
  14. Guide to Enterprise Restructuring and Competitiveness: A Labor and Human Resource Approach. 1st edition, January 2003. 280 pages. English version published by WSI for USDOL and USAID for use in economic and enterprise restructuring projects in CEE Region.
  15. Guide to Local Economic Development, Part 1: Participant Workbook, 293 pages; 1st Edition, published by WSI for USAID/USDOL, August 2003. Part II: Resource Handbook, 273 pages, 1st Edition, published by WSI for USAID/USDOL, August 2003.
  16. Guide to worker displacement: Some tools for reducing the impact on workers, communities and enterprises. (ILO: Geneva: 2001, and updated edition March 2009,) 77 pages. Printed in English, French and Spanish.