The World Bank launched a programme of Local Economic Development through its partly owned subsidiary IFC (international Finance Corporation) in the early 2000s. The initial programme was called DELTA and was informed by Gwen Swinburne who had worked in Hull on local economic development before joining the World Bank.
Their approach was to build up capacity in municipalities to develop local economic strategies and to implement them. Early projects included seven municipalities in Kosovo where they worked with the Open Society Institute.
See also LED case studies from World Bank