Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage is a method that allows to conduct an action-oriented appraisal of a local economy in just two weeks. PACA combines concepts such as competitive advantage, systemic competitiveness, rapid appraisal, and visualisation-based facilitation techniques into an innovative approach. PACA can be used

  • to kick-start or energise LED in a given location
  • as a toolkit to make ongoing LED activities more effective and efficient.

PACA has been introduced into more than 40 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. It is applied by dozens of LED facilitators. It has helped local stakeholders in hundreds of locations to better understand each other and their place, and to formulate effective LED activities.

6 results:
1. Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA)Manual  
The manual is complete handbook on how to conduct a Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA) exercise in the context of Nepal. The manual is based on the PACA experience gained in nine municipalities of Lumbini, Karnali and Sudurpachshim provinces under the Local and Provincial…  
2. Twenty years of PACA – Retrospective reflections and opportunities for renewal  
Twenty years ago, Dr Jörg Meyer-Stamer started writing the zero-draft manual of the rapid participatory approach under the title of Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA) at an airport in southern Brazil. Some days earlier, he had designed and facilitated the first application of…  
3. Mesopartner Working Paper 06  
Regional Value Chain Initiatives: An Opportunity for the Application of the PACA-Approach. This paper contributes to the current discussion in the development community on options for value chain promotion. It specifically looks at regional value chains at the sub-national level, since this will…  
4. Mesopartner Working Paper 01  
Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA): Effectively Launching Local Economic Development Initiatives. In developing countries, there is an increasing awareness of the necessity to formulate and implement economic development strategies at the local level (local economic…  
5. PACA and Complexity - Reflections on Burundi  
In the light of recent discussions within Mesopartner on the use of complexity thinking in Local and Regional Economic Development (LRED), this article looks back at the Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA) exercise in the community of Gisozi in Burundi in May–June 2013.  
6. Tool 06: PACA  
Shawn Cunningham and Jorg Meyer-Stamer discuss the background, main characteristics and evolution of the Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA) method.  

How to conduct a PACA Exercise

Order a printed copy

Checklists for a PACA Exercise

How to introduce PACA: A Guide for Donor Organisations in International Development Cooperation