Horizontal solutions that assess local socio-economic and institutional challenges are gaining traction. The above section demonstrates how the COVID-19-induced economic crisis has affected various areas to varying degrees. Policies based on “best practice models” produced in high-tech and high-performing regions risk falling short of their goals and failing to capitalize on the different economic advantages of regions for long-term recovery (Markusen & Schrock, 2006).
On the other hand, policy solutions that are attentive to the individual traits, characteristics, and conditions of regions and places at various stages of development, on the other hand, are best positioned to improve Turkey’s potential to rebuild more effectively in the aftermath of the present economic crisis (Iammarino et al, 2018). Similarly, recent UNDP surveys done as part of the effort demonstrate the scope of the major challenges identified by Turkish enterprises. Vertical initiatives, such as those aimed at infrastructure, human capital, or foreign and inward investment, are unlikely to solve the multidimensional nature of the current economic downturn induced by the pandemic.
Regional development initiatives must be consistent with larger national development goals. A horizontal strategy that responds to local conditions should not imply local options that contradict national development goals. Previously, standalone programs that lacked support from complementary policy areas were common all across the world. This frequently leads to “waste strategies” or development initiatives that, in the medium and long term, leave the treated region in the same or worse condition as before the intervention, although having positive short-term outcomes (Rodriguez-Pose & Wilkie, 2019).
In Peru, for example, a haphazard approach to luring FDI via investor marketing activities ignored the availability of adequately trained people and infrastructure, failing to meet national development goals (World Bank, 2016). The creation of digital infrastructure, the supply of training and consulting services to MSMEs, and the promotion of resource efficiency should not be viewed as ends in themselves. Instead, it should be deliberately tailored to meet regional development constraints while promoting national development goals and objectives.
According to a detailed method, four development axes establish the underlying economic activity of each industry and territory (Figure 5). A policy plan that
Following the current COVID-19 pause, a strategy that balances four factors — foreign direct investment, human capital, infrastructure, and local firms — has a better chance of commencing a long-term recovery process. The four growth axes correlate to the four basic types of ‘levers’ that have recently been used to generate and sustain global growth. A comprehensive approach that achieves synthesis and synergy across all four levers will also be required for the shift from emergency measures that address the most pressing problems, such as individual and business liquidity limitations, to recovery programs that strive to “build better.”
Similarly, a four-pillar approach is useful for generating gain strategies—that is, development approaches that are particularly capable of delivering on their expected impacts by fulfilling both their inherent potential and designated objectives (Rodriguez-Pose & Wilkie, 2019)—to generate future-proof regional economies that are better able to withstand upcoming challenges, such as digital transformation and changes in global production.
Four pillars must be linked together. Several earlier attempts at expansion have consistently deviated from the core development axis, most notably infrastructure or inbound investment, resulting in unequal development plans (Rodriguez-Pose & Wilkie, 2019). However, because each growth axis is inextricably linked, efforts in one of the pillars can only provide the desired results if local competencies in the other dimensions are adequately developed. A well-balanced strategy must include the best combination of structural, socioeconomic, and institutional policies and changes (Barca et al, 2012).
Policy initiatives to improve the labor force quality, for example, will fail if local and foreign firms operating in that territory do not generate enough demand for skills, resulting in phenomena such as brain drain, as was the case with the development of skill upgrading programs in the Philippines (Phan & Coxhead, 2015; Rodriguez-Pose & Wilkie, 2017).
Institutions and the SDGs, in addition to the four pillars, are critical to the success and long-term sustainability of any development strategy. Previously, the institutional framework was acknowledged as a critical driver of innovation, mutual learning, and productivity growth, as well as a moderating factor that can influence the outcome of any policy activity (Putnam, 2000; Rodriguez-Pose, 2013). The degree of responsibility, openness, and independence of institutions, according to this viewpoint, is critical for obtaining the desired objectives.
Similarly, a greater emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, more broadly, improved environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standards will almost certainly determine the long-term viability of projects aimed at revitalizing regional industrial fabric and individual sectors (UNDP, 2016). More care will be required to ensure that development projects reach the most vulnerable people in the community.
As previously stated, they are expected to be hit harder and for a longer period by the current pandemic. Inaction will result in half-baked plans capable of addressing regional or sectoral constraints but incapable of supporting fair growth to solve the COVID-19 issue’s escalating territorial and interpersonal imbalances.
Adapting the technique to local conditions improves resource allocation effectiveness and efficiency. Imitating effective treatments in other countries without taking into account the spatial nature of comparative advantages may result in fruitless efforts. The epidemic has exacerbated already-existing inequities, and it is expected to leave countries significantly more polarized than before the COVID-19 outbreak (OECD, 2021).
From now on, we must embrace development approaches that address the breadth, scope, and nature of these territories’ development challenges, as well as their opportunities and potential. Interventions, particularly those in the various post-pandemic pillars, must be sensitive to the unique characteristics of Turkey’s diverse regions. Eastern Anatolia’s development levels are poor compared to the rest of the European Union. As a result, strategies that adapt to the degree of complexity (defined as the number and diversity of components across development axes) and the breadth of scope (defined as the narrowness of the development outcomes or targets pursued by a strategy) are more likely to succeed.