Table of Contents

  • The 2016 edition of Better Policies for Sustainable Development comes at a critical time in the wake of the historic adoption of a new global agenda: “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. This landmark agreement by Heads of State and Government, to set the world on a path towards sustainable development, recognises the need to look beyond narrow economic measures of progress and consider all aspects of well-being for current and future generations, to eradicate poverty everywhere and safeguard the planet. 2016 is the year of implementation, when words need to be matched by action in ways that change peoples’ lives. Achieving these common goals will require a collaborative partnership involving all countries and all stakeholders.

  • With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, all UN Members – including OECD countries – have committed to “pursue policy coherence and an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels and by all actors”. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a target (17:14) on the means of implementation to “enhance policy coherence for sustainable development” (PCSD).

  • Policy coherence for development (PCD) has focused on avoiding or minimising the negative spill-over effects of various policies on the development prospects of developing countries. For example, by avoiding situations in which Official Development Assistance (ODA) supports another country’s agricultural development, while tariffs or subsidised agricultural production in the provider country simultaneously undermine the other country’s export opportunities. Policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD) requires us to go one step further, moving beyond a “do-no-harm” approach and towards a partnership approach based on “win-win” solutions. Importantly, PCSD will be fundamental for fostering synergies between economic, social and environmental policies in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and take into account more systematically the effects of policies on the well-being of people living in other countries as well as of future generations.

  • Taking action to address the potential negative effects of policies, while at the same time supporting development objectives, has been the main focus of policy coherence for development (PCD). More recently, with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, all UN Members – including OECD countries – have committed to enhance policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD). This chapter explores briefly the experience of OECD countries over the past ten years in putting in place institutional mechanisms for promoting PCD. It attempts to identify general lessons and good practices that could be relevant for building institutional mechanisms for coherence that are better adapted to the vision and needs of the 2030 Agenda, and for shifting from PCD towards PCSD. The analysis herein is informed by desk-based research and by the experience of the OECD-PCD Unit in working with some members and partners on how to apply PCSD in the implementation of the SDGs.

  • Transitioning from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to a universal sustainable development framework calls for updating current approaches to promote policy coherence for development (PCD), and making sure that existing institutional mechanisms are “fit for purpose” for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The “PCSD Framework” introduces the concept of Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and provides guidance on how to analyse, apply and track progress on PCSD. It aims to support any government – both from OECD members and partner countries – interested in adapting its institutional mechanisms, processes and practices for policy coherence to implement the SDGs. The PCSD Framework is flexible and adaptable to diverse national and institutional contexts and allows users to develop their own strategy for enhancing policy coherence. It forms part of the OECD’s strategic response to the SDGs.

  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognise that food insecurity can affect all countries through many different channels. Breaking down the silos that separate policy sectors is necessary in order to overcome inconsistencies and promote cross-sectoral synergies for achieving food security (SDG 2), while at the same time contributing to other SDGs. Ensuring food security also calls for a coherent approach among stakeholders at local, national, regional and international levels. To support governments in applying an integrated and whole-of-government approach to policy making, the OECD has developed a new conceptual framework for policy coherence for sustainable development (“the PCSD Framework”). This chapter (“module”) applies the PCSD Framework to food security.

  • Illicit financial flows (IFFs) strip countries of important resources. They stem from corruption, crime, terrorism, and tax evasion, and use channels ranging in sophistication from cash smuggling and remittance transfers to trade finance and shell companies. The cross-cutting nature of IFFs requires policymakers and other stakeholders to have a more strategic overview of IFFs. They must assess the potential trade-offs and synergies in an inter-disciplinary manner, better inform policy making upstream, and help government actors to take more effective action. The new OECD Framework for Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (the “PCSD Framework”) aims to address this challenge by providing a simplified framework and self-screening tool for countries to help them plan for, avoid, and resolve the most significant trade-offs or policy inconsistencies and apply existing international standards in a coherent and effective way.

  • Long-term projections suggest that without policy changes, the continuation of “business-as-usual” economic growth and development will have serious impacts on natural resources and the ecosystem. Green growth provides a practical and flexible approach for achieving concrete, measurable progress across its economic and environmental dimensions, while taking full account of the social consequences of greening the growth dynamic of economies. To support governments in applying an integrated and whole-of-government approach to policy making, the OECD has developed a new conceptual framework for policy coherence for sustainable development (“the PCSD Framework”). This chapter (“module”) applies the PCSD Framework to green growth.

  • Monitoring policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD) will require consideration of three key elements: i) institutional mechanisms; ii) policy interactions, including contextual factors; and iii) policy effects. This broader approach can be used to assess the extent to which domestic policies are aligned with international sustainable development objectives and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The purpose of this chapter is to explore a selection of policy interactions related to food security, illicit financial flows, and green growth – the three priority areas for policy coherence identified in the 2012 OECD Strategy on Development. Identifying and understanding the different types of interactions between the SDGs and their respective targets can help policy makers to maximise synergies and exploit win-wins; avoid potential policy conflicts; manage trade-offs; and ultimately design coherent policies for sustainable development.

  • The 2030 Agenda presents national governments with both opportunities and challenges. This chapter provides an overview of 18 countries’ initial efforts to “nationalise” the agenda and adapt it to their own country context and priorities.Countries that have contributed to this overview by responding to six broad questions include: Austria; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; Germany; Greece; Italy; Ireland; Japan; Latvia; The Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Slovak Republic; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; and Turkey. It is based on responses to the following six questions:In what way is your country aligning its national strategies to the 2030 Agenda and setting national targets?What steps are being taken to integrate the SDGs into national policy frameworks, break out of policy silos and apply integrated and coherent policy approaches?How is your country updating institutional settings and strengthening co-ordination mechanisms for improved coherence and effective SDG implementation?Is your country applying an intergenerational timeframe when designing policies for the implementation of the SDGs?How are current monitoring mechanisms being aligned with the new agenda in order to track progress in SDG implementation?Are efforts being made to involve multiple stakeholders, e.g. CSOs, NGOs, and the private sector in these processes?