Chapter 2. Implementing the 2030 Agenda nationally

In this chapter, 16 countries share their experiences on how they are promoting policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD) at the national level and, more specifically, how the eight building blocks for PCSD are being applied to ensure coherent SDG implementation. Their inputs, which were submitted in response to an informal and voluntary questionnaire, show that that there is no single blueprint for enhancing policy coherence. Countries are moving forward in different ways, adapting their institutional mechanisms; engaging a wide range of stakeholders; improving co-ordination across policy communities and levels of government; and developing appropriate monitoring and reporting systems. The mutual exchange of experiences can help countries to strengthen and improve their performance at different stages of SDG implementation.



Chapter 2 showed how countries presenting their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2016 are aligning their national strategies, adapting institutional frameworks and shifting policies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These efforts also revealed a wide variety of starting points and implementation paths. Drawing on lessons from the first year of implementation, the chapter identified good institutional practices, as well as challenges, for enhancing policy coherence for sustainable development as called for by SDG target 17.14. These good practices were then articulated according to eight elements from the PCSD Framework, which are considered key building blocks for ensuring a coherent national strategy and integrated implementation of the SDGs: 1) political commitment and leadership; 2) integrated approaches to implementation; 3) intergenerational timeframe; 4) analysis and assessments of potential policy effects; 5) policy and institutional co-ordination; 6) local and regional involvement; 7) stakeholder participation; and 8) monitoring and reporting.

In this chapter, 16 countries share their experiences on how they are applying PCSD at national level, and more specifically, how the eight elements for PCSD set out above are being applied to ensure coherent SDGs implementation. Although countries are still at an early stage in implementing the SDGs and in applying a PCSD lens, a key lesson is that there is no single blueprint for enhancing policy coherence in SDG implementation. There are clear efforts, however, to move forward in sometimes innovative ways: adapting institutional mechanisms fit for purpose, raising awareness of the SDGs by engaging a wide range of stakeholders, improving co-ordination across policy communities and levels of government, and developing appropriate monitoring and reporting systems. A common challenge appears to be to balance the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainable development as called for by the 2030 Agenda. Another important challenge is to continue to strengthen effective development co-operation while also seeking to impact upstream on the domestic policy making process with a view to identifying potential synergies and trade-offs, and avoiding unintended consequences with global impact. Through the mutual exchanges of experiences and discussions on what works and what does not, countries can improve the content of national strategies, strengthen institutional mechanisms, address transboundary impacts and ultimately enhance policy coherence in the implementation of the SDGs.


Political commitment and leadership

PCD is a legal obligation under the Federal Act on Development Cooperation of 2003, both at national and international level. In the Work Programme 2013-18 the government commits itself to strengthen the whole-of-government approach by working together with Parliament, the federal ministries, NGOs and other partners. The Three-Year Program guiding Austrian development co-operation from 2016-18 contains a clear commitment to PCD and an overview of instruments; an even stronger commitment will be entailed in the Three-Year Program 2019-21 currently under elaboration.

By decision of the Austrian Council of Ministers on the 12th January 2016, the Austrian Government has requested that all Ministries integrate the SDGs into their relevant programs and strategies and, in case the need arises, that they develop new action plans and measures for coherent implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The SDGs are already reflected in some new policies and programs. The Three-Year Program 2019-21 currently in development will be specifically geared towards incorporating the SDGs.

Integrated approaches to implementation

With regard to SDG implementation, an inter-ministerial working group chaired by the Federal Chancellery and the Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (MFA) has been established to discuss efficient and successful implementation. This working group will involve the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, the Federal Ministry of Defence, as well as all the other Ministries affected by the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Two inter-ministerial strategic guidelines, the “common strategic guideline on environment and development” and the “common strategic guideline on security and development”, have been elaborated and endorsed by the Council of Ministers.

Several institutionalised inter-ministerial working groups ensure PCD in economic, social and environmental areas. For example, the working group “Environment and Development”, co-chaired by the MFA and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, with a broad participation of other relevant ministries, NGOs and civil society, meets at least four times a year to discuss all relevant policies in the environmental area. Further examples include the inter-ministerial working group ‘Security and Development’, the ‘Platform for Humanitarian Aid’, as well as working groups dedicated to water management and climate finance and the thematic network on ‘Tax and Development’.

Intergenerational timeframe

Intergenerational time frames are being integrated, where applicable, into new national policies and strategies. The MFA is regularly conducting public relations activities to promote the importance of the SDGs and to increase awareness among society.

Analyses and assessments of potential policy effects

The whole-of-government approach is particularly reflected in the MFA’s co-operation strategies at country level and regional level. Regarding the policy level, potential policy effects are being assessed on an ongoing basis in the different working groups and during regular evaluations of the existing inter-ministerial common strategic guidelines. For example, the evaluation of the ‘common strategic guideline on environment and development’, developed by the MFA in co-operation with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management as well as the Federal Ministry of Finance, and accepted by the Council of Ministers in September 2009, is being overseen by members of all ministries concerned.

Policy and institutional co-ordination

According to the Federal Act on Development Cooperation of 2003, the MFA is in charge of PCD. The focal point for policy and institutional co-ordination is in the Department of Development Cooperation of the MFA. However, the MFA does not have the competence to resolve conflicts between different policies. On the international level, the MFA is part of the EU expert group on PCD and the OECD National Focal Points Network. On the national level, co-ordination mechanisms include the institutionalised inter-ministerial working groups, committees of the Austrian Development Bank and the Austrian Kontrollbank (a specialised institution owned by commercial banks and an important provider of financial services), regular dialogue between ministries, official agencies and Parliament, as well as regular contacts between civil servants and representatives of civil society organisations.

Local and regional involvement

The liaison office of the Laender (Austria’s regions) is integrated into the process of developing the Three-Year Program. Furthermore, meetings between Government representatives of the Laender are being conducted annually under the auspices of the MFA. The MFA is also striving to reach the local population through multiple events organised in the course of public relations activities.

Stakeholder participation

All relevant stakeholders, government entities as well as NGOs, the private sector, and academia, have been integrated into the process leading to the Three-Year Program 2016-18 and are being integrated into the development of the new Three-Year Program 2019-21.

Furthermore, all relevant stakeholders have been involved in the process leading to the inter-governmental negotiations as well as to the endorsement of the 2030 Agenda by Heads of State/Heads of Government. Numerous national policy frameworks and positions rely on well-established multi-stakeholder advisory groups and a broad consultative process.

Monitoring and reporting

Monitoring and reporting activities are provided for by the Three-Year Program 2016-18. A result-driven approach is thereby paramount and will be further strengthened in the Three-Year Program for 2019-21. In the course of the elaboration process of the new Three-Year Program, a new reporting system will be established.

With regard to the SDGs, the Austrian Parliament and the Austrian Government have the overall oversight for tracking progress made in their implementation. Specialised agencies, such as the Court of Audit and Statistik Austria – the national statistics office – contribute to this task within their mandate.

The inter-ministerial working group on SDGs provides guidance on the drafting of national monitoring reports, according to the reporting requirements, and initiates a priority setting process for the respective reporting period.


Political commitment and leadership

There is a long tradition and a strong political commitment to promoting sustainable development in Finland. In accordance with the vision put forward by the Government, Finland’s competitiveness will be built on high expertise, sustainable development and open-minded innovations based on experimentation and digitalisation.

The National Commission on Sustainable Development – an influential sustainable development forum bringing together key actors in Finnish society, that has been active without interruption for 23 years – was re-appointed for a new four-year term in February 2016. The Commission is chaired by the Prime Minister, with the Minister of Agriculture and the Environment as its Vice-Chair.

Since early 2016, the Prime Minister’s Office has been in charge of co-ordinating the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the national sustainable development policy. During the year 2016, the Government has worked on a national implementation plan for the 2030 Agenda, and this implementation plan was approved by the Government in February 2017. Finland’s development policy – which is an important part of Finland’s national response to the new agenda – was updated in February 2016 and is guided by the 2030 Agenda.

Integrated approaches to implementation

Finland’s integrated approach to implementation is based on multi-tiered co-ordination among government branches. The sustainable development co-ordination network, consisting of representatives from key Ministries, has been responsible for the co-ordination of sustainable development between various administrative sectors for almost twenty years. Members of the co-ordination network act as contacts and persons in charge of sustainable development within their respective branches of Government. Each member of the network co-ordinates and integrates the views of his or her administrative branch with the national sustainable development plan and sustainable development work. The network convenes around ten times a year. Its duties and composition were reconfirmed in February 2016.

As part of the national implementation plan for the 2030 Agenda, the Ministries were asked to identify the existing policies and measures in Finland that contribute to the implementation of the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets. All goals and targets were subject to the scrutiny of all Ministries, forcing the different branches of government to examine the whole 2030 Agenda in a holistic and integrated way.

The national 2030 Agenda implementation plan gives particular attention to the issue of interlinkages and defines measures that help in identifying interlinkages and coping with possible inconsistencies. New measures introduced in the implementation plan include: annual reporting to the parliament on the work of different government branches in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; having the 2030 Agenda implementation as a regular item on the agenda of the meetings of State Secretaries; and preparing an overarching review on how the Finnish foreign policy at-large contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The law-making process in Finland includes an impact assessment procedure, which includes economic impact, impact on the work of public officials, environmental impacts and societal impacts. In April 2016, the Government appointed a Legislation Assessment Council for a period of three years. The aim of the Assessment Council is to improve the quality of government proposals’ impact assessment and the culture of legislative drafting in general.

Intergenerational timeframe

Finland’s main tool for adapting the global goals and targets into national and local objectives and action is called Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development: “The Finland we want by 2050” – adopted in December 2013. It is Finland’s long-term inter-generational strategic sustainable development framework with a vision, principles and objectives for transition towards sustainable development. Compared to conventional national sustainability strategies, the Society’s Commitment also contains an implementation mechanism. The strategic part of the Society’s Commitment was updated in April 2016 to meet the spirit and ambition of the 2030 Agenda. Its time-frame is up to year 2050.

The term of the National Commission on Sustainable Development overlaps the four-year cycle of Parliamentary elections. The term of the current Commission will extend until the end of 2019. The purpose is to ensure that the Commission’s tasks are not excessively tied to Government programmes and that it can consider key long-term sustainable development issues.

The national implementation plan for the 2030 Agenda has two areas of focus: 1) a carbon-neutral and resource-wise Finland; and 2) an equal, equitable and skilful Finland. In addition to these, there are three policy principles that relate to a) the transformative nature of SD policy; b) coherence and global partnerships; and c) ownership and inclusiveness. These areas of focus and principles for the national implementation plan are meant to persist beyond electoral cycles, and thus strengthen the long-term perspective of national sustainable development policy.

An expert panel for sustainable development, comprising eight professors from various scientific disciplines, was established in 2014 to prepare and evaluate the work of the National Commission on Sustainable Development and to highlight the sustainability challenges Finland is facing. The prospect of their work is intergenerational and global, anchoring the political decisions of today to opportunities for future generations.

Analyses and assessments of potential policy effects

Finland has directed significant effort towards policy coherence in support of development at the national level and within the European Union, not forgetting PCD in developing countries themselves.

Finland has gained knowledge in close co-operation with the OECD when experimenting with new coherence tools. One successful OECD co-operation projects was Finland’s food security pilot which was carried out as part of Finland’s Development Policy programme in 2012-13. It produced an analysis of the links of agriculture, fisheries, environment, trade and development policies on food security, and suggested a set of policy objectives and recommendations to increase coherence of these policies to enhance global food security. These recommendations are being followed up. Furthermore, Finland joined the OECD, ECPDM and the Economic and Social Research Foundation of Tanzania to study food security in the field, in Tanzania, to develop a methodology for assessing the impact of OECD policies on food security at the country level. Another example is Finland’s Action Programme for Tax and Development 2016-19. It includes four objectives that concentrate on 1) achieving and implementing international tax rules; 2) strengthening developing countries’ taxation capacity and domestic resource mobilisation; 3) increasing civil society’s awareness and knowledge on the link between taxation and public services; and 4) ensuring that reliable research and analysis are available. The MFA co-operates in tax and development issues with the Ministry of Finance, Finnish Tax Administration and both local and international organisations.

With the launch of the national implementation process, the National Commission on Sustainable Development and the Development Policy Committee have stepped up co-operation. It is considered essential that Finland implements the SDGs at both national and international level, under a single national implementation plan.

One of the new measures identified in the national 2030 Agenda implementation plan is an annual public “The State and Future of Sustainable Development in Finland” discussion event, where recent trends in Finland in the field of SD are openly discussed based on indicator data and interpretations, and policy recommendations by The National Commission on Sustainable Development and Development Policy Committee, as well as inputs from CSO’s and academia. This event can help in identifying key transboundary policy effects, bringing them into public discussion and informing decision making on such effects.

Policy and institutional co-ordination

The Prime Minister’s Office assumed responsibility for co-ordinating national implementation in early 2016. A co-ordination secretariat was established in the Prime Minister’s Office, with responsibility for planning, preparing, co-ordinating and ensuring the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The secretariat comprises representatives of the Secretariat General of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office. In addition to this co-ordination secretariat there is a co-ordination network which consists of representatives from almost all ministries. The co-ordination network has responsibility for co-ordinating sustainable development issues across various administrative sectors. The co-ordination network is well-placed to identify and discuss controversial issues and inconsistencies between policies.

In addition to the working-level co-ordination taking place through the above-mentioned secretariat and co-ordination network, the national 2030 Agenda implementation plan has placed the issue of implementation as a permanent regular item on the agenda of state secretaries’ meetings. This creates a channel for bringing controversial issues into the purview and onto the agenda of the highest-level public servants, and thereon, according to need, onto the agenda of political decision-makers.

Local and regional involvement

The regions and municipalities will play a key role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. At their best, cities are drivers of sustainable development and it is important that best practices in this regard be widely disseminated. Many regions and cities in Finland are very advanced in sustainable development, but performance is uneven, and generally more effort is needed.

At the moment, there are two representatives each from the regions, cities and municipal administration in the National Commission on Sustainable Development. In the national implementation plan, local and regional governments are encouraged to update their sustainable development strategies and to include sustainable development into their main policies and strategies. Local and regional governments are also encouraged to use participatory approaches in these strategy processes.

The Agenda 2030 Coordination Secretariat organised two regional road shows on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in two big cities in Finland during autumn 2016. These events inspired local and regional actors, ranging from local authorities to SMEs and CSOs, to identify measures to advance sustainable development in their own work and daily activities, and in co-operation with others (see below).

Stakeholder participation

“The Finland we want by 2050 – Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development” is a partnership model that aims to boost ownership, concrete action, innovative solutions and impact throughout society. By the end of 2016, over 400 actors from companies to ministries, schools, municipalities and civil society organisations, as well as individuals, have joined Society’s Commitment by launching their own operational commitments.

There are two major stakeholder committees that have a key role in engaging a wide range of different stakeholders into designing and implementing sustainable development policies: 1) The Development Policy Committee, a parliamentary body, is tasked with following up on SDG implementation from a development policy perspective, and monitoring the implementation of the Government Programme in compliance with development policy guidelines; 2) The National Commission on Sustainable Development, a Prime Minister-led partnership forum, is tasked with integrating sustainable development into Finnish policies, measures and everyday practices.

The committees have also set up a joint “Enterprises and sustainable development” working group, bringing together representatives of Finnish companies and the business environment to implement the 2030 Agenda in Finland and in developing countries. The intention is to move towards concrete action in order to strengthen the commitment of enterprises to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Monitoring and reporting

There is a specific section on follow-up and review in the national Agenda 2030 implementation plan. It aims at increasing accountability and strengthening the role of the Parliament, as well as reinforcing evidence-based decision-making and science-policy interface.

The main elements of the follow-up and review framework are: 1) the decision to include a specific section on the promotion of sustainable development into the Annual Government report to the Parliament; 2) the decision to update national SD indicators so that the policy relevance of annual indicators would increase; 3) to create a mechanism that allows all stakeholders to present their interpretation of underlying causes that have induced changes in the indicator values; 4) to establish an annual open one-day event “The State and Future of Sustainable Development in Finland” where the current state of SD in Finland will be discussed and policy recommendations formulated, based on indicator data and interpretations, inputs from the Scientific Expert Panel on SD, the National Commission on Sustainable Development, the Development Policy Committee and various stakeholders. This event will support the Parliament in its internal discussion on the Annual Government Report, and create a feedback loop to the Government.

In addition to this annual mechanism, the decision has been made to evaluate national SD policy once every four years. The results of an independent evaluation will come out in the year of Parliamentary elections so that it may support the discussions on national policies during the election campaigns, and also give the next government independent and evidence-based information on the performance of SD policies. This information is crucial for the next government, as it updates the national 2030 Agenda implementation plan at the beginning of its term.


Political commitment and leadership

Germany has a National Sustainable Development Strategy in place since 2002. The Strategy has established a sophisticated “sustainability architecture” and mechanisms for its monitoring and regular revisions; it forms the essential framework for the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In order to do so, the Federal Chancellery has led a process to revise and adapt it to the requirements of the transformative 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All ministries, the Parliament, federal states and local level governments, civil society, private sector and academia were involved in this process. The new German Sustainable Development Strategy 2016 was adopted by the federal cabinet and publicly issued on January 11, 2017. It is structured along the SDGs and includes national targets and indicators for all 17 goals. Though the globally agreed targets and indicators serve as orientation for the national set of targets and indicators, the latter displays certain differences so as to better match the specific German context. The revised strategy also considers the global and planetary impact of domestic actions and contributes to resolving global and transformative challenges.

Integrated approaches to implementation

As sustainable development is a guiding principle for all of the German government’s policies, the responsibility for the German Sustainable Development Strategy does not lie with one of the ministries, but with the Federal Chancellery. The German Sustainable Development Strategy formulates goals and measures for key policy fields. Its revision has served to adjust, strengthen and add sustainability-relevant policies to the agenda of all ministries.

In addition and due to the nature of the German federal system, two thirds of the German federal states, the Bundesländer, have their own sustainable development strategies in place or are in the process of developing them. Based on these and the broad and intensive local-agenda-21-process as a follow-up to the Rio-Summit of 1992, local communities are conceptualising ways to implement the strategies in their local contexts and to renew, strengthen and intensify their local sustainability policies.

With regards to international co-operation, the German government is taking the 2030 Agenda as guideline and supports its implementation within its various forms of bilateral co-operation. This includes supporting partner countries in their efforts to adapt national policies to the implementation of the Agenda, to strengthen their resource base through the Addis Ababa Tax Initiative and to contribute to international monitoring and review. In this context, the German government is committed to the broad range of Means of Implementation defined by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), including mobilisation of domestic and private resources as well as the provision of ODA to complement national efforts, especially in the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

In addition, various integrated national strategies focus on SDG implementation. One example of this is the National Programme for Sustainable Consumption, which was elaborated through an inter-ministerial process. Its 174 cross-cutting measures will be implemented by the whole of government, with the involvement of relevant civil society actors. One prominent initiative to promote sustainable patterns of production and consumption at home and abroad is the “Textilbündnis”, an initiative jointly engaged by the government and the private sector, which aims directly at promoting fair value chains and fair wages in textile producing countries as well as transparent communication to support consumers in their decisions.

Intergenerational timeframe

With regard to SDG implementation, Germany designs intergenerational policy solutions given that the revised German Sustainable Development Strategy is aligned with the 15-year timeframe of the 2030 Agenda. Furthermore, intergenerational timeframes are applied in Germany’s main social, economic and environmental policy planning in order to achieve greater positive impact for future generations. Examples are the “Energiewende” and the introduction of the minimum wage. The German government also supports sustainable consumption and production patterns, both in Germany and abroad. In the context of its climate policy, Germany already committed itself to a long-term objective: At the 41st G7 summit at “Schloss Elmau” in 2015 – under the German presidency – the G7 agreed “[. . .] that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required with a decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century”.

Policy and institutional co-ordination

Within the framework of the German Sustainable Development Strategy, an architecture with various institutions, mechanisms and instruments for its steering, monitoring and regular revisions has been set up. The central steering body is the State Secretaries’ Committee on Sustainable Development, chaired by the Head of the Federal Chancellery, which oversees the updating and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Strategy. In addition, the new Strategy considers appointing co-ordinators for sustainable development in every ministry (preferably at the level of directors general). The Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development, composed of 17 Members of the Parliament, provides parliamentary advice, and evaluates the sustainability impact assessment of the Federal Government. The sustainability impact assessment of all laws and decrees is a prerequisite for their consideration by the cabinet. The benchmarks for the impact assessment are the targets, indicators and so called management rules of the Sustainable Development Strategy. In order to benefit from external expertise, the German government also put in place the German Council for Sustainable Development in 2001. The Sustainable Development Council advises the Federal Government on all matters relating to sustainable development. Around fifteen individuals from businesses, trade unions, churches, the media, and consumer and environmental associations meet regularly to discuss various aspects of sustainability. They are appointed for three years by the German Chancellor. The Council works independently and tables proposals on how the Strategy should move forward. The government’s high-level commitment to the principle of sustainability politically underpins all the efforts contributing to implement the Strategy’s goals and ensures an efficient cross-sectoral co-ordination of the whole government’s sustainability activities.

In 2009 and 2013, the German Federal Government invited an international peer group to review progress on sustainable development in Germany and make recommendations for strengthening transformation towards a more sustainable society and economy. The government plans to commission a new international peer review.

For the German Federal Government, sustainability requires a holistic, integrated approach. It is only when interdependencies are detected, disclosed and taken into account that long-term, stable solutions to existing problems and conflicting objectives can be formulated.

Economic performance, environmental protection and social responsibility should be combined in a way that enables sustainable decisions, based on all three aspects, to be considered in a global context. The absolute limit is reached when the earth’s capacity to sustain life is affected. It is within this framework that the realisation of the various political goals should be optimised.

Stakeholder participation

In preparation for the renewed Sustainable Development Strategy, the German Federal Government organised five dialogue conferences between October 2015 and February 2016 aiming to include the Federal States, the local level governments, civil society stakeholders, academia, the business sector and other experts in the process of revising the National Sustainable Development Strategy. The various stakeholders discussed necessary actions and means for a successful ambitious national implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the challenge and potential of a closer and more effective multi-stakeholder-co-operation envisaged in the 2030 Agenda. Furthermore, the first draft of the revised German Sustainable Development Strategy was made open to public consultation and thoroughly revised afterwards. The new Strategy now significantly strengthens the government´s involvement of and co-operation with non-governmental stakeholders. Inter alia, it establishes a new and regularly “Sustainability Forum” meeting under the auspices of the Federal Chancellery, as well as a group of civil society representatives to closely accompany the work of the State Secretaries´ Committee on Sustainable Development.

At the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development in New York in 2016, Germany was one of the first countries to present its Voluntary National Report (VNR) on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNR was discussed with civil society representatives and subsequently revised in light of their remarks. The German government also gave the floor to a civil society representative during its VNR presentation. Internationally, Germany likewise supports the active involvement of multiple stakeholders through the launch of the transnational ‘Partner for Review’ network. The aim of this network is to strengthen national review processes by supporting the exchange of lessons learnt between stakeholders from countries which have already reported to the HLPF and from countries which envisage to do so. A regular Dialogue Forum on the 2030 Agenda will continue to be held during the implementation phase of the 2030 Agenda.

Monitoring and reporting

The Federal Government reports to the public once every four years on the progress made in the implementation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy. The Strategy includes a management concept whose rules, targets and indicators were profoundly overhauled and supplemented to meet the principles of the 2030 Agenda. A set of sustainability indicators measures and discloses progress on sustainable development in order to make the strategy transparent, tangible and assessable. The Federal Statistical Office publishes an independent report on the status of the sustainability indicators once every two years. In addition, departmental reports are presented to the State Secretaries’ Committee on Sustainable Development. They illustrate each ministry’s approach to sustainable development issues.


Political commitment and leadership

Efforts to implement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national level are being co-ordinated and monitored (since the beginning of December 2016) by one of the main entities belonging to the centre of government: the General Secretariat of the Government and more specifically its Office of Coordination, Institutional, International and European Affairs. The General Secretariat of the Government is well positioned as it stands close to the country’s political leadership, ensuring a whole-of-government approach and a commitment, at the highest political level, to planning and implementing the SDGs in a long-term perspective. It also co-operates directly and on a daily basis with the public administration, ensuring the continuity of efforts, while it works closely with the Hellenic Parliament on legislative and regulatory issues. In parallel, the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to be responsible for the external dimension of our national efforts, while the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy is “thematically/technically” responsible for the implementation of seven out of the overall 17 SDGs i.e. SDG6, SDG7, SDG11, SDG13, SDG14, SDG15 in part).

Greece is committed to participate in the voluntary national review at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum.

Integrated approaches to implementation

Under the co-ordination of the General Secretariat of the Government, an “Inter-ministerial co-ordination network” was officially re-established in mid-December 2016 (the Network was originally set up in March 2016 under the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Hellenic Aid and held regular preparatory meetings since then) in order to:

  1. Oversee and guide the completion of a mapping exercise by all Ministries to define our national starting point, due to be finalised in February 2017. Several ministries have already started this mapping exercise, based on a specific methodology;

  2. Assist and provide input for the elaboration of a National Implementation Action Plan on SDGs (due to be finalised by the end of 2017);

  3. Support the implementation of the Action Plan, and thus the implementation of the SDGs, at different governance levels, in the longer run, until 2030.

The above-mentioned National Action Plan under elaboration aims, among other things, to foster the adoption of an integrated approach to the planning and implementation of SDGs at different governance levels and to promote policy coherence across sectors and interactions between cross-cutting SDGs (cross-departmental coherence, synergies and interlinkages).

Leadership on sustainable development and the SDGs comes from the General Secretariat of the Government responsible for co-ordinating and monitoring action for sustainable development across government.

The National Action Plan under elaboration will focus, inter alia, on revisiting existing thematic legislation, strategies and policies (like the existing Development Law and the Partnership Agreement 2014-20), building on them, and making them more “SDG aware” by improving their coherence. Moreover, it will include the identification of a few key cross-cutting priorities for the country (e.g. sustainable consumption and production patterns, the circular economy, adaptation to the impact of climate change and migration, water-food-energy nexus, education for sustainable development-nutrition-youth health nexus etc.) to be pursued through new horizontal cross-sectoral integration tools and arrangements that will derive special added value for Greece from the achievement of the SDGs. It is necessary for Greece to re-identify the issues to be tackled in relation to the SDGs and make better use of its past experience in order to forge a sustainable future.

Intergenerational timeframe

The intergenerational perspective required for implementing the SDGs entails strategic choices for the longer term and capacities to maintain commitment over time. The General Secretariat for the Government is committed to Sustainable Development with a long-term perspective. As Greece is an EU member state most of the policies incorporated in the acquis communautaire have a mid-to-long term perspective. A multi-stakeholder approach for implementing the 2030 Agenda requires and presents a framework through which political will may be sustained and politicians and other actors will be held mutually accountable for achieving progress over the longer term (see below).

Policy and institutional co-ordination

The fact that the Greek Government decided to assign responsibility for the overall co-ordination and monitoring of SDG implementation to the General Secretariat of the Government proves political commitment, at the highest level, to securing policy implementation and co-operation across ministries and in support of strategic actions and policies. The General Secretariat of the Government has the convening power to influence policy adjustments and co-ordination expertise in dealing effectively with cross-cutting thematic agendas and complicated multi-dimensional issues.

Local and regional involvement

New innovative ways are considered to enable the participation of municipal authorities in the National Action Plan. The aim is to involve municipal authorities in multi-stakeholder platforms of discussion and workshops in order to identify common challenges and develop co-operative ways of implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Stakeholder participation

Since the implementation of the SDGs goes far beyond the responsibilities of the government, particular emphasis has been given, from the start, to raising awareness at all levels. Our intention is to build strong partnerships with all relevant stakeholders in the implementation process, from Parliament, public administration and local authorities to civil society and the private sector. A series of multi-stakeholder meetings, to exchange ideas and best practices, were launched in May 2016 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In moving towards the “operational” phase of our national efforts, a concrete mechanism for consultation with stakeholders will be designed to ensure balance, regularity of consultations in a structured manner, transparency, increased awareness at all levels, partnership-building and accountability. To this end, various stakeholder groups have already commenced their internal co-ordination processes in order to contribute concrete proposals and input to the overall national effort.

Our communication strategy will include, inter alia, apart from regular discussions in the Parliament, a series of thematic Round Table discussions on selected cross-cutting themes that the SDGs touch upon, like migration and environment, circular economy or adaptation to the impact of climate change, by involving – in addition to central and local administrations – NGOs, the private sector and academia. Our aim is to mobilise all ministries and government agencies by partnering with all relevant stakeholders to implement a wide variety of measures and resources in an effective and coherent manner.

Monitoring and reporting

Greece has been following, through the Hellenic Statistical Authority, the IAEG-SDGs process in classifying proposed indicators in Tiers I, II and III. A similar exercise has been performed, so far, at the national level, for the 230 proposed indicators based on the available methodologies and data for Greece in order to ensure that a minimum set of indicators can be measured to complement national reporting. Regarding the evaluation of progress, an independent entity will be designated to undertake the on-going function of peer-reviewing the overall process on an annual basis.


Political commitment and leadership

Ireland played a pivotal role in brokering agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals and advocated in particular for three priorities on poverty and hunger, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and governance and rule of law, with a strong added emphasis on human rights, monitoring and accountability, equality, resilience and disaster risk reduction, and civil society space. Since then the Irish Government has made a clear commitment to see progress on all 17 Goals and, to this end, is working at the global, domestic and partner country level to advance the 2030 Agenda.

Ireland is active on the global stage at the UN and the EU in particular and has strongly supported alignment of the new European Consensus on Development with the 2030 Agenda and with the EU’s own strategic vision for implementing the SDGs in Europe. Domestically, the Irish Government is finalising working arrangements for the national platform which will implement, monitor and review the 2030 Agenda at national, regional and global levels. The agreed institutional arrangements will need to ensure the broad and integrated domestic policy response across the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development, as well as outreach, required for effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda at national level.

The Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister), the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are all heavily engaged in finalising the national institutional arrangements. This work has included consideration of the adequacy of existing governance mechanisms across Departments, based on the objective of achieving efficiency and effectiveness, coherence and inclusion. It is hoped that a national implementation framework, co-ordinated centrally, will shortly be finalised.

Internationally, in co-operation with the key partner countries to which Ireland channels most of its bilateral aid, the Irish Government works to support national implementation plans to deliver the SDGs and in its international development programming and policy, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, supports the achievement of the Goals in developing countries.

The Global Island, the new review of Ireland’s Foreign Policy, was launched in January 2015. Development co-operation is an integral element of our foreign policy and The Global Island reinforces our commitment to contribute to international peace, security, human rights and sustainable development. The Programme for Government published in May 2016 maintains this commitment. One World One Future, Ireland’s Policy for International Development adopted by Government in 2013, sets out our vision of a sustainable and just world, where people are empowered to overcome poverty and hunger and fully realise their rights and potential. The distribution of Official Development Assistance and our policy engagement are guided by the three goals of reduced hunger and stronger resilience; inclusive and sustainable economic growth; and, better governance, human rights and accountability enshrined in a Framework for Action. There is clear alignment between these Government policies and strategies and the 2030 Agenda, but further work is on-going to ensure coherence between current policy priorities and the SDGs.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is also developing a new strategic approach for engagement with multilateral organisations which will deliver on the Department’s priorities and the 2030 Agenda.

At partner country level, Ireland has strengthened country planning processes and five-year programmes are aligned with the SDGs and include robust monitoring and review frameworks. Country Strategy Plans (CSP) reflect a whole-of-mission approach. The Guidance for strategic planning has undergone an extensive revision which has included consultation with other Divisions, such as Trade and Consular. To support the whole-of-mission/whole-of-embassy approach, the process for the design and appraisal of a strategy has been revised and expanded to include all Policy Goals of The Global Island and coherence with the 2030 Agenda. Strategic planning tools have been improved, resulting in strengthened coherence, oversight and quality assurance.

The Irish Aid Expert Advisory Group, which provides independent advice to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on Ireland’s international development, will look at Ireland’s aid programme and examine the efforts relating to its contribution to achieve the SDGs.

Intergenerational timeframe

This will be considered as part of the national implementation framework. Clearly, given that today’s youth will be the generation that will experience the impact of the success or failure of the SDGs, consideration is being given to ensuring that SDG implementation will be inclusive and responsive to the needs of the youth.

Analyses and assessments of policy effects; Integrated approaches to implementation; Policy and institutional co-ordination

The three elements above are addressed together here, using a number of concrete examples which demonstrate Ireland’s efforts to enhance policy coherence, institutional co-ordination and potential policy effects in other countries, as part of our commitment to the SDGs.

  • Climate Change – The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is represented on Ireland’s cross-departmental structures on climate change, including the Irish UNFCCC delegation, and the senior officials group that supports the Cabinet Committee on Economic Infrastructure and Climate Change where draft legislation related to energy, agriculture or economic development is discussed. Policy positions in relation to least developed countries and development co-operation are included within the national position and national statements on climate change in EU and UNFCCC fora, including negotiation of the Paris Agreement. There is a strong working relationship between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and DFAT, including a DAFM attaché in Rome who leads on international development issues related to food and nutrition security through FAO and WFP. Building on already established representative fora, the Irish Forum for International Agriculture and Development (IFIAD) was recently launched with representation from a number of Government departments, the private sector, civil society and academia. This forum provides the potential to advance policy coherence for development in relation to agriculture.

  • Global Hunger and Resilience – Nutrition policy coherence issues are rising up the agenda prompted by the universality of the SDGs, in particular with regard to the ‘triple burden’ of under nutrition, over nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. To deliver on our commitment to policy coherence for development, working relationships have been strengthened with the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. At the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, Ireland co-hosted a side event on ‘Zero Hunger by 2030: Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security for All’. The President of Ireland in his key note address affirmed the feasibility of achieving SDG2 and Zero Hunger, provided we tackle the root causes of hunger – especially in situations of protracted crisis. This will require us to break down the barriers between humanitarian and development approaches, provide longer term financing, especially at the local level, and improve multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder co-ordination. A shift to prevention of crises was called for, including the need to build sustainable food systems. The President situated Zero Hunger firmly as a rights issue, requiring recognition of inequity, including gender inequality, as a barrier to progress and peace.

  • International Public Health – During the Ebola crisis, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade participated regularly in a cross-departmental working group. The contribution of other government departments and agencies, in particular the Irish Defence Forces, Department of Health, Irish NGOs and Irish humanitarian personnel (including missionaries and volunteers) was significant in both Sierra Leone and Liberia. Strong existing collaboration with the Department of Health facilitated a good exchange of information, technical input and guidelines.

  • Conflict and Fragility – The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Conflict and Fragility team brings together relevant stakeholders and policy makers in the fields of humanitarian engagement, development and conflict resolution, and supports the building of resilience and stability through context specific, targeted long-term engagement.

Stakeholder participation

There was a broad process of stakeholder consultation in advance of agreement of Ireland’s position on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, including with civil society. In May 2016, Dochas, the umbrella body for Irish NGOs hosted the 2016 Irish Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals opened by the President of Ireland. The summit brought a range of key stakeholders together and examined Ireland’s role, as civil society, government, academia and the private sector, to take forward the SDG vision for transformative change. The conference looked at the challenges and opportunities presented by the SDG framework and options for developing a collective plan of action in Ireland.

An alliance of 100 civil society groups drawn from the international and domestic NGO sector, the environment sector, academia and trade unions launched Coalition 2030 in February 2017 which aims to promote sharing and learning, stimulate public engagement on the SDGs and inform and influence policy at the national and international level.

Monitoring and reporting

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is working with the Central Statistics Office, which will perform a key role as part of the implementation framework and will support the development of national objectives and indicators that best align with the SDGs.

Furthermore, monitoring and reporting indicators relating to Ireland’s country programmes are aligned with the SDGs.


Political commitment and leadership

Italy has been looking for new means to enhance policy co-ordination, in line with our EU and OECD partners, and is setting up a strategic framework in order to better enable a ‘whole of country’ approach to pursue a national SDGs agenda coherently. In this respect, in March 2016 Italy launched the process for elaborating a National Strategy for Sustainable Development, which takes into account the 2030 Agenda, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the COP21 Agreement. This exercise, which is led and co-ordinated by the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea, is carried out in close co-operation with all Administrations and other relevant stakeholders, with the clear intent to engage at the highest level in a co-ordinated response to the challenges posed by the 2030 objectives.

With regard to the “external dimension” of the application of the 2030 Agenda, the Italian Parliament has recently passed the Financial Law 2017-19 which explicitly sets the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, labelled a ‘global challenge’, as one of the main policy objectives of Italian Development Co-operation, thereby fully integrating the SDGs within the mandate of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the same time, the new Triennial Policy Document for Development Co-operation, which will be adopted in 2017, focuses the action of development co-operation on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The entire process leading to the adoption of the Triennial Document has been accomplished under the political oversight of the Italian Parliament – the Document is examined by Parliamentary Committees and approved by the Council of Ministers – taking into account all relevant stakeholders.

Integrated approaches to implementation

The interlinkages between development goals are being considered in the elaboration of the aforementioned National Strategy, which is set to establish a comprehensive policy platform structured along the 17 SDGs and their relevance for Italy. Most notably, all actors involved are committed to identifying key areas on which to focus public efforts, by prioritising a few concrete policy objectives, while also examining strengths and weaknesses related to Italian positioning – both in its domestic and external dimension – against each of the development goals.

In this respect, interconnections between domestic strategies and the external dimension of development co-operation are still under analysis. At the same time, finding an appropriate balance between the social, environmental and economic dimension of sustainable development is part of the ongoing reflection process and is already acknowledged in the Triennial Policy Document for Development Co-operation.

Moreover, one of the four working groups instituted by the National Council for Development Co-operation (which is composed of all the actors of development co-operation, governmental and non-governmental) is thematically focused on “Agenda 2030: follow-up on policy implementation, coherence and evaluation”.

Intergenerational timeframe

Italy is currently in the process of developing public policies that take into account the long-term impact of policy decisions - especially with regard to the environmental pillar, upon which a National Green Act, which is still in the making, will be focused on - while the implementation process and respective timeframe is still being defined. For instance, one of the main legacies of International Expo 2015 hosted by Italy has been the Milan Charter, a document that calls on “every citizen, association, company and institution to assume their responsibility in ensuring that future generations can enjoy the right to food”.

Indeed, the need for a long-term perspective with regard to sustainable development goals is gaining momentum in the policy-thinking and is part of the motivation behind the elaboration of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, which encompasses the timeframe laid down in the 2030 Agenda.

Analyses and assessments of potential policy effects

Italy recognises that refining our understanding of the potential transboundary effects of development policies will be of paramount importance. From a theoretical standpoint, the 2014 Development Co-operation Reform Law establishes that “Italy makes an utmost effort to guarantee that its policies, even when not directly linked to development co-operation, shall be coherent with the purposes and founding principles of this Law, so that they might foster the achievement of development goals”. As a consequence of the institutional structure designed by the Reform Law (no. 125/2014), the Deputy Minister of the Italian MFA in charge of Development Co-operation has the right to be invited to participate, without the right to vote, in the meetings of the Council of Ministers dealing with subject matters that may directly or indirectly affect the coherence and effectiveness of development co-operation policies.

In line with our European partners, our aim is to move from a more traditional approach to policy coherence, based on the need to avoid contradictions between development and other policies, to a more proactive and structured approach. In a broader strategic perspective, the issue of a coherent policy is being further analysed in the update of the National Strategy, in the assumption that national implementation should include elements involving both an internal and external dimension.

Policy and institutional co-ordination

In general, the definition of a national strategy for the implementation of the SDGs is currently led by the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea, expanding from the original environmental pillar. As already mentioned, the ongoing inter-ministerial co-ordination has the ambition to blend domestic and external action in order to pursue a comprehensive plan towards the national implementation of the SDGs. Inconsistencies and potential coherence issues should be mitigated thanks to the key role played by the Interministerial Economic Planning Committee (CIPE), chaired by the Prime Minister, in the adoption process.

However, as far as the external dimension is concerned, Italy has already set up an inclusive co-ordination mechanism, which could serve as a blueprint for a workable procedure. Italy has set the standard at international level by creating the Inter-ministerial Committee for Development Co-operation (CICS), introduced by the 2014 Development Co-operation Reform Law, which plays a key role in enhancing coherence and co-ordination of foreign and development policies by:

  • providing more institutionalised co-ordination mechanisms;

  • allowing better long term programming of development activities;

  • improving control over how resources for development co-operation are allocated and spent.

CICS, as the highest political authority in the domain of development co-operation (it is chaired by the Prime Minister and includes all Ministers involved in development activities), has two tasks of capital importance: setting the strategic guidelines for Italian Development Co-operation and ensuring their consistency with the national policies. The first task is achieved through the approval of the Triennial Policy Document: the Document sets the geographic and thematic priorities, provides indication on the means and on the resources to be used. Ensuring the consistency of the above with national policies is essential in order to coherently and effectively pursue the SDGs.

Among other tasks, CICS is also responsible for budget allocation to the Ministries for development co-operation initiatives, evaluating the actions undertaken and involving the private sector in initiatives of international solidarity.

Local and regional involvement

Italy is evaluating the most appropriate institutional arrangement for implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the regional level. There is a growing consensus that the Regions of Italy will play a crucial role in the domestic implementation of the priorities laid down in the upcoming National Strategy for Sustainable Development, and regional sustainable development plans could be considered in order to foster efficient governance at a local level. At any rate, an adequate regional involvement in development issues will be guaranteed by the Constitution, which structures Italy’s administrative architecture along lines reflecting regional autonomy, thereby granting Regions residual legislative powers. Consequently, the National Strategy will be shared with the Regions inside the frame of the Joint Conference State-Regions.

In the longer-term, Italy could build on the experience of existing mechanisms, such as the National Council for Development Co-operation (CNCS), which involves local, regional and other authorities. Chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the membership of CNCS, along with locally appointed representatives, includes central authorities, universities and the whole spectrum of civil society organisations: from NGOs to foundations, from fair-trade associations to representatives of the diaspora. The role of the CNCS is to provide a permanent forum for consultation and proposal on the whole array of matters relevant to development co-operation, notably on the Triennial Policy Documents, on their consistency with national policies and on their efficacy. Therefore, local and regional actors have a key, active part in shaping and evaluating the policies which they will also be called on to implement.

Stakeholder participation

All relevant stakeholders, CSOs, NGOs and the academia are being involved in the process leading to the development of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, engaging in a multi-stakeholder dialogue in order to elaborate shared and inclusive national priorities. In its final phase, a public consultation may be promoted in order to foster awareness and public support for the national strategy.

There is a broad commitment by Italian institutions and civil society alike to uphold and promote participation, raise awareness of the SDGs and encourage more widespread knowledge of the 2030 Agenda. ASVIS (Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile) is a national alliance founded in 2016 by around 80 civil society organisations, universities, foundations and other non-governmental institutions, the goal of which is to raise awareness in public opinion of the 2030 Agenda, with particular attention given to the younger generations, women and decision makers, setting up proposals for monitoring tools in order to achieve the SDGs in Italy.

Looking towards the future, Italy encourages the inclusive approach adopted within the above-mentioned CNCS, which has instituted four thematic working groups involving stakeholders from public institutions (central, regional and local) and civil society. These groups have the opportunity to contribute, for instance, to the preparation of the Triennial Policy Document on Italian Co-operation, to evaluating action towards the SDGs, to setting conditions for the participation of the private sector to development co-operation initiatives, to enhancing the role of the diaspora.

Moreover, the Italian law envisions a unique tool, a triannual Conference open to all civil society as a channel for wider popular participation in the world of development co-operation.

Monitoring and reporting

The “Committee on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda”, a permanent body established by the Chamber of Deputies, is a tangible sign denoting the political attention given to the follow-up and monitoring phase of the commitments made by the international community in September 2015.

The Italian Institute for Statistics (ISTAT), which has actively participated in the work of the UN Statistical Commission, is working on ‘translating’ the SDGs indicators into the national context and will be a key institution in the monitoring process. In December 2016, ISTAT presented the first 95 indicators to be used in the national framework.

It is worthwhile mentioning that ISTAT, even before the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, has been elaborating 130 domestic indicators – articulated into twelve ‘domains’ – in order to measure well-being and sustainability, thus moving beyond gross domestic product as the sole measure of progress. In fact, there are multiple analogies between such indicators and those implied in the SDGs, as they share the common purpose of providing an integrated framework of quantitative information and will progressively converge into a single monitoring tool. According to the recent Financial Law 2017-19, these well-being indicators produced by ISTAT will be included in the programming and evaluation tools of our national economic and budget policy. As a consequence thereof, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, on the basis of the measurements carried out by ISTAT, will present an annual Report to the Italian Parliament detailing the effects produced by the Financial Law on these well-being indicators.


Political commitment and leadership

After the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, in 2015, the Government of Japan established the SDGs Promotion Headquarters, which is led by the Prime Minister and attended by all Cabinet Ministers in May 2016. Since then, the Headquarters are serving as a control centre to guide whole-of-government action on implementation, monitoring and review processes for government efforts at the local, national and international levels.1

Integrated approaches to implementation

The Headquarters set the government’s Implementation Guiding Principles for the SDGs in December 2016. The Implementation Guiding Principles represent Japan’s national strategy for addressing the major challenges relating to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The document states Japan’s vision, priority areas, implementation principles, implementation framework and approach to the follow-up and review processes, as well as concrete measures clustered under priority areas. It aims to mobilise all ministries and government agencies by partnering with all relevant stakeholders to implement a wide variety of measures and resources in an effective and coherent manner, based on an analysis of the present situation in Japan and abroad.

The Implementation Guiding Principles were prepared with a vision “to become a leader toward a future where economic, social and environmental improvements are attained in an integrated, sustainable and resilient manner while leaving no one behind.” Through this vision, Japan has set out eight priority areas, which outline what areas among the goals and targets of the SDGs Japan should focus on in light of the national context. These priority areas include both domestic measures and those to be implemented through international co-operation. The priority areas are clustered into the “Five Ps,” upheld in the 2030 Agenda: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. Based on the recognition that the aforementioned national vision will not be achieved if any one of the priority issues is not successfully addressed, Japan will implement related measures under the priority areas in an integrated manner.2

Stakeholder participation

The Government of Japan has set measures for the 2030 Agenda to monitor progress, and conduct follow-up and review activities across agency boundaries. It will do so in co-operation with a wide range of stakeholders, including local governments, NGOs/NPOs, academia, the private sector, international organisations and other entities, parliamentarians, scientists and co-operatives. To this end, the Government of Japan established roundtable meetings on the items related to the promotion and implementation of the 2030 Agenda. These SDGs Promotion Roundtable Meetings are attended by representatives from the related governmental agencies and other stakeholders. Through these meetings, the Government of Japan aims to co-operate more closely with all stakeholders.

In addition to the dialogues at the Roundtable Meetings, public opinions were sought in the preparation of the Implementation Guiding Principles, by opening a space on the web for people to submit their opinions. The submitted opinions were carefully reviewed and made public on the web, so that all the stakeholders know how these opinions were reflected in the Implementation Guiding Principles. The Government of Japan will continue to pursue efforts to establish platforms to exchange views and to foster partnerships with relevant stakeholders by linking them with the SDGs Promotion Round Table Meetings established under the auspices of the SDGs Promotion Headquarters in dealing with issues to be addressed by individual ministries and other cross-sectorial issues to be dealt by multiple ministries and agencies.

Monitoring and reporting

In order to appropriately monitor the progress of SDG-related measures in Japan, the Government of Japan will make proactive use of the relevant statistical data, Earth Observation Data and other data, while employing key performance indicators (KPIs) to the extent possible. The SDGs global indicators will be utilised in these KPIs as much as possible. Progress on the measures listed in the Implementation Guiding Principles will be reviewed based on these indicators, and the review of the Guiding Principles will be conducted in a transparent and accountable manner. The government will also report progress to the United Nations as appropriate, based on the indicators at global or national levels. In addition, the follow-up and review will be examined according to the principles listed in the Implementation Guiding Principles.

In the review of the Implementation Guiding Principles, new measures that are deemed relevant to the SDGs will be added, taking into account the progress made in the implementation of existing measures.

The Government of Japan will proactively participate in and contribute to the global follow-up and review process for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda through participation in the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Japan will present at Voluntary National Reviews of the HLPF in 2017 and will consider participating in its subsequent reviews. The government will consider completing the first round of follow-up and review of the present Implementation Guiding Principles by 2019, looking toward the session of the HLPF to be convened by the President of the General Assembly in the same year. Subsequent to the 2019 HLPF, follow-up and review will be conducted, taking into account the four-year cycle of the HLPF organised by the President of the General Assembly.

The government will ensure the participation of a broad range of stakeholders in the follow-up and review process, similar to the process of formulating this document.


Lithuania considers policy coherence for sustainable development as an overarching principle and an essential instrument, which should be applied to its full potential for the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda.

Since 2013 Policy Coherence for Development is enshrined in the Lithuanian Law on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid as one of the main principles of Lithuanian Development Cooperation Policy. The Principle of Coherence is implemented through the National Development Cooperation Commission, which includes officials from all ministries, the Chancellery of Government, municipal institutions, government agencies and experts from non-governmental organisations engaged in development co-operation.

A significant step towards strengthening policy coherence for sustainable development was the adoption of the Inter-Governmental Development Cooperation Action Plan for the period 2017-19 by the Government of Lithuania. Such a plan was prepared for the first time with the aim of contributing to the effective and coherent implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda in the partner countries and to encourage public authorities to focus on Lithuania’s commitment to increase official development assistance to 0.33% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030.

The Action Plan defines Lithuania’s development co-operation policy guidelines as well as implementing measures. It states that Lithuania will seek to contribute to the implementation of all Sustainable Development Goals in partner countries, giving priority to:

  • Goal 1 “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”;

  • Goal 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”;

  • Goal 5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”;

  • Goal 13 “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy”;

  • Goal 16 “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”;

  • Goal 17 “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development”.

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Environment, Finance, Transport, Internal Affairs, Agriculture, Education and Science, Social Security and Labour as well as the Migration Department, Customs Department, State Plant Service, Special Investigation Service and Financial Crime Investigation Service have committed to implement the Action Plan allocating funds for development co-operation activities for 2017-19. The Action Plan shall be revised annually with the aim of increasing the number of implementing institutions as well as allocated funds.

Improving effectiveness and quality of aid remains one of our main objectives. To help to achieve this aim, the new edition of the Law on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid was adopted in November 2016. Among the main changes made, there is the transfer of management of development co-operation projects to a separate agency. Furthermore, with the amendments to the Law, Lithuania seeks to ensure coherence of the national development co-operation policy at the implementation level and to encourage each public sector institution to become more active in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The new edition of the Law also provides a basis for better involvement of the private sector in development co-operation – not only as actual or potential donor, but also as a powerful source of ideas and experience.


Political commitment and leadership

The 2013-18 governmental programme states, on page 197, that: “The coherence of development policies will be achieved through active interministerial co-ordination, based on a procedure to be defined by the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation, and through ongoing dialogue with civil society. The government will also seek to forge closer ties with the country’s representatives in international financial institutions, especially the World Bank, IMF and EIB.”

Development and policy coherence for development are given high priority in government policies and in the administrations called on to implement those policies. The governmental programme adopted at the beginning of each Parliamentary term, which is unveiled in a speech by the Prime Minister followed by a parliamentary debate, constitutes the benchmark document for ensuring policy coherence. This theme is also presented every year in the speech given to parliament by the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs.

At national level, the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs have asked the Council of Ministers to approve a new approach to the integration of the 17 SDGs into the forthcoming national plan for sustainable development and for the requisite adjustments to be made.

At international level, the coherence of development policies was one the priorities of Luxembourg’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union and a main theme during the European Year for Development. The Luxembourg Presidency worked towards creating an operational framework for the concept of policy coherence for development at EU level. The Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs held joint meetings with the Energy, and Justice and Home Affairs Councils (on the subject of migration), and organised a formal discussion between the Development and Environment Councils on the subject of the 2030 Agenda. Ongoing dialogue was also initiated with civil society, with the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation playing a key role.

Lastly, Luxembourg is one of the States that volunteered to participate in the National Reviews designed to report on the measures taken and national strategies rolled out for implementation of the 2030 Agenda, at the High-Level Political Forum at the United Nations in July 2017. A video conference between MAEE—the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, MDDI—the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, and Luxembourg’s permanent representatives in New York, Geneva, Paris and Brussels takes place every month to steer the preparation of the review.

Integrated approaches to implementation

Luxembourg takes a comprehensive and inclusive approach to the SDGs at both international and national levels. Within the European Union and the United Nations system, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has always worked for collective action for peace, security, respect for human rights, and sustainable development—and the social, economic and environmental dimensions thereof.

The Council of Ministers gave its approval for a new approach to the integration of the 17 SDGs into the forthcoming national plan for sustainable development, which is the cornerstone of the implementation of policy coherence and an integrated policy. The Interdepartmental Commission for Sustainable Development is in charge of the decision-making process at national level; it has representatives from each ministerial department and external experts. The Commission – which in principle is not dealing with the question of policy coherence, unlike the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation – takes account of economic, social and environmental policies as well as all other relevant factors, to sketch out the broad lines of the national plan for sustainable development; it tracks and evaluates the plan’s implementation, drafts a biennial report on the national sustainable development policy, submits the measures likely to promote the successful execution of the national plan for sustainable development to the Council of Ministers, and supports and facilitates the deployment of the national plan for sustainable development.

Intergenerational timeframe

The strategic study of the Third Industrial Revolution is a new shared project, launched in September 2015 by the Ministry of the Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and the non-profit IMS Luxembourg (Inspiring More Sustainability) and conducted in close collaboration with the American futurist economist Jeremy Rifkin and his team of international experts. The Third Industrial Revolution is a process that entails a transition to a new economic model that will feature the linkage of information technologies with renewable energies and smart transport networks. Luxembourg has progressed in all these fields in the last few years, driven largely by its policy for economic diversification, investment in digital infrastructure, and its many action plans in the areas of energy efficiency and promotion of renewable energies.

This wide-ranging strategic study was designed to pursue the dynamic further and make the current economic model more sustainable and interconnected for future generations, taking account of the country’s socio-economic characteristics and drawing on the convergence of information and communication technologies with energy and transport within a smart network.

The production of the strategic study, which involved a year of cross-cutting research, adopted a bottom-up co-construction method that was applied by nine working groups operating within the framework of the Third Industrial Revolution project, namely: Energy, Mobility, Building, Food, Industry, Finance, Smart Economy, Circular Economy and Prosumers and social model. This approach allowed the different socio-economic parties involved in the process of the Third Industrial Revolution to play a role in finalising the strategic study and the resulting areas for investigation. Consequently, by using a constructive, participatory approach, the strategic study led to the identification of opportunities, priorities and challenges and operational issues entailed in the transition to a more sustainable, interconnected economy.

Furthermore, the ministry is particularly keen to showcase the awareness-raising work and development education carried out by NGOs in Luxembourg, which are designed to increase awareness and rally support among people of all ages (children, young people and older people) for sustainable development issues. This intergenerational approach was confirmed and endorsed by the 2013-18 governmental programme: “. . .to provide more effective support for awareness-raising work and development education, the budget allocated thereto will be gradually increased as a share of total ODA. . .”. In order to promote these activities, the ministry has a budget line that is dedicated specifically to awareness-raising and development education.

Various activities and issues in awareness-raising and development education are co-funded by the ministry: the fight against poverty, agriculture, food sovereignty, education, fair trade, promotion of rights for women and children, etc. These activities take different forms: seminars, mobilisation campaigns, workshop training, events in schools, local facilities and, more generally, any public space, etc. The aim is to raise awareness in people at the earliest possible age and sensitise them to development issues at every stage of their lives.

Analyses and assessments of potential policy effects

The Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation is the Luxembourg body with jurisdiction over policy coherence for development at international level. Under the rules of the Committee, each member of government nominates a delegate to sit on the committee in order to take account of the priorities of the different ministries and align them to form a coherent international policy. With this in mind, the Committee debates the positive or negative impact of its policies as rolled out in the field. The Interministerial Committee meets every two months and its minutes are available to the public, as is its annual report.

Some ministry representatives sit on both the Interministerial Committee and the Interdepartmental Commission for Sustainable Development, which generates internal information exchange and therefore allows discussions to be followed at interministerial and interdepartmental level.

Policy and institutional co-ordination

All parties involved in decision-making and/or the successful implementation of sustainable development policy in Luxembourg sit on the CSDD, or National Council for Sustainable Development. They include the government, local authorities, professional associations, business organisations, trade unions, NGOs, scientists, independent experts and the national ethics committee. The Council acts as a forum for dialogue and consultation; it suggests areas for research and study, encourages buy-in from the public and private sector as well as the general public, liaises with similar committees in the EU and issues opinion papers. It may also, if required, resolve any de facto or serious conflicts of interest.

As stated above, the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation and the Interdepartmental Commission for Sustainable Development are responsible for examining and ensuring policy coherence at international and national level respectively. The resolution of conflicts of interest lies at the very heart of policy coherence, of their priorities and their remits.

In addition to this, there is the role and significance of civil society in the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation, both of which have grown considerably. The NGO platform Cercle de Coopération des ONG de Développement was initially invited to the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation once a year, but now has a seat at every meeting at which policy coherence is on the agenda. Furthermore, the Cercle de Coopération can propose subjects to the Committee to analyse. It can therefore also report any incoherence or conflicts of interest and discuss them directly with the relevant parties.

Local and regional involvement

For several years, the ministry has funded awareness-raising and development education campaigns by an NGO that is also a founding member of the Luxembourg Climate Alliance (Klimabündnis), which currently comprises 37 municipalities covering two thirds of the population of the country.

The Luxembourg Climate Alliance is part of the International Climate Alliance, a network of over 1 600 European municipalities and 50 million inhabitants which have made a commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 10% every five years and protect the rainforests. In addition to their commitment to the environment, the 37 member municipalities have also pledged to co-operate actively in the field of North-South relations and to raise awareness among their inhabitants of sustainable development challenges at the global level. Inhabitants of the signatory municipalities are able to access training and advice about such subjects as energy efficiency, sustainable food, renewable energies, green mobility and climate change, as well as awareness-raising of the living conditions of those people who receive support from charities.

Stakeholder participation

Both the role and significance of civil society in the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation have increased considerably. As mentioned above, the NGO platform, Cercle de Coopération des ONG de Développement, was initially invited to the Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation once a year, but now has a seat at every meeting at which policy coherence is on the agenda. Furthermore, the Cercle de Coopération can propose subjects to the Committee to analyse. It can therefore also report any incoherence or conflicts of interest and discuss them directly with the relevant parties.

The work carried out by the Cercle de Coopération and its members to promote policy coherence and fair and sustainable development is formalised under the Fair Politics banner. Fair Politics is the name given to a publication and programme for tracking the demands made of political decision-makers to take account of the needs and interests of developing countries and their people, as well as the protection of the environment in all the political decisions they make, and not just in the context of development co-operation policy or environmental policy.

The development NGO Cercle de Coopération publishes a set of indicators (the Baromètre du Cercle des ONG de Développement) which analyse the coherence of Luxembourg’s policies in the light of development co-operation and fair and sustainable development goals. As such, this publication is also a useful tool for all members of Parliament, not only during discussions by the relevant parliamentary commission ahead of the debates about co-operation in public sessions, but also in everyday parliamentary work.

Monitoring and reporting

The Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation is the Luxembourg body responsible for policy coherence for development at international level and hence also for monitoring and reporting. Under the rules governing the Committee, each member of government nominates a delegate to sit on the committee in order to take account of the priorities of the various ministries and align them in a coherent policy.

As mentioned above, Luxembourg is one of the States that volunteered to participate in the National Reviews designed to report on the measures taken and national strategies rolled out for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, at the High-Level Political Forum at the United Nations in July 2017. A video conference between MAEE—the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, MDDI—the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, and Luxembourg’s permanent representatives in New York, Geneva, Paris and Brussels takes place every month to guide the preparation of the review.

At national level, if it is to be credible and politically effective, each plan for national sustainable development needs a tracking system to measure its successes and help with the early identification of partial successes and consequent adjustment of action in order to achieve its objectives as far as is possible. This tracking is carried out at several levels, using different indicators:

  • Concerning the measurements, there is a check to make sure that the measurements required by the plan have been made, using binary (yes-no) indicators.

  • Tracking does not pose a significant problem concerning goals for action, provided that quantitative objectives and a timetable exist. The indicators used are cardinal indicators that quantify the progress made towards the objective given in the national plan for sustainable development. This allows improvements to be made, i.e. the measures implemented to be relaxed or reinforced according to the results reported through the tracking system.

  • Quality objectives provide the means of securing a high standard of living in Luxembourg over the long term and of improving it, when possible and necessary. Given their essentially qualitative formulation, it will be necessary to track their development by applying ordinal indicators.

Lastly, it is important to ensure that the monitoring carried out within the context of the plan for sustainable development does not duplicate the system of indicators used for the competitiveness management chart drawn up for the Lisbon Strategy and implemented by the Competitiveness Observatory. Sustainable development indicators can, if necessary, enrich the existing system and should also be compatible with the assessment grid. The assessment grid is an integral part of the national reform programme, which is sent by the EU Member States to the European Commission every year for the Spring European Council.


The government of Mexico supports all multilateral efforts that may lead to an increase in human beings’ quality of life. For this reason, since September 2015, the Mexican government assumed the 2030 Agenda as a “State Commitment”, and started building and aligning its institutional framework to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among other elements, the government has undertaken the following steps:

Political commitment and leadership

National co-ordination for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is headed by the President’s Office. In December 2015, legal modifications were made to transform the Specialized Technical Committee of the Information System for the Millennium Development Goals (CTESIODM, by its acronym in Spanish), which was created in 2010 under the previous administration, into the Specialized Technical Committee for Sustainable Development Goals (CTEODS, by its acronym in Spanish). This updated Committee today includes seven additional state units that were outside its predecessor’s scope as the nature of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) did not include many of the new targets covered by the SDGs. The new Committee also strives to influence public policies in ways that can impact positively on indicators, although its design and nature does not include specific implementation actions but rather monitoring and evaluation of the 169 targets of the Agenda.

Therefore, in order to boost the implementation of the SDGs, during our participation at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) hosted by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations headquarters in New York in July 2016, the Chief of Staff of the President, representing the Mexican delegation, announced the creation of a political council that would be headed by the President of Mexico. The purpose of this Council will be to integrate the actions of the main stakeholders of the Agenda, and to forge a consensus on the next steps that should be taken in order to achieve the SGDs by 2030.

Finally, in addition to these national efforts, during the LI Ordinary Meeting of the National Conference of Governments (CONAGO, by its acronym in Spanish), in November 2016, the state of Colima proposed the creation of State Commissions for the 2030 Agenda. The purpose of this initiative is to adopt and accomplish the SDGs at the local level.

Integrated approaches to implementation; Policy and institutional co-ordination

After creating the CTEODS, we began to allocate each one of the 231 indicators identified by the Agenda among the different Ministries of our country. Although we understand that most of the indicators have a transversal nature, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI, by its acronym in Spanish) proposed that each one of the indicators should have a Ministry or State Unit that would act as a “custodian” responsible for reporting it. So far, 200 indicators have already been assigned. In the upcoming months, we will be defining the baselines for each objective.

On the other hand, the President’s Office has been working during several months in collaboration with the Finance Ministry in order to align the existing budget lines and programs with the SDGs. This exercise will allow us to have an initial diagnosis of the amount of economic resources that are currently destined to the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda. Without a clear picture of the economic resources our government is budgeting for the SDGs, accomplishing them would be almost an impossible endeavour.

During the last months, we have also been working with the established “systems” that are currently operating on a national level, in order to use them as platforms to introduce the SDGs. This initiative is even more relevant as the systems in question have targets and indicators similar to those set by the 2030 Agenda. For example, the National System to Protect Children and Adolescents (SIPINNA, by its acronym in Spanish) was established in 2016 and is headed by an Executive Secretary located in the Ministry of the Interior: this system includes 25 targets to protect minors and to be accomplished by 2025. Consequently, a dialogue and close collaboration with our office was a natural step that needed to be taken. Likewise, during the upcoming months, we will start a dialogue with other existing “systems” (i. e. National Education System, National Civil Protection System, etc.) in light of the fact that they are already operating at the state and municipal level, where we strive to implement the Agenda.

Finally, the existing “Inter-Secretarial Commissions”, used by certain Ministries to advance specific goals, are another area where an integrated approach to SDGs implementation is being deployed. For example, the Inter-Secretarial Commission headed by the Environment Ministry started to highlight, monitor and integrate the goals of the 2030 Agenda during their latest sessions; so did the Inter-Secretarial Commission for Social Development headed by the Ministry of Social Development, etc.

Intergenerational timeframe

According to the State Commitment announced by the Mexican President, the National Council for the 2030 Agenda will be created shortly though a Presidential Decree, as an inclusive political space for different stakeholders. Since October 2016, this Decree has been going through all the different necessary and lengthy stages in order to be published in the Official Diary of the Federation, but we expect it to be ready very soon. We are currently developing its operational guidelines with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which will also require a long consultation process with different experts, public officials and civil society. These guidelines will set the Council the task of formulating a National Strategy to Implement the 2030 Agenda. It will also provide a platform for aligning federal and local actions in order to achieve the goals by 2030, in addition to proposing an SDGs communication strategy for the public in general.

We are confident that all these efforts will ensure the continuity of the institutional commitment and the leadership of the Office of the President to fulfil the SDGs.

Analysis and assessments of potential policy effects

The transversal character of the Agenda requires us to work with all the different stakeholders, on top of aligning our own efforts to comply with the SDGs. For this reason, we consider that the National Council for the 2030 Agenda will be the primary platform for ensuring co-ordinated actions that will increase the impact of our integrated public policies.

Local and regional involvement

As mentioned before, we are currently initiating several efforts to build a comprehensive implementation strategy at the local level. In the case of local governments, through the proposed State Commissions to be created within the framework of CONAGO, each state will establish its own specific lines of compliance, as well as its own strategies to be implemented at the local level.

The President’s Office, in co-ordination with UNDP and the Government of Colima, who chairs the Commission at CONAGO, are developing the corresponding guidelines to co-ordinate state and municipal efforts.

Stakeholder participation

Since Mexico signed the 2030 Agenda, several actions have been carried out to facilitate its widespread adoption among civil society, academia and private sector organisations.

In 2016, UNDP held a discussion with the country’s main academic institutions to hear their views on the challenges facing implementation of the Agenda. Its main conclusions underlined the need to comply with the Agenda in a comprehensive manner, and, above all, to generate distinctive programs to build people’s capacities.

Regarding civil society, different types of consultations have been organised for each one of the Agenda’s main topics: i.e. co-ordination of public policies with civil society’s actions; defining ways in which civil society can participate in the elaboration of the National Strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda; monitoring and participating in the National Strategy, etc.

In terms of participation by the private sector, a strategy is being developed through the United Nations Global Compact to promote the creation of sustainable businesses that will help eliminate poverty, protect the environment and transform our localities through inclusive economic growth. The private sector has a fundamental role to play through the potential for public-private partnerships, and through the partnerships that can be built with the support of civil society.

The Mexican Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AMEXCID, by its acronym in Spanish) also launched the so-called “Alliance for Sustainability”, in order to support third countries in their efforts to implement the SDGs, with the assistance of private businesses. This alliance is made up of more than 90 leading companies, organisations and business foundations, which are co-ordinated through five working committees:

  • Affordable and non-polluting Energy Committee

  • Sustainable Cities and Communities Committee

  • Responsible Production and Consumption Committee

  • Education Committee

  • Social Inclusion Committee

The Alliance has already defined an action plan and several co-operation projects on the international level.

Monitoring and reporting

The institution responsible for monitoring the indicators of the SDGs in Mexico is INEGI, which is an autonomous body that gained international recognition for its contributions to building Mexico’s indicators platform for the MDGs.3

INEGI has also co-presided the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDG) with the Philippines. In collaboration with the National Digital Strategy located in the President’s Office, Mexico is working on a new platform with state-of-the-art technology in open data that will enable the general public to follow up on the SDGs.4

Finally, we also plan to encourage our federal states to prepare “State Voluntary Presentations” in a framework designed by the federal government. The idea is to reproduce the same mechanisms set up by the HLPF at the country level, and to allow local governments to share best practices and experiences to implement the 2030 Agenda, in addition to highlighting the integrated approach to the social, economic and environmental levels of development.


Political commitment and leadership

The Government is committed at the highest level to implementing the SDGs with the Prime Minister Solberg co-chairing the UN Secretary General’s “Sustainable Development Goals Advocates”-group with the President of Ghana. The Government has commissioned the Ministry of Finance (MoF) with the overall responsibility for implementing the SDGs in Norway. Line ministries are tasked with the concrete implementation of specific SDGs. Ministries’ status and progress reports are compiled by MoF and submitted to Parliament as part of the National Budget annual White Paper. In 2016 Norway was among the first countries to report to the UN General Assembly on the framework, status and progress regarding work on the SDGs in Norway.

Integrated approaches to implementation

In the Norwegian political system there is no “cabinet office” with superior authority and government level committees are rarely used. Considerations pertaining to the weighting of inter-linkages of policy areas or conflicts of interest are normally made through dialogue between the relevant ministries. If necessary, final decisions are made by the Government Collegium with the Prime Minister as final arbiter. This system applies to all policy issues, also PCSD- and SDG-issues.

Intergenerational timeframe

Such considerations are made by the ministries which are responsible for the said policy decisions and for consulting other relevant ministries and external entities. Inputs for such considerations are invited from research institutions and civil society.

Analyses and assessments of potential policy effects

Pinning effects of one country’s policy on development-relevant events in another country is extremely difficult. We have made several attempts to do this over the years, none quite satisfactory. Presently the Norwegian Development Evaluation Department is in the course of launching an evaluation to see how well across-the-board Norwegian policies are supporting development in Myanmar.

Policy and institutional co-ordination

A White Paper on Norwegian development policies will be presented this spring. The paper takes the SDGs as its point of departure and thus also points out fields where there are synergies and challenges pertaining to other policy areas. The White Paper is subject to a process of clearing with other ministries and will as such go some way towards resolving conflicts of interest and inconsistencies between policies. PCSD and how to achieve better coherence between policies is explicitly discussed in the White Paper.

Stakeholder participation

Civil society in Norway is very active in promoting the SDGs. They have also been instrumental in giving inputs to the White Paper and have participated in a public dialogue on how the SDGs should shape Norwegian Development Policies. Some of their suggestions have been incorporated.

Monitoring and reporting

There is one annual report to the Storting from the Ministry of Finance on the implementation of the SDGs in Norway and there is one annual report on how Norway fares in terms of PCSD presented by the MFA. Norwegian Church Aid has also twice now presented their own PCSD report where the Norwegian Government has been monitored and is held to account on several key coherence issues. In addition, cross-reference is also regularly made to the Commitment to Development Index and reasons for Norway’s performance there are also considered.


Political commitment and leadership

The principle of policy coherence for development was incorporated in the new Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme 2016-20 – a document adopted by the Council of Ministers. According to this document, relevant government administration bodies (ministries) are responsible for ensuring that the sectoral policies are consistent with the SDGs and contribute to global development. The 2016-20 Development Cooperation Programme is of course in line with the SDGs.

The Development Cooperation Policy Council (composed of representatives of different ministries, parliamentarians, NGOs, employers’ organisations and academia) is a forum where PCD issues, including suggestions on new priority areas and topics, are discussed.

Moreover, two priority areas in PCD were established in Poland:

  • fighting against illicit financial flows (tax avoidance/evasion and money laundering)

  • promoting and implementing standards of Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Business Conduct

Both PCD priority areas are implemented according to annual action plans ensuring a whole of government approach and including consideration of local, national and international dimensions.

After that the Ministry of Development, which is responsible for national implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in Poland’s Strategy for Responsible Development will apply a sustainable lens to its domestic development model. The link between the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and PCD should be ensured by PCD/SDGs co-ordinators in the ministries.

The above-mentioned instruments should guarantee the integration of the development co-operation pillar of the 2030 Agenda into its national debate, strategy and institutional set-up for the SDGs.

Intergenerational timeframe

As mentioned above, the Ministry of Development is responsible for co-ordination of SDG implementation in Poland.

The implementation of the SDGs will be connected to the implementation of Poland’s Strategy for Responsible Development and Plan for Responsible Development (which includes the long-term perspective).

Analyses and assessments of potential policy effects

In Poland, PCD has been introduced in to the Polish impact assessment procedure. A new question concerning the impact of regulations on social and economic development of Poland’s priority countries (indicated in the multiannual programme for development cooperation 2016-20) has been inserted in the Guidelines for regulatory impact assessment. This document (adopted by the Council of Ministers) should create the basis for evaluating national policies’ impact on the potential of socio - economic development in Polish Aid priority countries.

Policy and institutional co-ordination

Development Cooperation Policy Council (composed of representatives of different ministries, parliamentarians, NGOs, employers’ organisations and academia) is a forum where PCD issues, including suggestions on new priority areas and topics, are discussed. This is also the forum where conflicts of interests and inconsistencies, especially in PCD priority areas, can be presented and discussed. Recommendations for solutions can be elaborated by the Development Cooperation Policy Council and then submitted to the Committee for European Issues (composed of deputy ministers from different ministries) and/or to the Council of Ministers.

Stakeholder participation

Stakeholder participation in PCD is ensured by composition of the Development Cooperation Policy Council (a main forum in Poland as far as discussion on PCD issues is concerned). It is composed of representatives of different ministries, parliamentarians, NGOs, employers’ organisations and academia and gives the possibilities of broad consultations.


Portugal will present its Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, in July 2017. A rapporteur, based in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has already been appointed.

The first group of voluntary reviews, presented in July 2016, revealed early progress achieved by various countries, from different regions of the world, facing diverse development challenges, to cope with the ambition set by our 2030 common Agenda. With these early experiences in mind, Portugal will share with the HLPF where it stands in terms of internal implementation of the SDGs, efforts made so far in adapting institutional frameworks, and future steps in terms of alignment of national and external strategies towards those objectives.

Political commitment and leadership; Policy and institutional co-ordination

The co-ordination of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Portugal is led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Infrastructures, narrowing the gap as much as possible between its internal and external dimensions.

In the framework of the already existing Inter-ministerial Committee for Foreign Policy (CIPE), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – headed by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation – launched a structured dialogue, involving all the Ministries, the development agency (Camões IP) and the National Statistics Institute (INE), which led to the allocation of roles and responsibilities amongst them, ensuring the implementation of the SDGs in a consistent and integrated manner.

Integrated approaches to implementation

Focal points were appointed in each Ministry to deal with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, according to the early distribution of roles and responsibilities, namely the appointment of leading Ministries for each of the SDGs. These implementation and monitoring responsibilities given to Ministries comprise cross-sectoral actions, so the lead may be shared by two or more Ministries, and Ministries may contribute to different targets, in addition to their co-ordination role for a specific goal.

Intergenerational timeframe; Analyses and assessments of potential policy effects

Portugal expects to create an institutional framework that brings together the necessary political and operational tools to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in a consistent and integrated manner, both at internal and external levels.

Under the leadership of Camões IP, the Inter-ministerial Commission for Cooperation (CIC) will lead, co-ordinate and monitor the external dimension of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Camões IP also participates in the Inter-ministerial Committee for Foreign Policy and is the Portuguese focal point for PCD, with responsibilities in promoting this issue at national level. Furthermore, the CIC was mandated, in 2014, to address Policy Coherence for Development.

The national report on the SDGs will be important to guide future work on PCSD ensuring increased synergies between these processes.

Local and regional involvement; Stakeholder participation

The Inter-ministerial Committee for Foreign Policy foresees the possibility of engaging multiple stakeholders, together with ministerial representatives on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. A joint session is foreseen for March 2017.

Also a public consultation, led by civil society, is taking place, seeking the definition of a cross-sectoral national plan of action for civil society’s participation in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Additionally, the Global Compact Network Portugal celebrated, in January, the first anniversary of the “Alliance for the SDGs”. This is a multi-stakeholder platform that promotes bridges of dialogue and co-operation as advocated by the SDG 17, and creates sustainable bases for the development of partnerships, projects, programs and actions, fostering institutional collaboration and sharing of information and good practices among engaged actors.

Monitoring and reporting

The dialogue led by CIPE established a consultation and reporting mechanism that will feed the follow-up and monitoring processes of implementation. On the other hand, some of the national strategies being used as general, sectoral or thematic baselines for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, such as Europe 2020 and Portugal 2020, the Climate Policy Strategic Framework or the National Strategy on Security and Development, already have monitoring mechanisms, that will only need, at worst, to be adapted.

The National Statistics Institute (INE) is strongly engaged in the provision and identification of available data on the internal and external implementation of the SDGs in Portugal.

The road ahead

Development assistance plays an important role in supporting the institutional and legal capacity of partner countries to better cope with development challenges, but this is not enough: we believe the main means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda is to adopt appropriate policies, where Policy Coherence plays a key role.

In the scope of the Council of Ministers Resolution 82/2010, the ministerial network of PCSD focal points will work towards the definition of a national work plan for Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development. We plan to convene the second meeting of the network of PCD focal points in the first half of 2017 to define the measures to be taken and the timetable. This exercise will be anchored in the ongoing work on the internal and external implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in order to seek synergies and avoid unnecessary overlaps. The first step in the development of a national policy coherence plan will always have to be an analysis of the impact of a range of policies in developing countries and in the promotion of the SDGs (where the role of each Ministry is vital), followed by the identification and dissipation of possible inconsistencies, and the commitment to policies that can support development. Also, Camões IP is working on a “narrative” on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development, which we believe will be useful for the work to be done within each Ministry.

Civil Society Project on PCSD financed by Camões IP: “Coerê – a stronger, fairer and more sustainable cornerstone for development 2016-18”

There is an increased commitment to ensuring that internal policies not be in contradiction with external development efforts. In this line, NGOs “FEC-Fundação Fé e Cooperação”, “Instituto Marquês de Valle Flôr” and “CIDSE-Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité” joined efforts to implement the “Coerê – a stronger, fairer and more sustainable cornerstone for development 2016-18” project, which was financed by Camões IP.

Over the next 24 months, the project shall promote a set of activities that will raise awareness and develop a critical understanding of global interdependencies, and strengthen the value of Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development as the cornerstone of sustainable development. The project will bring together political decision-makers, ministerial experts/civil servants, networks of local agents, NGOs, students and the general public: the main players in development.

Along with a network of local agents, the project will launch new ideas for investigation, produce and share five case studies on PCSD, promote seminars on this subject, create a special direct phone line for PCSD issues, and disseminate a Guide to Citizen Action.

Seminar on the Sustainable Development Goal 16 – Effective and Transparent Public Institutions in the Framework of Development Cooperation

Under the “2016 Seminar on International Law”, the Portuguese Directorate-General for Justice Policy / International Relations Office held a seminar on “The Sustainable Development Goal 16 - Effective and Transparent Public Institutions, Development Co-operation”.

In this event, the Director-General for Justice Policy; the Vice-President of Camões-Institute for Cooperation and of Language and the Director for International Economic Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, addressed an interested audience on issues such as the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Portugal, and the role of Policy Coherence for Development in that context.

Development co-operation in the area of justice has sought to support the strengthening, training and modernization of the justice sector of partner countries, with particular emphasis on capacity building through the provision of counselling and training in the framework of the broad DAC guidelines, such as policy coherence, aid effectiveness, ownership and alignment.


Political commitment and policy statements

The Fourth Strategic Plan (Plan Director) for Spanish Cooperation established a firm commitment to move towards a comprehensive development policy based on a “whole-of-government” approach. In this regard, the central Administration is the main actor in charge of guaranteeing policy coherence for development (PCD) at its different levels (state, regional and local). However, the work of private actors is also relevant and it is fundamental to engage them in this policy debate in order to develop viable solutions.

Following DAC recommendations, the revised Guidelines for the Establishment of Country Partnership Framework (CPF, known as MAP in Spanish), published in May 20135 , include a chapter on Policy Coherence for Development, which comprises the elaboration of a mapping process of Spanish non-ODA policies related to partner countries. This process will be completed by a debate within the country-based co-ordination team - where all Spanish actors working in the partner country are represented - about potential synergies between ODA and non-ODA policies. Additionally, there is a consultation at headquarters to enhance policy coherence involving the Ministries, regions and NGOs specifically concerned in each case.

The Fifth Strategic Plan is being designed so as to treat policy coherence much more as a core value, in line with the diagnosis of Spanish Cooperation.

Policy co-ordination mechanisms

One of the characteristics of Spanish Cooperation is the rich variety of actors it includes. This wealth poses, nevertheless, a serious challenge in terms of co-ordinating these diverse actors which may impact directly on the coherence of our co-operation. Aware of this challenge, Spanish Cooperation has put in place several instruments to facilitate co-ordination and ensure coherence.

There are three main bodies where the different actors meet and exchange information and views on development policies: The Inter-territorial Commission of Cooperation, which brings together the Secretary General for International Development Cooperation (SGCID by its initial in Spanish), AECID, all of the Spanish Autonomous Communities and a representation of local and provincial powers; the Inter-ministerial Commission of Cooperation, which includes all departments of national government; and, ultimately, the Development Cooperation Council, covering all departments of government along with a representation of civil society (NGDOs, universities, trade unions and employers’ associations among others).

The Inter-territorial Commission of Cooperation

This co-ordination mechanism gathers at least yearly under the chairmanship of the SGCID. The latter is joined by the heads of co-operation offices of the 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities, plus a representation of four persons from the national association of local and provincial authorities. In these meetings a general review of policies and current affairs in the field of development co-operation is carried out and respective experiences shared.

Further regular activities take place in between these meetings: autonomous communities have their own network of regular consultations (the so called “Proceso de Portugalete”) and SGCID has also developed a network of bilateral agreements with many of these 17 entities to provide mutual information on various activities, notably humanitarian assistance and the exchange of relevant data for the purpose of gathering ODA statistics.

The Inter-ministerial Commission of Cooperation

This co-ordination mechanism gathers at least yearly under the chairmanship of the SGCID. The latter is joined by the persons responsible for development co-operation activities in all of the Ministries. It plays a particularly important role in the drafting and approval of important policy planning documents, like the Cooperation Master Plan.

In addition to regular and very frequent ad hoc consultations with relevant departments, another forum has been revived recently in order to provide more operational exchanges with Ministries: the Policy Coherence Focal Points Network. Through this network, the operatives directly responsible for development co-operation issues in the different ministries can come together and share plans and experiences among themselves and with the PCD unit of SGCID.

The Development Cooperation Council

This consultative mechanism gathers in plenary meetings at least three times a year under the chairmanship of the Secretary General for International Development Cooperation (SGCID), joined by a wide representation from ministries, NGDOs, universities, trade unions, employers’ associations, etc. The Plenary is complemented and supported by a Steering Committee which meets roughly once a month and ensures the continuity of the Council’s work. A follow-up Commission gathers monthly to debate, monitor progress and make proposals on the most relevant matters.

The Council is the main consulting forum on development policies among a wide variety of actors and plays a very particular role in the consultation and debate on important policy documents like the Master Plan and the yearly communications. SGCID also disseminates the most significant reports and evaluations through the Council to the general co-operation community. There are other working groups within the Cooperation Council as well as other commissions (such as the one on Policy Coherence for Development).

Capacity and awareness of government departments

In addition to its direct co-ordination purposes, SGCID and particularly its PCD unit have put a lot of effort into reviving the Policy Coherence Focal Points Network as the main instrument for increasing awareness of development co-operation policies in the different ministries. This awareness runs normally in parallel with the responsibilities and available capacities of each ministry in co-operation policies. These capacities and awareness are particularly high in departments with regular and heavy involvement in development activities: the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness (with direct responsibility over MFIs), Ministry of Agriculture Foods and Environment, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. These Ministries are also the most regular and frequent counterparts of SGCID and AECID, interacting with them almost on a daily basis.

Nevertheless, SGCID makes a constant effort to raise awareness of development co-operation in general and of PCD in particular among the Spanish administration. For this purpose the Inter-ministerial Commission and the Cooperation Council are very useful tools; but occasionally development cooperation is also raised in higher governmental fora like the Delegate Commission for Economic Affairs or the Council of Ministers itself.

In order to raise knowledge and awareness within the Administration (both central and regional), SGCID organised a training course together with the INAP (National Institute for Public Administration) in April 2015. The course, very well perceived by those who took part in it, aimed at providing basic knowledge and tools about International Cooperation for Development in the remit of Policy Coherence.

Systems for analysis, monitoring and reporting

Analysis of policy coherence for development issues

In addition to the Inter-ministerial Commission and the Focal points Network already mentioned above, in this period SGCID created its own Aid Effectiveness and Policy Coherence Unit. This Unit co-ordinates all PCD activities and follows these matters in the international agenda, participating for example in the OECD’s national PCD focal points network. The Unit also provides its support to the PCD focal points network and disseminates PCD information and analysis. In addition to promoting the legal framework and political push for PCD in the Spanish co-operation system, several instruments have been put in place to promote the consideration and implementation of PCD in SC strategic planning, both at headquarters and in the field. In this area, both CPF (planning document for partner countries’ activities) and MAEs (planning document for relations with a multilateral organisation) highlight the synergies between development co-operation and other policies. At headquarters, SGCID and AECID consult again with the relevant ministries when formulating final priorities.

Monitoring and reporting on policy coherence

As part of its regular activities, the Aid Effectiveness and Policy Coherence Unit of SGCID submits a biennial PCD report. This report analyses the activities and improvements in the field of PCD during the relevant period. It is communicated to all the relevant fora that oversee Spanish development co-operation policy: commissions of both chambers of Parliament and the Development Cooperation Council. The report is also uploaded on the Spanish Cooperation webpage.

The Development Cooperation Council deserves a special mention in this regard, as it has a permanent sub-commission specifically devoted to PCD, established through its founding legal Act (and including representatives from the PCD Unit, several ministries, NGDOs and experts). This sub-commission is the first recipient of this report which it analyses, issuing a separate opinion which is also communicated to the Plenary of the Council, to the Parliament and afterwards published.

The PCD sub-commission of the Council also organises regular PCD knowledge-sharing activities and exchanges of information and expertise on the matter among the wider development co-operation community: NGDOs, academia, private and public practitioners, etc. These activities help raise awareness and improve tools for the implementation of the principles of PCD in the Spanish development system. The process by which the biennial report is issued has been recently reviewed by SGCID and the Policy Coherence Unit of the OECD.

Additionally, the specific PCD training mentioned above has been delivered to all the ministerial units in order to enhance their reporting capabilities. A three-day course with a comprehensive syllabus was organised and most ministries participated. Further sessions have been requested.

2015 Policy Coherence for Development Report6

  • In 2015, we undertook our biennial PCD report within the Spanish General Administration, covering the 2013-14 period.

  • First of all, it is important to highlight that collaboration with the OECD Policy Coherence Unit was a key factor in the process of reviewing and adapting our methodology in order to incorporate the comments made by the council for the previous exercise (2013 PCD report7 ). In this sense we developed a theoretical framework to put into practice with the ministries.

  • The result of the process is described in the following points:

  • More information regarding non-ODA flows with an impact on developing countries was incorporated in the report compared with the previous exercise (2013 PCD report).

  • Units have developed a sense of ownership with the exercise and with the concept of PCD. While it is still perceived as weak, it contributes widely to reinforce the message that all departments and every policy contribute to sustainable development.

  • The exercise is well aligned with the strategic lines adopted in the Spanish Master Plan. There is also a link with the SDG and, furthermore, with the Spanish External Action Plan.

  • The Focal Points network has been strengthened and that adds to the notion of ownership. However, a wider ranging unit is deemed necessary to assume the lead in this exercise.

  • The volume of information obtained is huge and this exercise has been carried out under difficult circumstances in terms of human resources (notably due to understaffing).

  • The report was completed between September 2015 and May 2016, when there was not enough clarity as to which definition and concept should be used: Policy Coherence for Development or Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development.

  • More in-depth analysis is required in the “core competence areas” of the different units (such as Trade, Defence and Climate Change among others).

  • The criteria to identify best practices and bottlenecks for PCD within the different units should be defined and made explicit. More quantitative information should be provided so as to promote the reports’ objectives.

  • Recommendations for the next period are outlined as follows:

    • The adoption by the Council of Development of a realistic and achievable methodology that is more appropriate and applicable in order to reach the biennial report objectives.

    • To take into account other strategic documents mainly the Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation and the External Action Plan.

    • Communication actions of PCSD are necessary across the administration and government in order to raise awareness.

    • The adoption of the 2030 Agenda within the Spanish Government and Administration with the required legal and functional changes.

Illustrations of policy coherence for development in specific areas

Beyond the strengthening of interdepartmental co-ordination through the creation of new institutional mechanisms, much progress has been made in the past few years to improve dialogue and working ties between different ministries on specific issues linked to development objectives, seen as key steps towards policy coherence for development. The main examples of this collaboration are (others can be found in the 2015 PCD report):

  • During this period, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC following its Spanish acronym) re-established an International Trade Negotiation Consultative Commission to prepare common positions regarding International Trade.

  • Regarding the 2030 Agenda and the AAAA Spain elaborated position papers resulting from an extensive consultation process. This fact created synergies and initiatives that have been highly appreciated by stakeholders.

  • There is also collaboration on Debt-Swap agreements linked to work on CPF Agreements.

OECD Peer Review of Spain: the focus on Policy Coherence

Main findings of the OECD 2015 Peer Review of Spain

More broadly, Spain’s Fourth Master Plan promotes policy coherence for development as one of four tools to increase the overall effectiveness and quality of development co-operation. The new Policy Coherence Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation (MAEC) and two co-ordination bodies – the Inter-ministerial Network of Focal Points and the Policy Coherence for Development Commission of the Development Co-operation Council – have improved the flow of information between government departments and helped institutionalise the concept of co-ordinated, external action for development.

However, their mandate is focused on external action only, which prevents them from addressing the effects of domestic policies on global development.

In addition, because they do not include ministers, they do not have the capacity to arbitrate between any competing interests. As a result, there is no proper analysis of policy or screening to identify priority issues.

Spain will need to give the policy coherence and co-ordination bodies a mandate to address domestic policies, finalise the prioritisation of coherence issues, and revise the methodology for reporting to parliament if it wants to achieve policy coherence for sustainable development. To this end, the 2030 Agenda offers Spain an opportunity to mobilise political leadership.

A number of structures continue to serve a function of consultation and information exchange among government and non-government stakeholders.

However, they have mostly been unable to exert sufficient or timely influence on MAEC policy and decision making. They should undergo review to ensure that they are mandated to work towards and drive whole-of-government approaches and policy coherence.

The intention of making Country Partnership Frameworks with whole-of-country strategies, supported by in-country co-ordination mechanisms, is positive. The Ambassador of Spain in each country leads co-ordination efforts by, for example, chairing the permanent co-ordination groups that oversee Spanish development co-operation actors in partner countries and territories. However, there is evidence that, outside AECID, decentralised co-operation actors and NGOs that receive government grants make little use of the frameworks as planning instruments and are not systematically included in co-ordination groups.

Recommendations of the OECD 2015 Peer Review of Spain

In order to improve the coherence and consistency of its support for the multilateral system, Spain should reduce the number of government departments providing multilateral assistance, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation and beyond, and better co-ordinate support between them.

Spain should review and refine the mandates of its whole-of-country co-ordinating bodies – at headquarters and in partner countries and territories – so that they contribute more effectively to policy and programming.


Political commitment and leadership

All ministers are responsible for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Sweden. The Minister for Public Administration and the Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate have been tasked with a specific responsibility for implementation of the Agenda (national and international co-ordination respectively). Partly in response to the increasing importance given to an administration’s ability to work efficiently on cross-cutting issues, the organisation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs was revised in April 2016. As for the international implementation of the 2030 Agenda, it was grouped together with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the co-ordination of PCSD.

To raise awareness and political support for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Prime Minister of Sweden together with his counterparts from Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Liberia, South Africa, Tanzania, Timor-Leste and Tunisia, has formed an informal High-level group. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden participates in an SDG Advocacy Group of eminent persons to promote implementation of the 2030 Agenda initiated by the former United Nations Secretary General.

Sweden works for an effective global partnership and strong multilateral institutions to support the efforts of governments and other actors to implement the agenda. Sweden is an active partner in ongoing UN reform efforts. Sweden takes a holistic approach to reform in order to ensure coherence. Financing reform is necessary for the UN to support Member States implementing the 2030 Agenda. Sweden aims towards increased and high-quality core funding as well as less tightly earmarked contributions.

In March 2016, the Swedish government appointed a multi-stakeholder National Committee to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda throughout Swedish society. The Committee will put forward a proposal for a comprehensive action plan in May 2017. Civil society organisations, government authorities, municipalities, academia, private sector and trade unions are at the core of this endeavour.

In August 2016, around 90 authorities, including all country administrative boards, reported to the Government on their contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In the reports, which had to integrate a gender equality perspective, they also assessed whether the operations in the area of the 2030 Agenda, were sufficient or not.

During 2016, the 2030 Agenda was integrated into the operational planning of the Government offices and partly into the central government budget. Prior to that, specific areas, relevant to the rights perspective of the 2030 Agenda and the principle of ´leaving no one behind´, were integrated into various appropriations of the budget, such as democracy and human rights, child rights, national minority rights and gender equality.

The 2030 Agenda and PCSD were also integrated or constituted the framework of several new policies within the foreign policy of Sweden: The new human rights policy and the aid policy framework for example. One of the areas of focus for the action plan of the Swedish Feminist Foreign policy during 2016 was to ”Promote the participation of women and girls as actors for economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development”. As the action plan is an attachment to the operational plan of the foreign ministry and all foreign missions, reports were handed in detailing results in this area. It was done by implementing systematic gender mainstreaming, based on knowledge and analysis.

Integrated approaches to implementation

The Swedish constitution states that society as a whole should strive for sustainability. In the beginning of 2017, all ministries were assigned to report annually to the Ministry of Finance on how they contribute to the 2030 Agenda and integrate the three dimensions of sustainability. The PCSD action plans which are revised annually are part of the efforts to integrate the three dimensions of sustainability and to highlight inconsistencies.

Intergenerational timeframe

This is part of the assignment given to the multi-stakeholder Committee mentioned above.

In the Swedish implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Swedish environmental goals play an important role. The Swedish Parliament has set a number of environmental objectives to promote sustainable development. The overall goal is to hand over to the next generation a society in which the major environmental problems in Sweden have been solved, without increasing environmental and health problems outside Sweden’s borders. The follow-up of the environmental goals is done in the framework of the 2030 Agenda. The indicators in this area will form an important part of the monitoring of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda.

Policy and institutional co-ordination; Analyses and assessments of potential policy effects

The Swedish government functions through a well-established whole-of-government approach. The Swedish model of governance is based on decisions being taken by the government as a whole. This provides a good basis for coherent decision making in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Swedish government is implementing the relaunch of Sweden’s Policy for Global Development that was initiated in 2014 in response to the 2030 Agenda. All Government ministries are implementing the action plans on PCSD in relation to the SDGs. The action plans will be revised during the autumn of 2017.

According to the Policy for Global Development, the Government should report to the Parliament on a regular basis on how PCSD is implemented, including conflicts of interest. In May 2016, the Government handed over a communication to the Parliament entitled “Sweden’s policy for global development in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda”. A reporting model for Sweden’s policy for global development, linked to the new Global Goals was thus introduced. In the Communication, which was partly based on the action plans elaborated by all ministries, a more in-depth account was given of thematic areas where the Government has expressed a particular ambition for the period 2014–16. Within these thematic areas, the Government also reported potentially conflicting goals and conflicts of interest, where there is further potential for synergy and coherence. These areas are: corporate social responsibility, capital flight and tax evasion, sustainable energy, sustainable consumption and production, and security and development. In June 2016, a hearing was organised in the Parliament on the communication with a focus on capital flight and tax evasion.

Local and regional involvement

Municipalities and counties are key to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Sweden has a decentralised system where public services are mainly provided by the local authorities. The Swedish Minister for Public Administration, who is responsible for the co-ordination of the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda, is in charge of municipalities and counties. He is actively pursuing a dialogue with these actors and will for example carry out four dialogue meetings on different themes relevant to the 2030 Agenda in Sweden during the spring.

The government appointed a multi-stakeholder National Committee that has the task of promoting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda throughout Swedish society. It has a specific assignment to focus on the regional and local levels. The committee will consult with all the municipalities of Sweden on the implementation of the Agenda and propose communication measures in order to enhance knowledge about it among the population.

The municipalities are also part of the Swedish consultations and reference group convened with external actors in view of the Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the High Level Political Forum in July 2017.

Stakeholder participation

As mentioned, the National Committee has the task of promoting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda throughout Swedish society and is also assigned to propose communication measures.

Sweden has chosen to adopt an inclusive approach to the VNR at the High Level Political Forum in July 2017. In January a kick-off meeting for the consultations was organised with around 120 participants. A reference group with representatives from the whole of society has been established and actors from civil society organisations, municipalities, academia, the private sector and trade unions have been encouraged to send in their contributions to the report. In April and June two other meetings will be organised, as well as one follow-up meeting after the HLPF, for the dissemination of results to the broader public. The Government holds a continuous dialogue with representatives from civil society regarding PCSD and has organised several thematic meetings with various actors on the 2030 Agenda, for example one in January with the finance sector on sustainable investments.

Monitoring and reporting

The Government has assigned the national statistical office, Statistics Sweden, the task of elaborating a proposal for national indicators to track progress on the 2030 Agenda, which will also form part of the HLPF report. Other stakeholders, such as authorities and civil society, are also consulted in the process.

The committee’s proposal for a comprehensive action plan for Sweden’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda will also contain proposals for effective forms of monitoring of the implementation at local, regional and national level in Sweden. These proposals shall, wherever possible, be based on existing statistics and established monitoring structures and forms of consultation.

Availability of and access to reliable information and data will be particularly challenging in many developing countries. Sweden has excellent and well documented expertise in working in the area of statistics in our development programs. Statistics Sweden has co-operated with the government agency for development co-operation, Sida, for many years. This work will continue with the aim of promoting better availability of statistics regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, especially in LDCs.

The PCSD communications to Parliament also constitute an important part of the monitoring of PCSD, as does the follow-up of the operational planning of the Government offices and the foreign missions on the 2030 Agenda.


Political commitment and leadership

Switzerland’s PCD system is embedded in a political-administrative culture of consensual decision-making and interdepartmental co-operation.8 This feature is ultimately due to the regular use of referenda and the inherent pressure for compromise that it creates. By politicising issues, this culture is conducive to PCD: it increases public scrutiny, which plays in favour of the interests of developing countries when they are weighed against vested economic interests. On the other hand day-to-day politics encourages a short-term frame of analysis, which can play against sustainable development.

In Switzerland, the concern for PCD reaches back to a 1976 Federal Law9 which introduced the idea that economic and trade policy should be coherent with commitments made to the South, an idea further explored by the 1994 national Guidelines on North-South Cooperation.10 Since then Switzerland has increased its expertise and commitment to addressing the impact of non-aid policies on developing countries. The federal Dispatch on International Cooperation 2017-20 calls for all departments to work towards greater coherence for development. It states that synergies should be identified and built upon, while trade-offs should be acknowledged and arbitrated. The five priority policy fields for PCD are: environment; trade and investment; migration; tax and international financial flows; and health (Federal Gazette, 2016).

Switzerland promoted and adopted the 2030 Agenda, along with its principle of PCSD. Very similar to the understanding at the level of the European Union, PCD is understood as an important contribution to a collective effort towards achieving broader policy coherence for sustainable development.11

Integrated approaches to implementation

The main actors involved in PCD are the Federal Council at the political level, a seven-member executive council heading the federal administration and operating as a collective presidency and as a cabinet. At the technical level, the offices in charge with promoting PCD are the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) on the one hand and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) on the other, with SDC as the lead agency in PCD matters. The institutional backbone conducive to promoting PCD is a two-tiered consultation mechanism: a technical consultation is organised by the office in charge of a policy, which gathers and consolidates comments from other offices. This step is then followed by a political consultation among Federal Councillors prior to and in view of final decisions. SDC has a mandate to assess the PCD perspective in the technical phase, which leads it to comment yearly on between 70-90 cabinet items. The political phase can consist in escalating the conflict between competing policies for arbitration by the Federal Council in his cabinet meetings. A majority of strategies for operations on the ground in partner countries are integrated, which also contributes to PCD in many cases. An Advisory Committee on International Development Co-operation also contributes to PCD by bringing together multiple stakeholders.

Analyses and assessments of potential policy effects

In compliance with a recommendation by the 2013 DAC Peer Review (OECD, 2013), the SDC is developing a monitoring and reporting system which also includes international indicators. In order to monitor operations on the ground, SDC internally developed and introduced aggregated reference indicators on PCD into the monitoring system of the Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2017-20.

Aggregated reference indicators on PCD will provide first insights into the operational activities of the SDC in partner countries regarding PCD-related topics. Being mostly at an aggregate level and providing little information about the actual activities, outputs and outcomes of SDC operations on the ground, these indicators will be complemented by additional information provided by the Annual Reports from Field Offices on developments and Swiss activities in different PCD related topics.12

This approach, aimed at providing systematically evidence on potentially negative or positive impacts of Swiss policies on other countries and at informing decision-making at all levels, shall be complemented by specific thematic or country studies. As a study on food security in Burkina Faso illustrates, case studies from a PCD perspective are indispensable to capture realities on the ground and are of potentially high strategic value (ECDPM and CEDRES, 2017).

Stakeholder participation

In most recent times, efforts have been increased to mobilise knowledge for sustainable development from a specific PCD perspective. Partnerships have been established with university institutes in thematic fields particularly relevant from a PCD perspective. In collaboration with the Swiss National Science Foundation, SDC launched a call for proposals for a research program entitled Natural Resource Governance for Sustainable Development to study questions on commodities trading, investments in natural resources and on illegal and unethical financial flows (expected available funding: around CHF 6 million).13

Monitoring and reporting

Traditionally, concern for developing countries in Switzerland was fostered by mechanisms and discourse on trade-offs, synergies and the political economy of decision-making in thematic areas, rather than by the discourse on PCD itself. The elaboration of monitoring systems has not been linear and faces the challenge of attributing development outcomes to PCD efforts. The current monitoring system counts the number of times that SDC is solicited, provides input, and has its input taken into account – for 2016, respectively 403, 82 and 77 times. Following a recommendation by the DAC Peer Review 2013, SDC is currently examining the issue more closely in order to establish a dual form of monitoring: ex-ante assessment of the Federal Council’s policy initiatives which have an impact on developing countries; ex-post indicator-based annual reports from the field, impact assessment on thematic issues and Foreign Policy Reports.

With regard to the domestic dimension (PCD domestic monitor), the SDC mandated a specialised international think tank (ECDPM) and a Swiss academic consortium to develop an indicator-based approach for establishing a genuinely Swiss PCD monitoring and reporting instrument. For monitoring operations on the ground, SDC internally developed and introduced aggregated reference indicators on PCD into the monitoring system of the Dispatch 2017–20 (see above).

With this two-tiered monitoring system, SDC’s efforts aim to develop a PCD monitoring system which will include the domestic and international levels as well as operational activities in partner countries. It is expected that the results of both monitoring frameworks will provide a more comprehensive understanding of PCD challenges at different levels. An instrument which combines domestic and international dimensions could develop its potential even more fully if the system were to be made accessible, at least in part, to non-governmental stakeholders.


ECDPM and CEDRES (2017), A Study on policy coherence for agricultural development and food security in Burkina Faso, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and Centre d’Études, de Documentation et de Recherche Économiques et Sociales (CEDRES), Maastricht/Ouagadougou.

Federal Gazette (2016), Message sur la coopération internationale 2017–2020, p. 2237,

OECD (2013), “Switzerland”, in Development Co-operation Report 2013: Ending Poverty, OECD Publishing, Paris,


← 1. For more information, please refer to:; ;

← 2. For more information, please refer to:;

← 3. See

← 4. See

← 5. It includes a methodology, a roadmap and toolkit to guide the process, complemented by the operational programming system and sector plans. Available at: http://www.cooperacionespañ

← 6. Available at:

← 7. Available at:

← 8. For a succinct description of Switzerland’s PCD approach, see James Mackie, Martin Ronceray and Eunike Spierings, Policy Coherence & the 2030 Agenda: Building on the PCD experience, ECDPM, Maastricht 2017. The present country report draws extensively on this ECDPM report.

← 9. Loi fédérale sur la coopération au développement et l’aide humanitaire internationales du 19 mars 1976.

← 10. Lignes Directrices Nord-Sud. Rapport du Conseil fédéral sur les relations Nord-Sud de la Suisse dans les années 90 du 7 mars 1994.

← 11. For a summary of the Swiss Government’s Commitment on PCD see the Federal Council’s 2016 Foreign Policy Report of 11 January 2017, p. 169.

← 12. For more details Monitoring Policy Coherence for Development. Developing indicators for domestic policies and operations on the ground – Efforts and experiences 2015-2016 of Swiss Development Cooperation. By Werner Thut and Silja Kohler, SDC, 2017.

← 13. Swiss National Science Foundation (n.d.), Call for Proposals: Natural resource governance for sustainable development, Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development, (accessed 10 March 2017).