The 2030 Agenda is a universal plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for coordinated action and policies at all levels of government – local, national and global. It requires identifying and managing trade-offs, as well as seeking out and optimising synergies.

Ensuring coherence across the policy cycle is essential for making sure that progress on one SDG does not undermine progress on another. Policy coherence, embodied in Target 17.14, also means limiting adverse impacts of domestic actions on other countries or on shared global spaces and resources such as the climate or oceans.

The 2019 edition of Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development, the third in a series, forms part of the OECD’s contribution to the United Nations ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). It provides evidence on the critical interlinkages between the SDGs under HLPF review – Goal 4 on quality education; 8 on decent work and economic growth; 10 on reduced inequalities; 13 on climate action; and 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. It calls for urgent action by all countries and underlines the importance of strong institutional and governance mechanisms for leveraging interactions between the goals, so they have the desired policy impact overall.

An important lesson learned since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for ensuring coherent SDG implementation: countries need tailored solutions that take into account the national context, including institutional set-up and political cultures. This report identifies those institutions and mechanisms – enablers for policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD) – that can support countries to establish the policies and structures that work best for them. The OECD stands ready, in partnership with the United Nations and other stakeholders, to accompany countries in updating their governance toolbox and ensuring effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda.


Marcos Bonturi


OECD Public Governance Directorate

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