Policy coherence for sustainable development

Online public consultation on the draft Recommendation on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development


The public consultation is now closed



The 2030 Agenda adopted by world leaders in 2015 is an ambitious plan of action for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. It envisages a world free of poverty, hunger, and inequality; where good quality education, health care, decent work, clean water and energy, peace and justice are available to all; where every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and barriers to their empowerment have been removed; where economic growth is not at the expense of the environment; and where our planet’s natural resources and climate are protected for future generations.

The 2030 Agenda states that the SDGs are indivisible, and that they balance the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. To help achieve this balance, the SDGs include SDG Target 17.14, which calls on all countries to enhance policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD) as an essential means of implementation for all the Goals.

Governments at all levels increasingly recognise the need to break out of institutional and policy silos to fully realise the benefits of synergistic actions across the SDGs, to effectively manage trade-offs between sectors, and to anticipate and address the transboundary and long-term impacts of their policies. According to many of the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) presented by UN Members to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), enhancing policy coherence for sustainable development is one of the most difficult challenges to implementing the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda, however, does not provide guidance on how to enhance policy coherence for the implementation of the SDGs.

To address this gap, the OECD has embarked on an inclusive process to update its 2010 Recommendation on Good Institutional Practices in Promoting Policy coherence for Development as part of its efforts to make its instruments more SDG-relevant. Building on more than two decades of experience in promoting policy coherence for development, the draft Recommendation on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development aims to reflect the universal, integrated and transformative nature of the 2030 Agenda. The draft Recommendation responds to the growing demand by Members and non-Members to deal with the “how” of coherent SDG implementation and provides guidance that will help equip policy-makers and key stakeholders with the necessary institutional mechanisms and policy tools to enhance PCSD and accelerate progress towards the SDGs.


Purpose of the Public Consultation


Consistent with the universal and inclusive spirit of the 2030 Agenda, the OECD is launching a public consultation to reach government officials, civil society organizations, international organizations and interested citizens and stakeholders from all over the world in order to ensure that the final text of the Recommendation reflects the experience, needs and aspirations of the international community. Through the consultation, the OECD also aims to evaluate the relevance and applicability of the guidance and definitions included in the draft Recommendation.


Structure of the draft Recommendation


Central to the draft Recommendation is the shared commitment by Adherents to strengthen institutions to implement the sustainable development goals in a coherent and integrated manner, addressing interlinkages between the Goals and targets, while avoiding negative economic, social and environmental externalities beyond national borders, and for future generations. The draft Recommendation presents a set of building blocks to enhance policy coherence for sustainable development, organised around three main pillars:

  • A strategic vision for achieving the SDGs underpinned by a clear political commitment and institutional leadership to enhance policy coherence for sustainable development.
  • Effective and inclusive institutional and governance mechanisms to address policy interactions across sectors and align actions between levels of government.
  • A set of responsive and adaptive tools to anticipate, assess and address domestic, transboundary and long-term impacts of policies.


Process for the finalisation of the draft Recommendation


The draft Recommendation is being developed through an inclusive and horizontal approach, involving a number of OECD committees and bodies. 

This draft is a work in progress. Its content is without prejudice to the final text that will be adopted by the OECD Council. Inputs collected during the public consultation will be taken into account to finalise the draft Recommendation. All comments will be considered public and may be published unless requested otherwise.

For more information on OECD Recommendations, please consult the online Compendium of OECD Legal Instruments.


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Draft OECD Recommendation

Policy Coherence for Sustainable DevelopmentDraft OECD Recommendation PCSD

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