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Policy Coherence for Development


According to the information included in the OECD’s document 'Policy coherence for inclusive and sustainable development' to meet the challenge of achieving sustainable development, governments need to design more effective policies that avoid impacts that adversely affect the development prospects of other countries. At the same time, they need to enhance their capacities to exploit synergies across different policy areas with important cross-border dimensions, such as trade, investment, agriculture, health, education, environment, migration and development co-operation to create environments conducive to development.

The OECD sees PCD as a process, which main objectives are to:

  • exploit the potential of positive synergies across policies to support development, pursuing win-win situations and mutual benefits;
  • increase governments’ capacities to balance divergent policy objectives, and help them to reconcile domestic policy objectives with broader international or global objectives;
  • avoid or minimise the negative side-effects and impacts of policies on development.

PCD entails:

  • ensuring that the interactions among various policies in the economic, social, environmental, legal and political domains support countries on their pathway towards inclusive sustainable growth;
  • putting in place institutional mechanisms, processes, and tools to produce effective, efficient, sustainable and coherent policies in all sectors;
  • developing evidence-based analysis, sound data and reliable indicators to inform decision making and help translate political commitments into practice;
  • fostering multi-stakeholder policy dialogue to identify the barriers to, and the catalysts for, change.

Source: The OECD’s document ,,Policy coherence for inclusive and sustainable development”

The OECD’s model for PCD implementation contains three key elements (building blocks):

Model for PCD implementation adopted by the OECD


The OECD contribution to the Policy Coherence for Development

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development plays a pivotal role in working on Policy Coherence for Development.

Key documents adopted by the OECD on PCD include:

The above-mentioned documents are not legally binding.

In 2012 the OECD decided to apply a PCD lens to key issues, such as global food security, illicit financial flows and green growth.

The evolution process of working on Policy Coherence for Development is illustrated below:

The evolution process of working on Policy Coherence for Development

The OECD has developed tools in order to support the implementation of Policy Coherence for Development.

The major tools are:

Find out more about ongoing works on the PCD carried out by the OECD on www.oecd.org/development/policycoherence (tab. Publications) and on https://community.oecd.org/community/pcd (the PCD Platform created by OECD).

The synthetic approach to the process of PCD is available in the presentation prepared by the OECD.

Policy Coherence for Development - OECD presentation


Working on PCD in the European Union

The European Union has its input to Policy Coherence for Development as well. PCD is based in the Treaty of Lisbon (Article 208). The Council Conclusions on Policy Coherence for Development from the 17th of November 2009 state 5 PCD priority areas: trade and finance, climate change, food security, migration and security.

Every two years the European Commission submits to the Council a report on Policy Coherence for Development. On the basis of this report, the Council develops the conclusions - recently adopted on the 12th of December 2013.

The latest information on Policy Coherence for Development are available in the 'News' section.


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