This course was designed by the UN System Staff College Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, in coordination with the National University of Singapore acting through its Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Hertie School of Governance based in Berlin, and in collaboration with the OECD Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development Unit in Paris.
The course explores approaches to cross-organizational and cross-sectoral policy coherence on the national, regional and international levels, with a view to equipping participants with an understanding of why policy coherence is important for achieving sustainable development, what coherent policymaking entails, and what are some specific tools, mechanisms and approaches that can be employed to foster policy coherence.
Conventional approaches to development often focus on sector-specific economic results, working under the assumption that markets function perfectly. Such approaches do not adequately consider externalities and their impact on society, equity or the environment. They also often ignore the transboundary and inter-generational effects which results in siloed, contradictory policies that often undermine one another.
The 2030 Agenda demands integrated approaches that view development through a holistic lens, using a systemic approach that takes account of the causal relationship and the synergies and trade-offs produced among the social, economic, and environmental dimensions in a comprehensive manner.
This need for coherence is more evident than ever as the raging COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted our journey towards transformative change and risks reversing decades of development gains. The pandemic has further exposed flaws in the prevailing socio-economic model, which the 2030 Agenda is trying to address. It is the need of the hour to seek coherent short and medium-term responses to the crisis, addressing its interdependent consequences with long term sustainability in mind and in the spirit of shared responsibility and global solidarity.
Inputs by high-level speakers from the UN System, think tanks, academia as well as the OECD complement this course.