Governance and Policy Coherence for the SDGs

Policy coherence for sustainable development: Mainstreaming the SDGs in Italian decision making





In partnership with the European Commission and funding from the EU Structural Reform Support Programme, the OECD supports the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection (MATTM) to move towards Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD) using the OECD Recommendation on PCSD as guiding principle and tool.

The OECD provides analysis and concrete options for strengthening coherence during policy formulation, monitoring and the evaluation process in view of enhancing SDGs achievement.

OECD’s support aims at identifying and strengthening the right tools and governance mechanisms to stimulate policy integration, properly consider policy effects, strengthen effective policy and institutional co-ordination, as well as monitoring, reporting and evaluation systems.

Italy expects that PCSD tools will be instrumental during the process of reviewing and implementing the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), reaffirming its role as the overarching long-term strategy within which to cope with the recent post-COVID policy developments in an integrated and coherent way also taking into account the key EU instruments such as the Recovery Fund, the Green Deal, the Just Transition Mechanism within the broader context of the European Semester Reform and the Cohesion Policy.




How we work with Italy?

The OECD in cooperation with the European Commission and the MATTM will work on the following key project activities:

  • Conducting an OCED PCSD Institutional Scan to assesses the existing institutions and suggest options to implement PCSD in decision making at all levels of government
  • Organising thematic workshops, which aim to bring together the relevant stakeholders (governmental and non-governmental) to strengthen key PCSD capacities
  • Developing an Action Plan, including a roadmap, to guide a PCSD shift and consolidation for the implementation and revision of the NSDS



Workshops and Events related to the project 

From June 23rd to 25th 2020 the MATTM organised a series of webinars to launch the NSDS revision process and initiate a specific dialogue on PCSD with the National Forum for Sustainable Development, and  the Working Groups with Regions and the metropolitan areas. These working groups have been initiated within the framework of the NSDS’s implementation.  These meetings allowed to engage from the outset these key stakeholders in the revision process for the NSDS and to introduce their role within the OECD project for strengthening policy coherence for sustainable development. 


Facts about Italy and the SDGs

  • In 2019 the proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture (SDG Indicator 2.4.1) represents 15,5% of all the agricultural area in Italy. this proportion is twice the EU average (7,5%).

    The regional breakdown of SDGs indicators reveals very diverse realities across the country. For instance the proportion of people living below 50 per cent of median income, by sex, age and persons with disabilities (SDG indicator 10.2.1) is 11% in the North while is 20.3% on average across the country. Unemployment rate is 6.1% in the Northern regions while is 10% on average across the country.

    The national recycling rate (SDG indicator 12.5.1) evolved from 36.7 in 2010 to 50.8 in 2018.
    In 2018 over one fourth of the population was living in inadequate housing condition (SDG indicator 11.1.1) the percentage of the population living in overcrowded housing conditions continues rising and reached 27.8% in 2018
    Pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as spelled out in the 2030 Agenda, represents one of the key priorities of the Italian Parliament and Government. Italy has implemented several initiatives to advance on the 2030 Agenda.

    The National Sustainable Development Strategy NSDS (launched in 2017) will be reviewed in 2020, through an open-ended participatory process involving all levels of government (local and central), main stakeholders and with the support of the academic and research sector.

    Italy has in place forefront measurements of well-being and sustainability. Italy produces an annual report on 123 SGDs indicators. The 3rd edition of the report for 2020 accounts for the interactions between COVID and the 17 Goals. Since 2018 makes efforts to link the budgetary law with the well-being indicators (Indicatori Benessere Equo e Sostenibile) BES set, recognising the key importance of using socio-economic data and not only GDP, for informing decision-making. In addition, a set of 43 indicators has been selected to keep track of the NSDS at national level, (including some of the BES indicators). Currently these indicators are being territorialized at regional and metropolitan level through a multi-level dialogue.

    Italy established several cutting-edge institutional mechanisms for coordinating the implementation of the Strategy including the Cabina di Regia Benessere Italia within the Presidency of the Council of Ministries (PCM) and the National Commission for Sustainable Development within the PCM. A permanent parliamentary committee for the implementation of 2030 Agenda has been set up in 2018.

    The Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea (MATTM), who is in charge of the domestic aspects of the implementation of the NSDS, has established since 2018 a collaboration with regions and metropolitan areas for localising the objectives of the NSDS. As of today, 19 regions, the Autonomous Province of Trento and14 metropolitan areas have signed an agreement with MATTM and have started working in order to design the governance system as well as the contents and the enabling conditions for their own sustainable development strategies. Finally, MATTM launched in 2019 the Forum for Sustainable Development, conceived as a permanent platform for the active engagement of civil society with the public administration.
    Italy already took some important steps towards policy coherence for sustainable development in particular with the recent approval of the reform that transformed the Inter-ministerial Committee for Economic Programming (CIPE) into the Inter-ministerial Committee for Economic Programming for Sustainable Development (as of 1st January 2021), to foster their mandate to coordinate policies towards 2030 Agenda objectives.


This project was funded by the European Union via the Structural Reform Support Programme and implemented by the OECD, in cooperation with the European Commission's Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM)  


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