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The checklist presented below covers essestial elements to be borne in mind when assessing institutional mechanisms and practices for policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD). The different sets of questions are organised according to the PCSD Building Blocks, and they are designed to enable policy-makers to screen policies, organisational structures as well as policy-making processes, and consider essential factors that can influence improvements in policy coherence for the implementation of the SDGs. They are also intended to help users examine their current institutional mechanisms and practices for promoting policy coherence: identify strenghts and areas for improvement, and determine what changes are needed, if any, to adapt and align their mechanisms with the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The checklist is not a substitute for a review of the policy coherence system of a country yet the self-assessment can complement external assessment and peer review. The self-assessment exercise should be conducted by the existing governmental body responsible for policy coordination, arbitration and coherence in SDG implementation. The OECD can support this exercise by carrying out the external assessment and facilitating peer review, and the dissemination of the results.

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1) Strategic vision, commitment and leadership

Political Commitment

  • Is there a political statement at the highest level spelling out the government’s commitment to PCSD?
  • Is this commitment effectively communicated across levels of government?
  • Has the government identified priority areas for PCSD and developed subsequent action plans?
  • Is there an institutional “catalyst” (central unit, ministry, committee etc.) in charge of promoting PCSD?
  • Are there measures to build capacity in the public service to consistently formulate and implement policies coherent with sustainable development in all sectors?

- Go to Guidance

- Go to Good Practices

Strategic Long-term Vision

  • Is there a strategic framework for sustainable development (national strategy, actions plan, guidelines, etc.) based on a long-term vision that defines concrete long-term challenges and contains objectives, benchmarks and indicators related to economic, social and environmental inter-generational issues?
  • Does the government makes use of tools such as strategic foresight, scenario development and system thinking approaches in the formulation and implementation of policies?
  • Are there clear guidance or provisions in place to guide policy makers in identifying, preventing and mitigating actual and potential adverse impacts on the wellbeing of future generations?
  • Are there any provisions or mechanisms in place to ensure sustained commitment to PCSD beyond electoral cycles?

- Go to Guidance

- Go to Good Practices

Policy Integration

  • Are there any guidelines or provisions to integrate sustainable development into the sectoral plans and policies of line ministries?
  • Are there specific reviews of laws and regulations to check whether they conflict with sustainable development, and are sustainable development objectives embedded in new legislation and regulations?
  • Is sustainable development (SDGs) integrated into regular government exercises (e.g. planning, budget process)?
  • Is there a framework for assessing the performance of public organisations with regard to sustainable development?

- Go to Guidance

- Go to Good Practices

2) Coordinated action across sectors and government levels

Policy Coordination

  • Is there a formal mechanism for coordination on sustainable development?
  • Is the coordinating mechanism located strategically within the government organisational structure to promote coherence and resolve policy conflicts?
  • Are there clear mandates and arbitration processes for preventing and resolving policy conflicts?
  • Do the coordinating mechanism provide opportunities for informing ex ante on domestic policy-making as well as on its interface with foreign policies?

- Go to Guidance

- Go to Good Practices

Local and Regional Involvement

  • Are there any mechanisms in place to enable the involvement of regions, cities and municipalities in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of national plans or strategies for sustainable development (SDGs)?
  • Are there mechanisms or incentives that foster policy alignment, complementarities and cooperation between central and subnational governments?
  • Are there mechanisms to ensure effective feedback between different levels of government regarding the integration of sustainable development into laws and regulations?
  • Are there any mechanisms in place to ensure coherent and coordinated action of agencies from different government levels involved in international initiatives / development co-operation?

- Go to Guidance

- Go to Good Practices

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Are there formal and/or informal mechanisms in place to ensure that stakeholder input feeds into decision-making processes?
  • Are there clear legal provisions and guidelines for consultation and participation in the policy-making process?
  • Are initiatives of stakeholders for enhancing PCD encouraged, rewarded and disseminated?

- Go to Guidance

- Go to Good Practices

3) Impacts and informed decision-making

Policy and Financing Impacts

  • Are there regular assessments to identify and assess potential positive and negative impacts of policy proposals and regulations on sustainable development?
  • Does the government make use of ex-ante and ex-post impact assessment practices to take into account transboundary impacts of policies, paying particular attention to the impacts on developing countries?

- Go to Guidance

- Go to Best Practices

Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation

  • Are there evaluation and reporting mechanisms to support sustainability appraisal within the public sector (i.e. indicators of progress, cost/benefit analysis, impact assessments)?
  • Does government make use of these evaluation and reporting mechanisms to promote PCSD?
  • Have indicators been developed for considering transboundary and long-term effects in the monitoring system for sustainable development?
  • Is there transparent reporting to parliament and the public on PCSD, and on the impact of sectoral policies on SD?
  • Have external and independent auditing institutions been involved in assessing progress on PCSD?

- Go to Guidance

- Go to Good Practices