Policy coherence for sustainable development

"Looking for Results - Coherent policies for development": meeting of the national Focal Points for Policy Coherence for Development, 8 June 2009


 watch the webcast of the High-level panel.


Executive Summary

The well attended meeting, including developing countries, focused on two issues: how to address the development challenges coherently and how to develop tools to measure progress in coherent policies.

The discussion on addressing development challenges was lead by Dambisa Moyo, who stressed that African governments need to provide services to their people, and not to rely on donors. She noted that successful aid interventions in the past (e.g. the Marshall Plan) have been short, sharp and finite. Today’s aid interventions, on the other hand, are seemingly open-ended. Participants noted that what matters is how financial resources are being delivered to developing countries. Policy coherence works for resilience by maintaining aid flows at times when FDI, remittances and other financial flows to developing countries are falling due to the global economic crisis. The best outcome aid can give is to incentivise recipient countries to do the right things.


On the broader policy issues it was noted that “green growth” is key in addressing long term development challenges. Green growth is relevant for developed and developing countries alike. The OECD stresses that the crisis provides an opportunity to green our economies by reassessing environmental policies currently in place. It is not only more environmentally sustainable, but more economically sustainable by promoting investment rather than consumption. Green growth is also a way of decentralising energy production and increasing energy security, thereby helping to alleviate poverty. Making investment work for development by helping developing countries improve their policy frameworks for attracting private and international investment is yet another OECD goal. Participants agreed that development challenges need comprehensive policies that go beyond aid. Domestic resources and policies and the role of the private sector as drivers for growth and development are key.


Developing tools to assess countries’ progress towards coherent policies would help enhance policy coherence for development (PCD). The report prepared for the meeting discusses the methodologies on how to assess consistency or convergence between aid and non-aid policies. The emphasis is on donors’ policies.  Case studies, modelling and national experiences were presented to help consider different options for possible assessment/benchmarking tool. It was noted that for a start  the focus could be on ex ante processes, for example an international best practice checklist to consider possible implications for developing countries of OECD country policies before they are launched. Using existing impact tools within an agreed PCD assessment framework would promote transparency and facilitate peer learning and pressure. This could later on lead to a systematic monitoring and benchmarking – that was also considered important but challenging to develop. The importance to involve all stakeholders, including line ministries, civil society, think tanks etc, was underscored, as was the need for solid evidence-based analysis. Sector specific analysis was encouraged as it would help to make PCD less abstract. The possibility of including substantive sectoral PCD results, in addition to progress in promoting institutional mechanisms, in the OECD/DAC Peer Reviews was proposed.


A briefing on the latest work on PCD on non-tariff measures and information and communication technology was provided.


Read the full summary record.