Policy coherence for sustainable development

Ministerial Declaration on Policy Coherence for Development


The global crisis has underscored the importance of comprehensive actions. Development challenges cannot be solved by a single Ministry or a single country. The risk of reversing positive development outcomes is real for many countries and potential of socio-political crisis in short to medium term is increasing. All countries have a common interest in developing countries achieving sustainable and broad-based development.

Aid alone cannot address the needs of the developing world. Policies that go “beyond aid” in areas such as agriculture, trade, environment, energy, health, security, investment, tax policies, migration have a profound impact on the prospects of developing countries. For policy makers seeking to balance the interest of diverse interest groups the imperative of policy coherence for development (PCD) may not be obvious. In global economy,neglecting the development dimension is short-sighted and will over time undermine the pursuit of other objectives.In addition, incoherent policies are ineffective an inefficient, whatever objective takes priority.


Since the early 1990s the OECD has played a pivotal role in promoting policy coherence for development and whole of government approaches to development. Due to its multidisciplinary policy expertise, direct contacts to national authorities and peer learning, the OECD has a clear comparative advantage in producing comprehensive policy advice.


The work on PCD focuses on:

  • Improving understanding of how OECD member countries’ policies in various sectors impact on the development and competitiveness of developing countries. The aim is to ensure that policies introduced by OECD governments are mutually supportive of the countries’ development goals and that they support, or at least do not undermine, progress towards internationally-agreed development goals.
  • Promoting policy coherence for development as a key dimension in policy-making in both member countries and in partner countries.
  • Monitoring progress through peer reviews and developing assessment tools.


In June 2008 ministers adopted the OECD Ministerial Declaration on Policy Coherence for Development. The Declaration reinforces policy coherence for development as a key component for promoting development worldwide in view of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Development concerns need to be taken account inter alia in the environmental, agricultural, fisheries, economic and financial, trade, migration, security, energy, science and technology policies. Furthermore, the Declaration pledges for more dialogue with partner countries,calls for better international co-ordination to help ensure that the benefits of globalization are broadly shared and expresses the need to raise public awareness of the importance of development issues.


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