Governance and Policy Coherence for the SDGs

Poland: Building civil service capacity for delivering on the SDGs





In partnership with the EU Structural Reform Support Programme, the OECD is implementing a project aimed at building civil service capacity to deliver on the SDGs in Poland, in collaboration with the Polish Ministry of Economic Development, which coordinates the implementation of the SDGs and the Europe 2020 Strategy in Poland.

Specifically, the project aims to develop a capacity building programme for civil servants to improve staff competences and strengthen governance frameworks for a holistic, cross-sectoral approach to SDG implementation. The capacity building programme is expected to be rolled out in other ministries and agencies in Poland once completed.




How we work with Poland?

Key project activities include:

An Institutional Mapping of the civil service administration in Poland, including existing governance mechanisms, based on the OECD Recommendation on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD).

A Skills Assessment of mid-level to senior civil servants and expert staff in strategic departments in relevant line ministries, based on the OECD Recommendation on Public Service Leadership Capability (PSLC).

A Capacity Building Programme with a number of thematic modules to be developed in response to the institutional mapping and skills assessment.

An Online Knowledge Platform to ensure a sustainable structure for capacity building for the SDGs beyond the project’s completion date.



 Workshops and Events related to the project 

  • Co-design workshop for elaborating a Roadmap and Action Plan for the Capacity Building Programme was organised on 9 March 2021. In line with the findings of the Diagnostic Report, participants agreed to develop seven civil service Learning Modules, with a view to accelerate SDG implementation in Poland:  (i) The 2030 Agenda and SDG implementation in Poland; (ii) Long-term and horizontal planning and policy integration; (iii) Multi-level governance and stakeholder engagement; (iv) Evidence-based policy making; (v) Senior-level managers; (vi) Mid-level managers; and (vii) Train-the-trainers.

  • Two Expert Workshops for testing the Learning Modules were organised on 29-30 June 2021. Participants were introduced to interactive training elements in plenary and engaged in focused discussions on the module contents in smaller breakout groups.

 Poland has also presented the project in several OECD (Focal Points meeting), Polish (National Stakeholder Forum for the achievement of the SDGs); and international (SIDS workshop and UNECE Side Event) fora.


Facts about Poland and the SDGs

  • Poland has made impressive progress in raising the living standards of its citizens in recent decades, with GDP per capita rising from 37.5% of the OECD average in 1990 to 72,5% in 2019. This economic progress has also been accompanied by important social achievements. For example, Poland recorded a significant increase in the pre-school participation rate (children aged 3-6 from 58,3% in 2006 to almost 89,5% in 2018), although there remain significant urban-rural disparities.

    Poland makes up a substantial share of EU agricultural land (8%); the number of agricultural holdings (13%) and the number of people employed in agriculture (16%). Agricultural products constitute also an important part of Poland’s exports (13%). Despite significant progress in recent years, some rural areas are still lagging behind in terms of infrastructure.

    Poland is characterised by relatively small water resources of about 1,580 m3/year per inhabitant, which is only about 35% of the European average. Given the population density, Poland often faces water scarcity problems in some areas of the country. Fortunately, however, there is a noticeable decrease in the amount of water used per capita.

    In 2018, approximately 77% of Poland’s electricity was generated from hard coal and lignite, with only about 13% of electricity being produced from renewable energy sources - mainly from wind power plants, biomass and biogas. The share of electricity production from coal in 2030 is expected to be about 56-60% and in 2040 about 28% (50% lower than in 2030).

    The development of innovation remains one of the key challenges of the Polish economy. Poland’s gross domestic expenditure on research and development increased from 0.55% of GDP in 2006 to 1.21% of GDP in 2018, but it is still below the EU average.

    Poland is at the beginning of its path towards a circular economy, with considerable potential for promoting eco-design among manufacturers, as well as improving the level of recovery of secondary raw materials from waste and reducing the resource consumption of the economy.

    At the institutional level, the national Strategy for Responsible Development (SRD) provides an overarching system for coordinated and integrated implementation of the SDGs and defines the roles of respective public institutions and ways of collaboration with other stakeholders.


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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