Policy Framework - Chapter 4

Toward sound policy implementation 

Even the best-designed policy will fail if the government machinery does not enable the translation of policy decisions into action. The first section of this chapter explores the role and importance of 

  • Civil service leadership and skills,
  • Digital tools,
  • Public procurement,
  • Public-Private partnerships and public-civil partnerships,
  • Agile and innovative approaches and
  • A strategic approach to the implementation of the SDGs.


The chapter then highlights the need to engage in

  • Monitoring as a key component of sound policy implementation.


Core questions for consideration by governments

4.1 Managing implementation 

  • Does the government proactively promote and support values of sound civil service management – such as codes of conduct- to specifically address corruption and misuse of public resources during the implementation process?
  • Does your government have a strategy to use digital technologies – back-office and front-office - in a coherent and integrated way to shape public policy implementation in all policy domains and across all levels of government?
  • Do your government procurement systems establish mechanisms to enhance transparency? Does your government envisage e-procurement modalities?
  • Has your government actively – and explicitly – encouraged the adoption of innovative and agile approaches to policy implementation and service delivery?
  • Has your government mandated a core institution to lead the process of integrating the SDGs into national strategic policy-setting, implementation, evaluation and reporting on progress? Does the institution ensure that the national strategy to pursuing the SDGs reflects specific regional circumstances across the country?
  • Does your government have in place robust mechanisms to coordinate across policy areas and administrative units and does it generate incentives to promote co-ordination across ministries and agencies for pursuing the SDGs, such as financial, or individual or collective performance targets?
  • Are there regular assessments to identify and assess potential positive and negative impacts of policy proposals and regulations on sustainable development?


4.2 Monitoring performance  

  • Has your government developed specific initiatives to ensure that performance information and data feed a strategic monitoring mechanism
  • Is your government focusing on translating the UN SDGs into national planning? Is the government aligning its national strategic planning goals as they reflect the SDGs with spending result areas in the national budget in a way that will enable it to measure the impact of spending on the pursuit of its planning objectives in the context of its efforts to implement the SDGs?
  • How are monitoring results used to improve decision-making, including allowing senior civil servants to track financial performance and budget execution and link this performance to the pursuit of the strategies the budget is funding?
  • Are the necessary mechanisms in place to ensure regulatory compliance and monitor regulatory enforcement against outcomes?
  • Does transparency and access to public information mechanisms play a role in monitoring performance?
  • Is the monitoring aspect of a policy or regulation systematically considered at the time of policy formulation?