HLPF Side Event Explores Policy Coherence and Food Security
UN Photo/Gill Fickling
story highlights

The side event considered how the concept of policy coherence has evolved and how the food security issue provides an example of how that evolution has played out for a key dimension of sustainable development.

Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD) builds on a popular MDG-era practice – Policy Coherence for Development (PCD).

PCSD experiences in Finland, Tanzania and Burkina Faso were noted, as was the role of the Committee on World Food Security in ensuring a coherent approach at the multilateral level.

12 July 2017: An HLPF side event on ‘Food Security and the 2030 Agenda: The Role of Policy Coherence,’ which was organized by the Governments of Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland, with the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), considered how the concept of policy coherence has evolved and how the food security issue provides an example of how that evolution has played out for a key dimension of sustainable development.

The side event was moderated by Annika Lindblom, the Secretary General, Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. She explained Finland’s experience with promoting policy coherence for sustainable development across ministries and noted that Finland’s approach is both internal, focused on how to engage a range of stakeholders and ensure consistency across national strategies, and external, focused on ensuring that Finland’s international priorities are consistent with its national sustainable development priorities. She highlighted that food security requires nexus thinking, for example with sectors like energy and water, and added that Finland is applying this type of integrated thinking to new issues such as their Tax and Development Plan [Finland’s Action Programme for Tax and Development]

James Mackie, Head of Learning and Quality Support, ECDPM, shared research on the evolution of thinking around policy coherence. Mackie outlined ECDPM’s research on how Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD) builds on a popular MDG-era practice – Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). He noted that the 2030 Agenda introduced the new principle of PCSD, which involves multi-sectoral and whole-of-government approaches. He added that PCSD involves a “PCD system” with various complementary tools working in conjunction with each other. These tools include: multi-stakeholder engagement mechanisms, formal Declarations of Intent, internal government structures (committees, for example), policy coherence champions, data, impact analysis, and finally transparency and accountability mechanisms. [ECDPM’s PCSD publication]

Fabien Tondel, Policy Officer, ECDPM’s Economic and Agricultural Transformation Programme, discussed lessons learned from country experiences in Tanzania and Burkina Faso.

Ambassador Amira Gornass, Chair of the Committee on World Food Security, Permanent Representative of the Sudan to FAO, shared the CFS’ process and policy instruments. She stated that food security is a basic human right and noted that, while it is a place-based issue, it is highly dependent on factors that are global in nature such as trade, climate change, and price volatility. She stressed that the CFS is needed at the multilateral level to ensure a coherent approach. [Committee on World Food Security][SDG Knowledge Hub story on PCSD publications]


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