Policy Coherence and the Sustainable Development Goals – What Can Evaluation Do About It?


Policy coherence came up, not as a new issue but one of continued importance. Years ago, evaluators like Bob Picciotto called for evaluations to focus not just on aid policies, but domestic policies that can have a stronger impact on development outcomes than aid.

Today, this question is even more central to the development discourse for a number of reasons. Official Development Assistance as a proportion of total resources – domestic public finance and private sector flows – has shrunk. The SDGs span a much larger number of sectors than their predecessors. The Goals themselves, while centered on specific sectors or issues, are sometimes mutually reinforcing, at other times in competition with each other. Above all, they demonstrate how countries around the world are interdependent. The complexity of development processes highlight the importance of policy coherence while at the same time making it harder to achieve just that. For its part, evaluation will need to draw on methods to be responsive to complexity, as discussed by Bamberger et al in their book “Dealing with Complexity in Development Evaluation”.

What can evaluation do about it?



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