Policy Coherence for Development

Policy Coherence for Development

​Switzerland has long acknowledged that development policies are interlinked with other policy areas, as reflected in policy statements from as early as 1976 (Federal Law on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid). The institutional system to ensure policy coherence for development (PCD) is deeply rooted in the Swiss political culture of consensual decision-making and strong interdepartmental coordination.

In most recent years, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation increased its participation in domestic policy development of non-aid policies and intensified its efforts on methodological issues. Its aim was to improve in the first place its own expertise, that is, being better informed about potential policy options, underlying considerations, and solutions found in other countries.

The Analysis and Policy Division follows and participates in the international debate, explores trade-offs within Swiss sector policies and knowledge gaps that may contribute to or hinder outcomes, and participates on a regular basis on inter-ministerial consultations prior to Cabinet decision

Contact: Véronique Bourquin BQV (veronique.bourqin@eda.admin.ch)



​​Policy Coherence for Development in Switzerland's Implementation of BEPS and Enhanced Global Transparency: Project results

June 2018


With the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of July 2015, the donor states have made a political commitment to allow developing countries to participate in the implementation of the AEOI and the BEPS measures. In return, developing countries have committed themselves to responsible and transparent governance, combating all forms of illicit financial flows and ensuring non-discriminatory access to public services for citizens.

Against this background, SDC mandated in 2017 the Chair for Swiss, European and international tax law at the University of Zürich with a project "Policy Coherence for Development in Switzerland's Implementation of BEPS and Enhanced Global Transparency". Notably, the project analyzes the development policy and fiscal challenges and fields of action that arise for Switzerland in integrating developing countries into the policy for implementing the AEOI and the BEPS measures.

Apart a dialogue with Swiss senior tax officials from all levels, the main results of the project include the following two studies:

The study by Professor Matteotti is planned to be translated into English and published in the near future under the title Integration of developing countries into Swiss policy for implementing the AEI and the BEPS measures: challenges and fields of action.

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​​La cohérence des politiques pour le développement agricole et la sécurité alimentaire, Le cas de l’agriculture et du commerce au Burkina Faso. Etude par ECDPM, soutenue par la Direction du développement et de la coopération

Juin 2017


Cette étude a pour objectif de mieux comprendre comment concrètement différentes politiques sectorielles influent, positivement ou négativement, sur le développement agricole et la sécurité alimentaire dans un contexte particulier, celui du Burkina Faso. Plus spécifiquement, l’étude vise à évaluer la cohérence de ces politiques à la jonction des secteurs de l’agriculture, du commerce et de l’industrie, sous le rapport du développement des filières agroalimentaires. Cet angle d’analyse est pertinent et important car ces filières constituent une composante majeure du développement agricole et de la sécurité alimentaire, en offrant des débouchés pour les produits agricoles, générant des revenus pour les producteurs, créant des richesses et des emplois non-agricoles et fournissant des produits alimentaires. Les interactions entre ces politiques sectorielles et leurs effets sur le développement des filières agroalimentaires au Burkina sont analysés aux niveaux des politiques nationales, des politiques régionales ouest-africaines, et des politiques européennes extérieures.

Étude CPD Burkina Rapport final juin 2017.pdf



​​Shadow Value Chains. Tracing the link between corruption, illicit activity and lootable natural resources from West Africa 

June 2017


U4 Issue | No 7

The study has been commissioned by SDC and is focused on gold from Mali, timber from Liberia, diamonds from Sierra Leone and oil from Nigeria. The paper attempts to collate some of the more recent existing knowledge of whether and how illegally traded natural resources sponsor other types of illicit activity in West Africa, understood broadly to encompass crime, smuggling, terrorist activity, militancy and insurgency activity. The findings show that in all the four countries studied, deeply entrenched patterns of corruption serve as a facilitating factor for the diversion of natural resources from their legal value chains and enabling shadow value chains to exist and flourish. The paper also finds that while all of the resources sponsor illicit activity to some extent, some of the links that are commonly referred to remain insufficiently documented and should be further explored.


By Åse Gilje & Mats Stridsman

U4 Issue 2017-07 full (002).pdf 


​​Policy Coherence and the 2030 Agenda: Building on the PCD experience 

March 2017


Discussion Paper Policy Coherence 2030 Agenda Mackie March 2017.pdf

With the advent of the 2030 Agenda, the principle of policy coherence has now been extended to cover the whole scope of sustainable development. PCSD, or ‘policy coherence for sustainable development’, has thus become a reality reflected in the ‘Systemic Issues’ section of Sustainable Development Goal 17 (SDG17) on ‘Strengthening the Means of Implementation and Revitalising the Global Partnership’. Yet for those familiar with the practice of PCD, the challenge of this logical but much broader concept is immense.

Recent research has demonstrated the multiple linkages that exist across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the effort in terms of integrated policy-making that the 2030 Agenda will require. How this might be tackled, and what useful lessons can be gleaned from past practice in promoting policy coherence to support this effort, are the subjects of this paper.


By James Mackie, Martin Ronceray and Eunike Spiering


​​Policy Coherence in the commodities sector: The case of mercury
January 2017

  Policy Coherence in the commodities sector: The case of mercury
This paper critically assesses the different policies of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss Development Agency (SDC) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) with regard to coherence issues in the commodities sector. Detecting significant incoherencies between the policies of the aforementioned governmental units, this paper submits the following recommendations for the Swiss administration:

Recommendation 1: Extend due diligence downstream the value chain

Recommendation 2: Institutionalize policy coherence due diligence

Recommendation 3: Capitalize on existing technical knowledge and previous investments


By Nadel ETH


​​Monitoring Policy Coherence for Development (PCD): Developing indicators for domestic policies and operations on the ground - Efforts and experiences 2015-2016 of Swiss Development Cooperation



Developing indicators for domestic policies and operations on the ground – Efforts and experiences 2015-2016 of Swiss Development Cooperation

This paper describes the SDC’s most recent work on developing an indicator-based monitoring and reporting system with a particular focus on the extension of the PCD perspective to operational activities on the ground. In this document, PCD is understood in its traditional sense whereby, when formulating policies, donor countries should take into account their impact on developing countries. Switzerland has been committed to policy coherence for development for many years, and it considers PCD as an important contribution to achieving broader policy coherence for sustainable development.


By Werner Thut and Silja Kohler


​​Monitoring and Reporting on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development: The example of Switzerland.
April 2016

Monitoring and Reporting on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development: The example of Switzerland. Discussion Paper 184.
Switzerland is committed to promote Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD). A monitoring and reporting system is indispensable to guide this effort and to track and report progress. As a pilot study, this paper proposes a structured and thorough approach, with a focus on three Swiss PCSD priority areas: food security, migration and development, and illicit financial flows and an analytical framework for a consistent analysis of government policies from a PCSD perspective. To measure these policies, it looks at their own normative and political ambitions, in a pragmatic manner and based on indicators likely to be valid for several years.The main focus of the analysis is on the Government’s Annual Work Plan and its related Annual Report to the Parliament.
(With an executive summary in German.)



​​Coordinated procedure for resolving conflicts of interest


The article is available in English, German and French.
Economic interests and the interests of cooperation development do not always coincide, as can be seen in commodities trading. For this reason the Swiss Federal Council aims to give constant attention to ensuring policy coherence. 


By Werner Thut in "Die Volkswirtschaft"

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​​Putting Policy Coherence into Perspective: Switzerland’s Promotion of PCD in Commodities, Migration and Tax Policy



Switzerland’s Promotion of PCD in Commodities, Migration and Tax Policy

Putting Policy Coherence into Perspective: Switzerland's Promotion of PCD in Commodities, Migration and Tax Policy
Down to business with Policy Coherence for Development in Switzerland: commodities, migration and tax policy. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is committed to promoting development objectives in non-development policies. SDC commissioned ECDPM to develop a tool for identifying incoherencies, trade-offs and knowledge gaps within and between sectoral policies. This reader explores Swiss progress in promoting PCD before introducing the tool, which is piloted on three policy areas: commodities, migration and tax policy. An overview is given of the main incoherencies affecting developing countries is given for each area. 



​​Paper on Policy Coherence for Development: The Swiss Approach
March 2012

Paper on Policy Coherence for Development: The Swiss Approach
This Working Paper analysis Switzerland’s approach to Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), using the concept by the DAC that describes progress towards PCD as a process dependent on three building blocks: 1. Political commitment and a policy basis that specifies policy objectives and determines which takes priority in the event of incompatibility. 2. Policy co-ordination mechanisms that can identify and resolve conflicts or inconsistencies between policies and maximize synergies. 3. Monitoring, analysis and reporting systems to provide the evidence base for accountability and for well-informed policy-making and politics.  

Paper submitted by SDC/SECO to OECD/DAC in the context of Peer Review 2013


​​Policy Coherence for Development in a top commodity hub - The Swiss Government’s Background Report on Commodities 2013

April 2014


Policy Coherence for Development in a top commodity hub - The Swiss Government’s Background Report on Commodities 2013
UNCTAD Global Commodity Forum 7-8 April 2014 Global value chains, transparency, and commodity-based development Plenary Session 3 – Policy tools to ensure transparency in the governance of resource wealth contribution of Switzerland's development cooperation to the current Swiss debate on commodities from a perspective of policy coherence for development (PCD).

Paper presented to UNCTAD Global Commodities Forum 2014

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​​Lignes Directrices Nord-Sud, Rapport du Conseil Fédéral sur les relations Nord-Sud de la Suisse dans les années 90

March 1994
Confédération Suisse


Rapport du Conseil Fédéral sur les relations Nord-Sud de la Suisse dans les années 90
Les “Lignes directrices Nord-Sud” remontent à un postulat de la Commission des affaires étrangères du Conseil des Etats du 6 juin 1990. Ce postulat demandait au Conseil fédéral d’élaborer, dans le cadre d’une analyse supra-départementale et d’une discussion de principes, un plan directeur du rôle futur de la Suisse dans les relations Nord-Sud, en vue d’une politique de développement globale et cohérente.




- Center for Global Development: Commitment to Development Index