Policy coherence

All federal government departments make a contribution to sustainable development. The aim is to ensure consistency in the social, economic and environmental dimensions of Swiss foreign relations. In development policy, Switzerland works towards enhanced policy coherence at five levels. This increases the overall effectiveness of international cooperation.

Development goals are easier to achieve if the various policy areas are aligned in accordance with certain principles. Policymakers have to ensure that the individual policies in different sectors do not undermine the objectives and measures of development cooperation. This coordinated approach by all stakeholders is known as 'policy coherence for development'. 

Regarding coherence in foreign relations, the Federal Council has identified a particular need for coordination in the following areas:

  • International financial flows and taxation
  • Environmental and climate-related issues
  • Trade, investment and corporate responsibility
  • Migration
  • International health issues

The SDC draws on internal studies as well as commissioned reports to identify points of intersection and conflict between development policy and policies of other sectors. In this way it contributes topolitical processes and to the preparation, implementation and assessment of individual measures as well asto public debate.

Five priorities

Switzerland works towards enhanced policy coherence for development at five levels:

  1. Through its membership of international organisations, it campaigns for the adoption and implementation of binding global rules for sustainable global development.

  2. In bilateral relations, it ensures that all development programmes and projects co-financed by the Swiss Confederation are consistent with the goals of sustainable global development.

  3. It works directly in its partner countries to promote the development agenda in domestic policies.

  4. It incorporates development aspects into the different sectoral policies and aligns these as closely as possible with global sustainable development.

  5. It also draws upon its development commitment when representing Swiss interests in other sectoral policies.