Partner Event

Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development – Online Course

01 October - 02 November 2018

An engaging 5-week online course, which aims to equip participants with knowledge and skills to analyse and design policies that are coherent as well as mutually reinforcing across departments and agencies.


The course will lay special emphasis on the importance of cross-organisational policy coherence between different levels of government, and on the need for collaboration and networking with regional and international actors. Highlighting the importance of the role of actors and institutions, the course will also cover review mechanisms and tools to provide a holistic approach to coherent policy making

About the course

Theoretical, practical and case study based approaches will be used to illustrate and support the concepts. There will be inputs by high-level speakers from the UN System, think tanks, academia as well as the OECD. Participants will get the opportunity to engage with the distinguished academics and leading experts through the live webinars. Assignments, exercises, quizzes and peer sharing spread across the different modules of the course will benefit the participants and add to their learning.

This course was designed by the UN System Staff College Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, in coordination with the National University of Singapore acting through its Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Hertie School of Governance based in Berlin and in collaboration with the OECD Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development Unit in Paris.


Upon the successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Explain the transformative nature of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the importance of policy coherence for sustainable development in its implementation;
Demonstrate a clear understanding of the dimensions of sustainable development, identify interlinkages and interdependencies among the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and identify coherent policies that consider such interconnections;
Analyse policies that are mutually reinforcing across departments and agencies;
Cite examples of mechanisms that enhance policy coherence for sustainable development at local, national, and international level, its various challenges, and the tools to address them;
Enumerate strategies to overcome stakeholder conflict and building cooperation and trust between stakeholders.

Course Methodology

The 5-week online course will comprise of different modules. Each module will draw from case studies and examples to illustrate and support the concepts, and will include assignments and group work that prompt application. Each module will feature a quiz to enable participants to test their knowledge on the content. Learning will take place through reading materials, live webinars by distinguished academics and leading experts and through peer-sharing via discussion forums.

Course Contents

Week 1 will provide an introduction to the concept and evolution of policy coherence for sustainable development, explain vertical and horizontal coherence as well as the different mechanisms that enhance policy coherence across the policy cycle
Week 2 will discuss the need and ways to align policies to achieve sustainable development and how the concept has evolved in the post-2015 era
Week 3 will focus on the importance of policy coherence at national, regional, and international level and examples of policy coherence for sustainable development
Week 4 will look at tools and review mechanisms to assess integration of the 2030 Agenda at national level and tracking progress on policy coherence
Week 5 will focus on actors, institutions and stakeholders. A part of this module will also elaborate on the importance of political will for policy coherence

Target Audience

UN staff from headquarters, country teams or regional offices, government representatives, development practitioners as well as members of civil society, academia and foundations.

Cost of participation

The course fee of 500 USD will cover the following:

Unlimited access to course materials (video and key readings), recording of webinars and speakers’ presentations.
Participation in live webinars with renowned subject matter experts on sustainable development.
Exclusive access to UNSSC online social learning environment with training and supporting background materials, and the opportunity to stay connected with colleagues.
Certificates of Participation will be awarded to participants subject to the completion of all modules and quizzes, successful submission of exercises and assignments, and full participation in all live online sessions and discussion forums for each topic covered in the course.