In search of policy coherence: aligning OECD infrastructure advice with sustainable development

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Comprised of 34 advanced country members, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a prominent advisor to the Group of 20 (G20) with regard to a range of policy areas, including infrastructure investment. The G20 views large-scale investment in infrastructure (e.g., energy, transportation, water) as key to boosting global growth and advancing job creation and development. This report examines OECD “core documents” to assess whether the organisation’s advice promotes coherence among economic, social and environmental policies as they relate to infrastructure investment.

The report concludes that OECD policy advice on infrastructure investment lacks coherence for sustainable development from multiple perspectives, and in particular, coherence with global goals and countries’ aspirations. The overall thrust of its infrastructure policy advice to the G20 is insufficient to provide the G20 countries with a reliable roadmap to achieve sustainable development and climate goals through infrastructure.

With the China-led G20 Summit in September 2016, and the German G20 Presidency commencing thereafter, there will be multiple opportunities for the OECD to serve the G20 and the wider global community more effectively. Without shifts in direction by the OECD and other relevant international bodies, global aspirations for a sustainable future will not be fulfilled.


Product details
Date of Publication
June 2016
Number of Pages
Table of contents

List of Boxes
List of Abbreviations
Executive Summary

1. Objective of This Report

2. Global Context

3. OECD and Sustainable Development
The evolving global sustainable development agenda
OECD’s evolving sustainable development work
Review of OECD outputs on infrastructure and sustainable development

4. Findings
Findings on research questions
Findings on thematic areas

5. Conclusion

6. Recommendations
Recommendations to the OECD
Recommendations on the G20
Recommendations to civil society and academia

Annex 1. Core Documents — Summary and Ranking

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