As the global pandemic continues to ravage lives and livelihoods, our immediate concern is to contain its spread and provide for those left in its wake. We have also been presented with a unique opportunity to rethink and redesign the systems that govern our world and create vulnerabilities to economic, health, and climatic shocks. It must be our endeavor that the world we rebuild integrates economic, social, and environmental policies to provide protection from future shocks and ensure long-term sustainability.

As the catastrophic human, social and economic effects of the pandemic threaten to reverse decades of development progress, the transformative vision of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are more relevant than ever today to guide us towards a more equal, abundant and just world where we live in harmony with our environment and ensure dignity for all.

Implementing the Agenda has always been a monumental governance challenge both within countries and across borders. Narrow considerations often result in policies that work at cross purposes and often negate each other’s progress. Policy coherence across sectors and levels of government to coordinate long-term recovery must be our way forward.

The issues we face in all parts of the planet are connected and cannot be managed in a siloed ad hoc manner; they must be addressed systematically Dr. Francois Fortier, a faculty member of our online course on policy coherence for sustainable development, elaborates on this idea with great clarity in his engaging think-piece about ‘Connecting the SDG Dots through Systems Thinking.’.  

As we prepare to launch the next edition of this course with the backdrop of an ongoing global recovery, Dr. Fortier along with experts from OECD and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Governance join us in imagining the road ahead and equipping policymakers, UN staff, activists and engaged citizens around the world in developing a profound understanding of why policy coherence remains vital to sustainable development and provide them with the tools to apply these lessons to their work.

If you’re interested in being part of this cohort with hundreds of learners from around the world representing virtually every country and all sectors, we invite you to apply for the next edition of our course Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development, which runs online for five weeks from 15 February to 19 March 2021. We are accepting applications till 15 January 2021.

The opinions expressed in our blog posts are solely those of the authors. They do not reflect the opinions or views of UNSSC, the United Nations or its members.