Development Co-operation Directorate

OECD and the Sustainable Development Goals: Delivering on universal goals and targets


The OECD supports the United Nations and its agencies in implementing Sustainable Development Goals by bringing together its existing knowledge, and its unique tools and experience, including:

  • a strong track record in policy work with developed and developing countries
  • measures and systems for monitoring performance.

In addition, OECD partnerships are creating synergies among private and public, domestic and international, and donor and developing country resources to provide countries with a strong support mechanism on which to build towards a better future.

In focus:

Improving policy coherence


The multi-dimensional nature of the SDGs requires linkages across policy areas. The OECD addresses the multidimensional nature of diverse issues through a variety of horizontal projects and international initiatives. Its Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development Framework helps to identify synergies and trade-offs among economic, social and environmental policy areas. 

The SDGs provide a solid foundation for supporting resilient societies, dealing with humanitarian emergencies, and reducing risks of instability and shocks – even in the most difficult places.

The OECD is helping countries to review their policies and approaches to working in challenging contexts to ensure they are fit for purpose.

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Promoting investment in sustainable development  

The ambitious scope of the SDGs will require financing on an unprecedented scale. New resources must be tapped and commitments must be measured and monitored.  Private investment is essential to deliver long-term sustainable development. The OECD Policy Framework for Investment is a comprehensive and systematic approach to improving investment conditions, an ideal tool for unlocking private resources.

The OECD also works with developing countries on many fronts to support them in mobilising domestic resources.

Official development assistance (ODA), which is tracked and monitored by the OECD, will remain at the core of many developing countries’ financing portfolios – especially the countries most in need.

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Supporting inclusive growth and well-being  

The SDGs promise to leave no one behind, putting sustainable development in motion everywhere, for the benefit of all.

The OECD Framework for Measuring Well-Being and Progress goes beyond GDP growth and is increasingly being used by developing countries to identify and assess development challenges. Other OECD projects, such as the Inclusive Growth initiative, the Multi-Dimensional Country Reviews, regional policy assessment programmes, and youth inclusion and social protection projects in developing countries also incorporate well-being. 

The OECD works in particular to deliver the SDGs for women and girls through a range of partnerships and programmes. It also provides solid and comprehensive policies for the integration of migrants and their children.

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Ensuring the planet's sustainability  

Successful implementation of the SDGs will require striking a balance between socio-economic progress, sustaining the planet’s resources and ecosystems, and combatting climate change.

OECD works with its members, partner countries and other stakeholders to ensure sound environmental management that supports the sustained achievement of economic development and prosperity, while delivering human security and resilience.

The OECD tracks international climate finance and is sharing its expertise on these flows, and on the implications of different methodologies for estimating climate finance.

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Promoting partnerships  

To implement the SDG goals and targets, governments all over the world, international and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and civil society will need to team up. Working together they can unlock the necessary financial resources, share technologies and create national capacities.

The OECD provides a platform for dialogue and exchange. Together with UNDP it supports the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, which brings all stakeholders to the table to discuss development issues on an equal footing.

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Strengthening data availability and capacity  

Turning the ambition of the SDGs into reality requires robust data to capture progress and evidence to inform decision making.

The OECD helps countries to track progress in areas such as trust, health inequalities, green growth, income and consumption inequality, and job quality. It supports countries in developing and using environmental and green growth indicators and in achieving environment-economy integration over time.

The OECD also supports developing countries in building their own statistical capacities and systems through the PARIS21 partnership. In addition framework for total official support for sustainable development (TOSSD) captures a wide range of resources in support of sustainable development that complement ODA.

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Facilitating follow up and review  

‌OECD country assessments, peer reviews and peer learning mechanisms across a range of policy fields – economic, investment, environmental, energy, migration, education, development co-operation and more – play a key role in sharing learning and knowledge, improving policies and practices, and building trust and mutual respect among partners.

The OECD is adapting its range of assessment and learning mechanisms - including the Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA -  to the new 2030 Agenda.

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