Policy integration: don’t break down those silos just yet

Åsa Persson • Jun 22nd, 2016
Policy integration: don’t break down those silos just yet

Basically, policy integration means a way of organizing policy processes that resolves conflicts and inconsistencies between diverse policy goals, and exploits synergies. Agenda 2030, with its set of deeply interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has only stoked interest in policy integration.

As a social scientist, I have been studying this phenomenon for some time, most recently as part of a taskforce on the concept of “environmental policy integration” convened by the international research project Earth System Governance. In preparing to address theIntegration Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) last month, to give a scientific perspective on policy integration in relation to Agenda 2030, I had a chance to reflect on my own views. I realized that while I do believe in the search for “rational” integrated policy solutions, and value the progress made, I can’t help thinking we’re in danger of getting carried away. Before “break the silos” becomes the Eleventh Commandment, a few things are worth remembering.

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Åsa Persson is Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute and a Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance Project.

Tags: Earth System Governance Project,national policy-making,policy integration