Grain Silos in Dogon Village, Mali
Grain Silos in Dogon Village, Mali – Emilio Labrador/Flickr.

Policy integration has become one of the buzzwords of Agenda 2030. It has long been a “holy grail” for governments – really since the limits of the ideal bureaucracy envisaged by Max Weber and company became apparent. 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 the Integration 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: …

Source:, UK
Language: English