T09P07 - Global Development Agendas as a Challenge for Policy Coordination in Multi-Level Governance Systems

Topic : Governance, Policy networks and Multi-level Governance

Panel Chair : Smoke Paul - paul.smoke@nyu.edu

Panel Second Chair : Gambhir Bhatta - gbhatta@adb.org

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

The Post-2015 Development Agenda evolves around three global policy agendas: The Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change adopted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in December 2015, and the New Urban Agenda (October 2016). These agendas are interconnected but distinct in that they derive from separate policy communities with their own institutional contexts.

 

Adopting country-led implementation strategies and “localization” (involvement of subnational governments and nongovernmental stakeholders) is seen as essential for achieving the ambitious targets. The global agendas are multi-sectoral and multi-level in nature, posing significant challenges for vertical and horizontal coordination among actors facing diverse incentives and accountability channels. National sector agencies will vie for public resources and maintain their sectoral logic. Subnational governments will defend their spheres of influence and discretionary decision-making against undue interference from higher levels. Regulatory agencies, such as ministries of finance, planning bodies, and offices of government chief executives, will have their own agendas. Such a situation requires information and negotiating skills to navigate conflicting demands and agendas in order to ensure that national objectives for global agendas are embedded in public sector processes and work streams at all levels.

 

A further consideration is that many global agenda elements are more or less local in nature. Still, central governments must dominate on some goals and establish an enabling environment for the others. Often, implementation will occur on the ground, requiring cooperation of local actors. There is also a territorial integration dimension-some goals must be pursued together in specific local jurisdictions, although they may require higher level-support.

 

Given this diverse array of actors, it is necessary to seek ways to build on existing cooperation mechanisms and networks or create new ones that can meet the challenges at hand. Such mechanisms must be able to generate patterns of interactions that are based on common interests, provide some clarity on authority and roles, and facilitate communication and collaboration among the actors.

 

This panel seeks to explore to what extent, and how, multi-actor collaboration in the developing and emerging countries of the Asia-Pacific region could determine and influence national agenda-setting for implementing the global agendas. What types of incentives, relationships and arrangements can help achieve cooperation and coordination for developing and implementing strategies among sectors and across levels of government? What is the role of core agencies (e.g. the offices of chief executives or national planning bodies) in dealing with the global agendas? Which existing communication mechanisms can be utilized? How can policy fragmentation (which commonly leads to policy inconsistencies and hinders sustainable progress) be limited by the policy coordination systems put in place?

 

The panel will include 4-5 papers. Papers can adopt a conceptual and/or empirical perspective, and they may involve a comparative approach or (country- or sector-specific) case studies. The panel intends to provide insights on how developing member countries of the ADB can be better supported in policy coordination related to creating national frameworks and localizing the global agendas.

Call for papers

The Post-2015 Development Agenda evolves around three global policy agendas: The Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change adopted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in December 2015, and the New Urban Agenda (October 2016). These agendas are interconnected but distinct in that they derive from separate policy communities with their own institutional contexts.  

 

Being multi-sectoral and multi-level, the global agendas pose significant challenges for vertical and horizontal policy development and implementation. The various actors (central and local, governmental/non-governmental, sectoral and cross-sectoral) face different incentives and accountability channels. Countries must seek ways to build on existing cooperation mechanisms and networks or create new ones that can meet the challenges at hand. Such mechanisms must be able to generate patterns of interactions that are based on common interests, provide clarity on authority and roles, and facilitate communication and collaboration.  

 

This panel seeks to explore how multi-actor collaboration in the developing and emerging countries of the Asia-Pacific region could determine national agenda-setting for advancing the global agendas. What types of incentives and relationships can help to achieve collaboration and coordination among sectors and across government levels? What is the specific role of core/ coordinating agencies? How can policy fragmentation be limited by policy coordination systems?

 

This panel requests papers especially from researchers and practitioners from developing member countries of ADB that explore policy coordination in the context of the global agendas, with a focus on the developing and emerging economies of the Asia-Pacific region. Papers may be more general/theoretical or empirical, comparative or country specific. They may focus on the general challenge or specific sectors. The goal is to assemble a set of papers that inform further research and practice on advancing the global development agendas.

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