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Working Across Government

The policies that Ireland and the European Union adopt in areas such as trade, agriculture, climate change, migration and security can have both positive and negative impacts on poor people in developing countries. We work closely with other Irish Government departments to better understand the impact of these policies as part of our commitment to policy coherence for development.

Minister of State Joe Costello and delegates from the Agri-Food Conference

Policy coherence for development

Globalisation and the increasing interconnectedness between regions, countries and peoples, means that actions in any one region or country can have profound impact across the globe.

We have seen this with recent food, financial and energy crises and with climate change; too often the most negative impact is on the poorest people, particularly women, in developing countries. 

At the same time, globalisation and interconnectedness provides opportunities for countries and people to develop and move out of poverty.   

Ensuring that our decisions and actions in non-aid policies such as trade, agriculture, taxation, and migration, both in Ireland and in the European Union, stimulate rather than hinder development is an important aspect of development co-operation. 

We need to look beyond aid and consider how all our decisions affect the poor in developing countries. Then we must take actions to minimise negative impacts and maximise the positive: this is often referred to as Policy Coherence for Development (PCD).

Our commitment to PCD

Ireland is committed to strengthening policy coherence across our own Government and also to improving PCD in the European Union, where many of the policy areas that most impact on developing countries are decided.

Understanding how various policy areas impact on poverty reduction is the first step in moving towards greater policy coherence.

This commitment is set out in the White Paper on Irish Aid 2006 as well as in EU and international agreements including the Lisbon Treaty, the European Consensus on Development, and the OECD Ministerial Declaration on PCD.  

Our work in this areas has been informed by research and analysis carried out by the Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS) in Trinity College.

Inter-Departmental Committee on Development

An Inter-Departmental Committee on Development (IDCD) was set up to strengthen coherence in our Government’s approach to development. The Committee facilitates discussion between its members on how Government policies impact on development and explores opportunities for using expertise and skills across Governments to support the objectives of our aid programme. 

Co-ordination on specific issues such as trade, climate change and taxation also takes place through contacts between officials in Irish Aid and other Government departments. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is also a member of the Monitoring Committee for Ireland’s National Women’s Strategy 2007-2016.