Elaborating on a reflection on how to use the SDGs to formulate, implement and evaluate sectoral policies, this brief develops an analytical framework that can be used for agricultural policies to make explicit:

  • which SDG targets does the policy directly address and how will it concretely contribute to their achievement;
  • which other SDG targets is the policy likely to impact. If the specific inputs of this brief are methodological in nature, they could be used to further operationalize the Commission’s announcements—for the reform of the CAP and beyond.


  • SDGs need to become more than just a preamble to the framing of sectoral policy reforms, and must (i) be used to identify the key targets that the policy intends to address and the other impacts against which the policy should be evaluated, (ii) be translated in a way that is relevant for the sector considered and for the specific national or regional context, and (iii) lead to the identification of monitoring indicators.
  • On the basis of an extended vision of the agricultural sector that encompasses its links to territories, food systems and the bioeconomy, and which takes into account the interrelations between all 17 SDGs, 47 relevant SDG targets were selected to propose:

    → A comprehensive “check-list” of 10 categories of objectives that the CAP shall consider, either to improve its direct impacts or to anticipate potential negative effects. These 10 objective categories were classified into 3 larger groups reflecting (i) the socioeconomic stakes at the farm level; (ii) the environmental stakes; (iii) the larger societal stakes;

    → A list of targets and indicators for the 10 categories of objectives, built on the basis of SDG indicators or existing databases. It is shown that several indicators—e.g. those linked to farm resilience and entrepreneurship—are still difficult to document or to agree upon, for which further research and consensus would be needed.
  • Despite its limits, this framework constitutes a necessary starting point, simpler than the SDGs, but still comprehensive, to foster better reporting and to trigger constructive debates in the development of new agricultural policies.
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