Solving cross-sectoral policy problems: adding a cross-sectoral dimension to assess policy performance

Wiedemann, Ruth; Ingold, Karin (2022). Solving cross-sectoral policy problems: adding a cross-sectoral dimension to assess policy performance. Journal of environmental policy & planning, 24(5), pp. 526-539. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/1523908X.2021.1960809

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Many policy problems such as climate change, water pollution, or biodiversity loss originate in one sector or location but deploy their effects elsewhere and so require comprehensive regulation that is both source-directed and cross-sectoral. But, how can we assess a country’s cross-sectoral policy performance when it comes to solving complex (environmental) problems? To answer this question, the study examines pesticide regulation in Costa Rica. Synthetic pesticides are widely used to sustain agricultural production, but they constitute a risk for humans and nature. To assess policy performance, both the substantive (policy instruments) and institutional (legislation) aspects of policymaking targeting pesticide risks mitigation are considered for evaluation. More specifically, the policy mix of instruments in respective action plans as well as legislation in respective laws and regulations are analysed. To assess the cross-sectoral dimension and to add to literature on policy density and intensity, criteria like formulation of objectives, target group integration, coordination and policy instrument types are used. The findings indicate that policy mixes in the water and health sector exhibit high cross-sectoral performance in terms of source-directed instruments, but cross-sectoral performance in the overarching legislation is limited.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Wiedemann, Ruth Maria, Ingold, Karin Mirjam


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Taylor & Francis




Jack Kessel Baker

Date Deposited:

24 Aug 2022 10:57

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:22

Publisher DOI:





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