The SDGs acknowledge the importance of the interconnections between different issue areas and sectors that have traditionally been considered to be separate domains of expertise and practice. In response to this, intersectoral collaboration has come to be seen as a more efficient and effective way of working to achieve the SDGs, resulting in increased use of the term in policy discourse (e.g. in the SDG High Level Political Forum, July 2022). However, the current literature has yet to provide evidence that satisfactorily addresses intersectoral relations and practices. In the absence of this, policy discourses of intersectoriality will be mobilised while failing to acknowledge the risks and benefits of these ways of working, much less their implementation and expected contribution to delivering the sustainable development outcomes.