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Millennium Development Goals

Steve Reifenberg
University of Notre Dame
April 4, 2013
Millennium Development Goals
1) MDGs
Whats striking about them?
Historical context
Negotiated outcome

2) Post 2015.SDGs
What are they?
Where are they likely to go?

3) Development Advisory Team Projects
Millennium Development Goals
The Worlds Biggest Promise
In September 2000, 189 member states of the United
Nations adopted the Millennium Declaration, which
included concrete commitments and targets for poverty
eradication, development, and protecting the
Photo credit: www.kremlin.ru. Some rights reserved.
Millennium Development Goals
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Global partnership for development

How will the world look in 2015 if the
Goals are achieved?

More than 500 million people will be lifted out of extreme

More than 300 million will no longer suffer from hunger.

Dramatic progress in child health. Rather than die before
reaching their fifth birthdays, 30 million children will be saved.

Lives of more than 2 million mothers.
MDG -- Supporters
Time is short. We must seize this historic
moment to act responsibly and decisively for
the common good.
- UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-Moon, speaking of
the 2015 deadline

The end of extreme poverty is at hand within
our generation
- Jeffery Sachs, 2005

MDG A More Critical View
The setting of utopian goals means aid
workers will focus efforts on infeasible tasks,
instead of the feasible tasks that will do some
- William Easterly, 2006

I do not believe in the MDGs. I think of them
as a Major Distracting Gimmick
- Peggy Antrobus, 2003
MDG Big Picture
Historical, political, economic, social, cultural and
religious context in late 1990s

8 Goals, 21 Targets, and 60 Indicators

Fiercely negotiated outcome

Enormously promising

Enormous challenges
MDG Big Picture
Important role of human development

Human beings are the ends and means of development

Challenges per capital economic growth of many policy
makers and economists

UNDP Human Development Report hugely influential

Goal 1:
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Target 1A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of
people whose income is less than one dollar a day.
1.1 Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
1.2 Poverty gap ratio
1.3 Share of poorest quintile in national consumption

Target 1B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent
work for all, including women and young people.

Target 1C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion
of people who suffer hunger.

Goal 2:
Achieve universal primary education

Target 2A: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys
and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of
primary schooling.
2.1 Net enrollment ratio in primary education
2.2 Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last
grade of primary
2.3 Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men

Goal 3:
Promote gender equality and
empower women

Target 3A: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and
secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of
education no later than 2015.
3.1 Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and
tertiary education
3.2 Share of women in wage employment in the
non-agricultural sector
3.3 Proportion of seats held by women in national

Goal 4:
Reduce child mortality

Target 4A: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015,
the under-five mortality rate.
4.1 Under-five mortality rate
4.2 Infant mortality rate
4.3 Proportion of 1 year-old children immunized
against measles

Goal 5:
Improve maternal health

Target 5A: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015,
the maternal mortality ratio
5.1 Maternal mortality ratio
5.2 Proportion of births attended by skilled health

Target 5 B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive
5.3 Contraceptive prevalence rate
5.4 Adolescent birth rate
5.5 Antenatal care coverage
5.6 Unmet need for family planning

Goal 6:
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other

Target 6A: Have halved by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread
6.1 HIV prevalence among population aged 15-24 years
6.2 Condom use at last high-risk sex
6.3 Proportion of population aged 15-24 years with comprehensive correct
knowledge of HIV/AIDS
6.4 Ratio of school attendance of orphans to school attendance of non orphans
aged 10-14 years
Target 6B: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for
HIV/AIDS for all those who need it.

Target 6C: Halve halved by 2015 and begun to reverse the
incidence of malaria and other major diseases (especially malaria
and TB).
Goal 7:
Ensure environmental sustainability

Target 7A: Integrate principles of sustainable development into
country policies and programs and reverse the loss of
environmental resources.

Target 7 B: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a
significant reduction in the rate of loss.

Target 7C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without
sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Target 7D: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement
in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

Goal 8:
Develop a global partnership for development

Target 8 A: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-
discriminatory lending and financial system.

Target 8 B: Address the special needs of the least developed

Target 8 C: Address the special needs of landlocked developing
countries and small island developing states.

Target 8 D: Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of
developing countries.

Target 8 E: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide
access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.

Target 8 F: In cooperation with the private sector, make available
the benefits of new technologies, especially information and
Historical context leading up to 1990
Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-
being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical
care (Article 25)

1960s declared the first UN Development Decade
rash of target setting .education, food, small
islands, drugs
few plans of action and little monitoring

1980s stalling of global summitry and goal setting
IMF and World Bank -- structural adjustment policies
getting prices right

Historical Context 1990

1990 a pivotal year (against backdrop of end of Cold
World Development Report, 1990
UNDP Human Development Report, 1990
Re-activation of UN Summits and Conferences

World Summit of Children, 1990
Set specific goals for infant survival, under five
mortality, education, etc.
UNICEF executive director James Grant travelled
the world asking leaders what progress they were

Historical context early 1990s
UN Conference on Environment and Development, Earth Summit
or Rio Summit, 1992
Mobilized public attention
Failed in grander objective of global consensus on climate
change and deforestation

International Conference on Food and Nutrition in Rome, 1992
Lower profile
Commitment to a world free from hunger

International Conference on Population and Development in
Cairo, 1994
Moves beyond population control
Includes development when discussing population

Historical context mid 1990s
World Summit on Social Development, Copenhagen, 1995
Agenda for market friendly state intervention
Poverty reduction, employment & social integration

UN Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995
Not just another conference -- represented a movement
Strong opposition -- conservative Christians and Muslims
Focus on rights and social relations did not lend itself to
goal setting and performance management

Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in
Istanbul, 1995 & World Food Summit in Rome, 1996
Sense of overload and over engagement
Summit fatigue

Historical context late 1990s
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
International Development Goals (IDG), 1995

By late 1998, UN actively re-enters game of global target setting
Plans for the Millennium Assembly of the United Nations
Mother of all summits, in NYC in September 2000
If youre not a Millennium Development Goal, youre not
on the agenda.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan takes responsibility
Creates We the Peoples: The Role of the United
Nations in the 21
Different set of goals than the IDGs
As in almost all negotiations -- winners and losers

Results-based management
MDG negotiations

Over summer 2000, frantic negotiations
Resolutions Paragraph 19 we resolve further will be
Resolution Paragraph 20 we also resolve will not a be
concrete item

Negotiation strategy
all or nothing
paragraph 20 compromise

Historical context MDG negotiations

Poverty reduction

Gender equality (primarily related to educational disparity)
Reproductive rights/birth control/domestic violence
Requiring commitments for aid
Policy implications guidelines (look at Target 8a 8f)

MDG Optimistic
Raises worlds awareness on addressing extreme poverty in all
its dimensions
Sets aspirations high (major progress on specific issues through
annual reports and the scorecards)
Mobilizes international collaboration
Defines quantifiable targets that build off a baseline
Adds urgency through deadline (2015)
Creates new institutional mechanisms such as the Global Fund
for Aids, TB and Malaria, and the Millennium Villages
Pushes for greater financial investments in MDG

MDG Challenges

What and how you measure
What you cant measure or leave out
Who is engaged? Who is accountable?
Challenge of reporting by region and country
Policy linkages and expectations
Resource commitment

What and how you measure
Data availability and quality varies widely for several MDG
Accurate figures for the percentage of people living on less
than a dollar a day is unavailable for many countries during
the early 1990s.
In more recent years, reporting for this target indicator has
remained spotty with only sporadic data points for most
Regional averages can produce significant volatility,
inconsistency, and misleading results due to
the inclusion or exclusion of different countries.
What you cant measure or leave out
There is evidently widespread awareness of their limitation:
their inadequate targets and indicators; their restriction to
indicators that are quantifiable, when much of what is most
important such as Womens Equality and Empowerment is
not easily quantifiable; their omission of important Goals and
Targets, such as Violence against Women and Sexual and
Reproductive Rights.

Peggy Antrobus, Presentation to Working Group on the MDGs
and Gender Equality, UNDP Caribbean Regional Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) Conference, Barbados, 7 July 2003.

Whos engaged? Whos accountable?
United Cities and Local Governments calls upon their members
to write to national governments requesting that they give
serious attention to the role of local and regional governments in
writing their national MDG report, and asking them to consider
our proposed amendments which focus on the areas of local
ownership, the importance of governance and the cultural
dimension of the MDGs.


Regional reporting tends to mask
dramatic intraregional variations
Chinas impressive achievements and size drive
the overall MDG performance picture for East Asia.

Poor performance of large African countries
such as Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the
Congo weigh down regional Africa aggregates.

Nonetheless, many African countries have made
tremendous strides in achieving development
Country Reporting
MDG Progress Index developed by the Center for Global
Development to country progress toward MDG targets.

Evidence of dramatic achievements by many poor countries,
such as Laos, Ethiopia, Nepal, and Cambodia.

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for many of the star MDG
performers such as Uganda, Burkina Faso, and Ghana.

Least progress largely consists of countries devastated by
conflict over the last few decades, such as Afghanistan,
Burundi, the DRC, and Guinea-Bissau.

Most countries fall somewhere in between, demonstrating
solid progress on some indicators and little on others.
Policy linkages
In fact, a major problem of the MDGs is their abstraction from
the social, political and economic context in which they are to be
implemented the political economy of the MDGs

To the extent that all the goals relate to the role of the state, one
must ask how feasible it is that states weakened by the requirements
of policy frameworks of neo-liberalism and whose revenues are
reduced by privatization and trade liberalism can be expected to
achieve the goals and targets of the MDGs?

Peggy Antrobus, Presentation to Working Group on the
MDGs and Gender Equality

Failure of Commitments?
Failure to achieve necessary commitments to fund goals.

Failure of international donors to deliver funds committed.

Theres a lot about the MDGs that is problematic in Washington or
in London, Paris or so on, but that is mostly about us, not about the
Millennium Development Goals per se, Jeffery Sachs says.
Multilateral, accountable mechanisms exist to deliver
development, but governments remain committed to working
through bilateral programs, which are often governed more by
politics than by development metrics.

MDGs Big Picture
Historical, political, economic, social, cultural and religious

Fiercely negotiated outcome

Enormously promising

Enormous challenges post 2015 goals SDGs
Sustainable Development Goals
Goals that address and incorporate all three
dimensions of sustainable development
economic, social, and environmental to guide the
United Nations development agenda beyond 2015

Based on Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan
of Implementation (JPOI)
Agenda 21: 1992 UN resolution that encourages
sustainable development globally
Johannesburg Plan: affirms UN commitment to
Agenda 21 and the MDGs

Process to Achieve SDGs:
Plan of UN Secretary-General Ban
1. Define a path to an inclusive green economy
2. Leaders must agree to define sustainable development goals
with clear and measurable targets
3. Make decisions on key elements of the institutional
4. Need strong outcomes on a wide range of cross-cutting
5. Need progress on implementation
6. Need more partnerships with civil society and the private
sector to get public support and drive change

Process to Achieve SDGs:
Plan of UN Secretary-General Ban
1. Define a path to an inclusive green economy
2. Leaders must agree to define sustainable development goals
with clear and measurable targets
3. Make decisions on key elements of the institutional
4. Need strong outcomes on a wide range of cross-cutting
5. Need progress on implementation
6. Need more partnerships with civil society and the private
sector to get public support and drive change

Differences between MDGs and SDGs
Simplicity: Single set of goals of the
Single focal point for monitoring
Set global poverty
eradication/reduction as the
international norm
Apply primarily to developing
Prioritized social needs over
economic and environmental ones
Seven social goals and just one
environmental goal
Established in 2000, expire in 2015
Universal goals
Require buy-in from all
Developed and developing
Strongly linked to Johannesburg
Plan of Implementation, Agenda
Three Dimensions: economic,
social, and environmental
Different in scope and nature
Post-2015 development agenda

From Brookings Institution presentation on May 2, 2012
entitled What Should Sustainable Goals Look Like?

Sustainable Development
More than 20 institutions participating in the
global sustainable development governance
Most relevant bodies: UN General Assembly,
Second Committee or ECOFIN, Economic and
Social Council, the UN Commission on
Sustainable Development, Environmental
Management Group, UN Environmental Program,
and UNDP
Agencies that will shape sustainable development
and governance
Why This Matters
Money is being committed differently that it would have been otherwise
Broader public perception that these goals matter: legitimacy, credibility,
Moving toward a more open and inclusive process with wider consultation
Call to action: SDGs put sustainable development at the center of global
thinking and action

Rio +20 will help young people solve the triple-bottom-line challenge
economic well-being, environmental sustainability, and social inclusionthat
will define their era
Jeffrey Sachs

We are nearing the end of the unprecedented, ambitious Millennium
Development Goals, and the negotiations over the next two years will
define the next generation of global development.

MGSs Sources




Peggy Antrobus, Presentation to Working Group on the MDGs and Gender Equality, UNDP Caribbean Regional
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Conference, Barbados, 7 July 2003.



Global governance campaigning and MDGs: From top-down to bottom-up anti-poverty work By Patrick Bond

SDGs Sources
1.) The Brookings Institution: What Should Sustainable Development Goals Look Like?
2.) European Sustainable Development Solutions Network
3.) Bond Development & Environment Group. Sustainable Development Goals: Building
the Foundation for an Inclusive Process
4.) After Rio, we know, 2012
5.) Jeffrey Sachs opinion piece: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/a-rio-report-
6.) Rio +20: The Good, the Bad, and the Invisible by Megan Rowling (trust.org)
7.) http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6087/1396.2.full
8.) HOMI KHARAS, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Global Economy and
Development, The Brookings Institution
9.) From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals, Jeffrey Sachs
10.) CRS Report on Rio+20
11.) NGO Views Rio +20: the good, the bad, and the invisible
12.) Press Conference by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Rio+20
13.) Beyond 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals and their relationship to the Millennium Development Goals: the Beyond 2015
response to the Zero Draft
POST-2015 GLOBAL FRAMEWORK? (Summer and Tiwari)
15.) http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-28/developmental-issues/34147052_1_mdgs-sustainable-development-goals-sdgs/2
16.) http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/docs/7537.pdf
17.) http://www.actionaid.org.uk/doc_lib/mdg_report.pdf
18.) http://developmentalpathways.blogspot.com
19.) http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2012/08/three-un-millennium-development-targets-reached-and-a-review-of-the-human-drivers-of-
20.) Parr and Hulme (2009) International Norm Dynamics
21.) Melamed, Contexts. Politics and processes for a post-2015 global agreement on development
22.) http://www.ids.ac.uk/idsresearch/millennium-development-goals-mdgs-and-post-2015-agenda
23.) http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/1362Concept_Note_for_Special_Event_on_SDGs.pdf
24.) http://insights.wri.org/news/2012/10/4-key-factors-sustainable-development-goals
25.) One of the criticisms of the MDGs is that the process to construct them was not sufficiently inclusive. Much greater effort is being taken
this time to consult widely. \
26.) 16 October 2012 2
Committee SDG Meeting, Notes of Ambassador Mootaz Khalil

Sustainable Development Website: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org