MDG Success Event 23 Sept 2013

The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Success Event this Monday will review and renew the progress being made towards the eight international development goals agreed to by all 189 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations.

MDG Success Event: 23 September, 2013

The aim of the eight MDGs is to encourage development by improving social and economic conditions in the world’s poorest countries by setting targets and indicators for poverty reduction, basic education and respect for human rights, especially women and children.

The initiative was led by the United Nations (UNO), but the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and many other not-for-profit international institutions have all made strong contributions.

MDGs were drawn up from earlier international development objectives following the UN Millennium Summit in 2000.  The overall intent was to achieve ambitious humanitarian targets in developing countries in half a generation, by year 2015.

There are eight goals with 21 targets and a series of measurable health, economic and educational indicators for each target.  The overall project is remarkable in its clarity, unanimity and globality.  Here are the eight MDGs and their official logos:


As a strategic alliance expert and a global management consultant, my main focus, interest and professional involvement has been with MDG 8.  Sub-areas for MDG 8 are:

  • official development assistance – provide aid in the most efficient, measurable, cost-effective  manner possible – get maximum value and impact for each dollar spent
  • free market access for fair trade – develop a short and long-term fair trading system within the region and globally
  • debt sustainability – propose and implement solutions involving debt relief (forgiveness and restructuring) for the poorest of the world’s developing countries
  • access to essential medicines – ensure distribution of essential, life-sustaining drugs to needy populations in cost-efficient ways
  • access to new technologies – ensure mobility and internet capabilities to ensure safety, education and communications

There are some world-class efforts to limit bureaucratic messiness and focus on results, such as the MDG Gap Task Force and the Integrated Implementation Framework.

Of course, criticisms abound and some are legitimate:  sustainability (post 2015), agriculture (most of the very poor countries have rural economies), measurements are not scientific (based largely on local surveys for the healthcare measurements), lack of local empowerment (too much top-down management), etc.

Furthermore, countries with the highest levels of maternal mortality, malaria, and tuberculosis often have the least amount of reliable data collection.  The road is arduous and the task is very difficult.

But the larger issue is that for the first time in history we have a structured approach to work together within a coherent framework to assist developing and very poor countries in public-private partnerships (PPP).  The assumption is that the helping each other is a worthwhile endeavor.

The joint responsibility of developing and developed nations for achieving the MDGs increases the likelihood of their success.  This is an excellent example of ecosystem partnering at the highest and most complex levels.  The issues are deeply rooted and the complexities make the MDG realization very hard to achieve.  But what a courageous and noble initiative!  And we are making progress!

For example, the World Bank estimated that MDG 1A (halving the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day) has already been achieved in 2008, mainly due to the results from Asian countries (with India and China leading the way).  The Sub-Sahara Africa region has unfortunately not made much progress in the last ten years.

On September 23, 2013, the Secretary-General of the UNO will host a high-level forum to catalyze and accelerate further action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  By defining goals and specific targets, by tracking progress with measurable indicators, we have moved forward faster and more efficiently than ever before in the history of mankind.

Bravo to all who have been involved as staff and/or volunteers!  To be continued…






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