Reaching the MDGs: an international perspective

Reaching the MDGs: an international perspective

Overcoming the MDG challenge: analysis and prescription from around the world  

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reached their half-way mark in 2007 amidst both disappointment and hope: although progress on the goals had been limited, particularly in the world’s poorer countries, there was still sufficient time left to accelerate the process provided that prevailing political, institutional and economic constraints were overcome. These and other issues were discussed at a researcher-stakeholder forum co-organised by the Poverty and Economic Policy (PEP) Research Network, the Grupo de Analisis para el Desarollo (GRADE), Universidad del Pacifico and the Network on Inequality and Poverty (NIP) on ‘Reaching the MDGs: An International Perspective’ in Lima, Peru in June 2007 the proceedings of which have now been published in the form of a book.

The book comprises of five conference papers entitled:

  • What have we learned, and what’s next? One researcher’s viewpoint on policy issues relating to the MDGs
  • The MDGs as a policy tool: the challenges ahead
  • Costing MDG achievement in Peru and policy implications: a play in three acts
  • Challenges to MDG achievement in low income countries: lessons from Ghana and Honduras
  • Multidimensional poverty in Senegal: a non-monetary basic needs approach

Amongst others, the papers explore how low-income countries can:

  • use research to shape the design and implementation of social and economic policies to spur progress towards the MDGs
  • monitor the financing requirements to effectively pursue MDGs in the coming years
  • choose appropriate indicators to monitor the MDGs, identify policies and estimate costs
  • adopt economy-wide models to capture the interactions among the MDGs and estimate actual costs
  • measure poverty in a multidimensional framework as required by the MDGs

In the time that remains by the deadline of 2015, the book recommends that countries:

  • identify win-win policy options that can help raise productivity and reduce inequality at the same time
  • accompany the implementation of policy innovations with data collection that can assist policy monitoring
  • invest in impact evaluation strategies, as prioritisation may vary by country or region
  • apply extra effort in focusing monitoring on a small subset of indicators
  • further research the synergies between the various MDGs
  • identify poor households in terms of multiple poverty dimensions 
  • balance growth-oriented investment with social service spending that directly addresses the non-income dimensions of poverty
  • in the case of donor countries, comply with their funding commitments and provide recipient countries with funding predictability