Funding Wide Ranging Development Objectives

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Several of our class sessions concerned the need for creativity in financing wide ranging development objectives. There was little discussion of the integrity of these lofty goals. What is a reasonable critique of the SDGs and MDGs? For some inspiration, see the work of William Easterly.

Achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are many. Over the 15 years of their implementation significant progress was made in areas of poverty, gender equality and environmental sustainability. Some 2.6 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water, achieving the related target five years ahead of schedule. Foreign aid from rich to developing countries increased by 66% in real terms during 2010-2014, and in 2013 reached the record figure of USD 134.8 billion. Health related objectives mostly failed to meet their targets.

The approval of the Millennium Declaration in 2000 didn’t go as smoothly as one would imagine it to be for such a visionary development agenda. MDGs critics underscored that chosen goals were not based on a comprehensive analytical work, while others emphasized the difficulty to measure progress against objectives and uneven progress. Indeed, there were significant disparities in progress towards the goals among the countries. China and India led the overall developmental progress, while poor countries like Benin were not on track to realize any.

MDGs were expanded into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were developed
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