The global frameworks that we have, like Millennial Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals, represent ways to see the “grand challenges” the world is currently facing. The Millennial Development Goals made significant progress since 2000, but there was still a lot of disproportionate growth and improvement worldwide. There was a lot of disparity in wealth, for example, when comparing rural and urban areas.
The Millennial Development Goals were wide in scope and did cover lots of different problems that needed to be tackled, however the indicators of progress and plans to continue forward were not specific enough. There wasn’t a reliable method of measurement laid out, and were less comprehensive than the SDGs since they did not have specific action plans for each step in the process. Another issue with the MDGs was the inability to get a good picture of the progress made after 15 years, since there was strong enough measuring and recording of the starting point in 2000. They didn’t have much to compare to at the end of that timespan to see how far they had really gotten. While some thought the goals provided a nice framework for the world to come together and see a concrete way to fix these problems, others said there were too many sectors of development covered and that many would be spread too thin.
Another big critique of the Millennial Development Goals is that there was hardly any mention of what the plan was to include persons with disabilities. 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, and when all those people are left out of the development conversation and unable to contribute their talents, everyone is at a loss. The SDGs have paid much more attention to this problem, and the next step is also to focus more on the intersectionalities involved in development problems. For example, women with disabilities will be affected differently by certain situations then children with disabilities.
The SDGs added a lot more goals and are much more comprehensive which is a huge positive, however the critics who said the MDGs were focused on too many different things at once certainly still remain.