I once read about a Norwegian aid agency that decided to invest in providing a village in Kenya with a fish-freezing plant. Only to find out that the people of this village raise goats. This was a useless investment that has been replicated time and time again. Bringing to question… can international “outsider” organizations impose on other nations? Do other “developed” nations really know what a “developing” nation most needs?
There is a double edged sword oftentimes when it comes to global strategies. And as the Sustainable Development Goals were only put into place a year ago, they Millennium Development Goals are a great point of reference to see what was done right and what was done wrong. Moreover these mistakes and successes can then be inspiration for the remaining years of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Task Teams are a great means of reflection. “The MDGs after 2015: Some
reflections on the possibilities” by Deepak Nayyar’s is a report with insightful points about the post 2015 development agenda.
A key point Nayyar makes, and that i have always argued when it came to the MDGs, is that “the MDGs specify an outcome but do not set out the process which would make it possible to realize the objectives. In other words, the MDGs specify a destination but do not chart the journey” (page 6 of report). Fortunately, the SDGs outline targets in more detail for each goal, which addresses the problem Nayyar points out.
Lastly, he also points of the importance of national context. That based on a country’s norms and mores, propositions and solutions need to be reformulated. Along with that is the importance of governments in making progress advance. Nayyar explains that “In rethinking development, it is important to recognize the relevance of the balance between domestic and external factors and the critical importance of public action.” Achieving that balance and fulfilling the call to action from local communities are fundamental in moving towards higher standards of life.