Although the Millennium Development Goals in a lot of ways were effective in setting the stage for global international development, there have still been many criticisms towards the true efficacy of the framework when put into action after the United Nations Millennium Summit in the year 2000. The MDGs were effective in the sense that they brought to international attention some of the major developmental issues existing in developing countries such as child mortality and starvation. Although the MDGs could be considered to be successful in the sense that some development goals, such as poverty levels, have seen improvement (with “the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day has been reduced from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015” (The Guardian)), one of the criticisms regarding the structure of the MDGs is the distance that exists between the theory and practice of this development framework (Trocaire Development Review 2005 11). For example, although foreign aid is aimed towards progressing the goals of developing communities, and promoting sustained development solutions, often time, governments as well as aid organizations can engage in wasteful spending or ineffective projects that do not fall in line with their original development goals. For these reasons, it has been concluded that there must be greater emphasis upon a more “meaningful partnership between donor agencies and recipient governments” (Trocaire Development Review 2005 11). A more meaningful partnership between actors may help to mitigate issues such as corruption (within the recipient government), as well as may help to improve a recipient government’s capacity building capabilities. Capacity building is an important element for developing country governments to be structured around, since having the capacity to address developmental issues within one’s territory will essentially decrease dependence on external aid.
Furthermore, one may also question the inclusivity of the MDGs as there were essentially no mentions, for example, of persons with disabilities. Total inclusion of all members of society is vital in reaching development goals since the foundation of development is to essentially improve the well-being and quality of life for all persons around the world, regardless of which “groups” they may belong to. All persons have the potential to contribute to growing and thriving communities, so it is key that all persons are provided with the equal capabilities to do so. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (or CRPD) was a monumental stepping stone for persons with disabilities in the way that it called for the international community to recognize the importance of including persons with disabilities in global development discourse and frameworks. The SDGs, adopted by the international community in 2015 is an indicator of the effects that the CRPD had upon the structure of global development goals as it saw the mention of including previously (more or less) ignored stakeholder groups.