Global frameworks are used everywhere and every day. The only way to understand what these frameworks are is to see the examples that we interact with on a daily basis. Examples of these frameworks include the Millennium Development Goals, the replacement Sustainable Development Goals, and the New Urban Agenda. These frameworks affect everyone, as every country that takes part in the United Nations has agreed to accept them. The only way global frameworks can exist and be effective is through partnerships. Everyone must participate and everyone must contribute.
The MDGs were adopted in 2000 with a goal of achieving them by 2015, something that did not happen. Because of this failure, there has been a lot of negative backlash towards the MDGs. The MDGs included the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability, among others. Deepak Nayyar, a professor of economics, is one of the biggest criticizers of the MDGs in his article “MDGs After 2015.” He argues that one of the major problems with the MDGs was that they were not specific. They lacked specificity so much so that it seemed as they were not fully planned. The replacement goals, the SDGs, took in this criticism when they were being constructed. The SDGs are extremely specific and have yearly updates available to mark progress. The use of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) as a way to monitor and evaluate the progress of the SDGs will aid in the overall success of the SDGs, both individually and collectively. While these goals are still lofty, they are better structured and defined, which will make them more obtainable in the long run.
Global frameworks, such as the MDGs and SDGs, provide challenges in achieving the intended and desired results. The MDGs failed for a variety of reasons and we are still too far out to know if the SDGs will be achieved or not. Challenges lie within the systems of evaluating progress. With the world being so large and so diverse, it is hard to measure effectiveness. SDG 6, clean water and sanitation, is something far easier to achieve and measure in developed countries. In developing countries, the infrastructure might not be there or populations might be more remote, adding challenges in the efficacy of these frameworks. At the end of the day, someone will argue something went wrong. Someone will criticize some aspect of what happened. Critics will always exist because people come from different background and have different perspectives. What is important is that we do not let these critics shift us from the desired end goal.
It is also hard to measure effectiveness because of its subjectivity. It’s important to look at the language of SDGs and who they are actually targeting and which countries resonate stronger than others in regards to their goals.