Intersectionality is the concept that there is no single instance of privilege or oppression, instead, many instances of privilege and oppression intersect in the lives of all people in a way that creates an individualized human experience. Continue reading
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were two strong efforts to increase development in all areas. While the SDGs are still in force, the MDGs have concluded, providing the valuable possibility of evaluating the opportunities provided by this framework, as well as its limitations. Continue reading
The rise of globalization and interconnectedness has had many implications for private and public society. In the beginning of the twentieth century, the concept of world governance emerged- a governance that was not done by one state but was done by all states working together. Instead of one nation controlling the others, this concept would mean that a power separate from the nations themselves would have the ultimate power. This concept eventually led to many regional and global organizations, the largest and arguably most powerful of which is the United Nations. While the UN is far from all-powerful, it represents a multistakeholder global governance: each member state has stake in the organization, as well as countless other groups and organizations. Continue reading
Education is possibly the most important contribution to the development of children. Education must be inclusive, not only in that it includes persons with disabilities and provides the frameworks needed to succeed, but also in that it allows for the education of all; teaching persons with and without disabilities the understanding and acceptance needed to create cultural changes that will make our society as a whole most inclusive.
Article 7 of the UNCRPD focuses on children disabilities and how children with disabilities have the right to enjoy the same freedoms as other children. An integral freedom of children with disabilities is the right to go to school and learn. Article 9, on accessibility, encourages the structural changes needed for children of all abilities to access not just the physical school but also the content learned. Article 30, on participation in recreation, includes the social and extracurricular activities offered in many schools, which should be accessible to all students. Though there are many articles from the CRPD that could be applied in a context that would increase inclusion in education, Article 24, on education itself, is the most comprehensive. This article covers everything from Braille and sign language to individualized support to maximize academic and social development.
According to a 2011 World Bank report, there are between 93 and 150 million school-aged children with disabilities globally. Inclusive education ensures that these children are not excluded from educational opportunities and that they reach the same level of education as those without disabilities. UNESCO, along with the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ICT), joined together to promote ways to implement the UNCRPD.
UNESCO worked together with G3ICT because information technology is an important way for schools to increase their inclusivity. At the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS), it was suggested that these ICTs could increase inclusion. These ICTs could have assistive technology, encourage personalized learning, have self-accommodation that could increase independence, and other important technologies. Screen readers, alternative keyboards, and alternative communication devices are just a few examples of amazing technologies that could be used to increase the accessibility of education for all. With information technology available, more people than ever will be able to access quality education and move further on the road to achieving their dreams.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was a global framework of development goals that produced “the most successful anti-poverty movement in history.” and served as a basis for the development of the SDGs (Millenium Development Goals). To illustrate the successes that the MDGs produced, the United Nations released a report after the framework’s fifteen year timeframe was complete. For example, the percentage of the global population in developing regions that lived on less than $1.25 per day decreased from nearly 50 percent to a total of 14 percent, within the framework’s timespan from 1990 – 2015 (Millenium Development Goals). In addition, the global population of people who are undernourished in developing regions decreased by 50 percent (Millenium Development Goals).
While the MDGs were an excellent launching point for global strategic development frameworks, the SDGs offer a broader range and higher number of topics. While there are many similarities between the MDGs and the SDGs, such as eradicating poverty and ending world hunger, the SDGs particularly expand upon the theme of environmental sustainability. While the MDGs only had one goal specifically dedicated to sustainability, the SDGs have multiple goals focused on water resources, consumption and production patterns, and sustainable oceans and cities. In addition, the SDGs have more of a focus on inclusivity and accessibility than the MDGs. The SDGs mention the word “inclusive” six times and “for all” another six times in the titles of the goals alone, and the SDGs additionally have more references to persons with disabilities than the MDGs.
Global strategic frameworks such as the MDGs and SDGs are important because they provide a cohesive set of goals that can be adopted and implemented around the world. These frameworks also have concrete vision that provides clarity when working with big-picture, abstract ideas. It is also beneficial that the frameworks provide timelines, which adds both a sense of urgency and a reference point to measure successes. Some of the possible limitations of these frameworks are that the number and expansiveness of the goals could potentially be overwhelming, as they address issues in multiple levels of society and each have a relatively broad focus. In addition, countries could have reservations as to which goals they want to follow, and not work towards every goal. However, despite the potential limitations, global strategic frameworks are a key institution in facilitating international collaboration. These frameworks are particularly important for issues such as sustainable development, that impact every corner of the world. When the SDG framework timeline ends in 2030 and a new set of United Nations development goals are released, the new set of goals would ideally follow the trend that the SDGs took after the MDGs and continue to become even more inclusive in the future.
Yesterday during class, we discussed intersectionality within the context of international development, specifically in regards to the identities of individuals or groups of people and its implication on policy making.
Moving Forward in Inclusive, Sustainable Development
The simple fact is that the world’s global, grand challenges cannot be solved overnight. As a result, maintaining inclusive, sustainable development is truly a process that can be accomplished to varying degrees in the short-time, medium-term, and long-term. For many, this process is codified in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the infamous set of 17 goals that will carry the international development community into the year 2030. With (almost) the first five years of the SDG-era behind the world, where does international development stand and what can the world look forward to, both leading up to and beyond 2030? Continue reading