In this post I will be discussing the MDGs and where they fell short as well as how they were successful. I will also discuss the opportunities that global strategies and frameworks generate as well as the inherent limitations of these global strategies and frameworks.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were the predecessors of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The eight (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.” Since the MDGs timeline has past they have collected data to measure just how successful the MDGs were at achieving the goals. While some goals such as eradicate extreme poverty and hunger were not fully achieved, the United Nations Reports, “Extreme poverty has declined significantly over the last two decades. In 1990, nearly half of the population in the developing world lived on less than $1.25 a day; that proportion dropped to 14 per cent in 2015.” However one of the major downfalls of the MDGs were that they did not mention persons with disabilities once. This was a major oversight that was sought to be corrected in the SDGs. In fact during the 68th session of the UN Generally Assembly the President released this resolution,
“Outcome document of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities: the way forward, a disability-inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.”
This resolution worked to ensure that persons with disabilities were included in any further development discussions and programs.
Global strategies and frameworks have many advantages, the major one being that it can create comprehensive policy documents that will serve as guidelines for the entire world. These guidelines are heavily researched and drafted by highly intelligent people. These guidelines can be a tool for other nations / NGOs / Development Organization to follow in coming up with the best plan to effect change. Global strategies and frameworks are the “moon shoots” of development that can inspire great change. For example SDG number 1 is “No Poverty” and while poverty isn’t eradicated overnight it is important to remember that this is always the goal and that it is possible. However there are some inherent limitations of global strategies and frameworks. For one, while “moon shoots” are great, sometimes you must start small. Each country, state, town, and community is different and sometimes requires special attention. Another inherent limitation is the lack of enforcement mechanisms. These are frameworks and strategies, not laws enforced by militaries. This means that it is up to the country’s to follow them on their own, and if a government does not support gender equality, than that goal may not be moved forward in that government. Overall global strategies are important when it comes to international development even if they are not perfect.