Opportunities and Limitations in Global Strategic Frameworks

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.

The MDGs had many successes. On the MDG Monitor website, progress can be seen, such as decreased extreme poverty, increased enrollment in primary school, and improved access to clean water. The structure of the MDGs was also very successful, as they provided a framework for national governments to form their own objectives. This encouraged states to take on the MDGs themselves and implement policies that would further development.

However, the MDGs had many limitations. In the outcome document from the high-level meeting of the General Assembly towards the end of the MDGs, which took place in 2013, a huge emphasis was placed on a disability-inclusive development agenda after 2015. This need for inclusion was recalled during the creation of the SDGs, as the SDGs contain important mentions of persons with disabilities, including in SDG 4, SDG10, and SDG 17, focusing on education, inequality, and implementation, respectively. The SDGs also improved upon the MDGs by becoming more collaborative. The SDGs include the private sector more than the MDGs did, and their roots in human rights encourage the participation of more civil society actors.

Though the SDGs and the MDGs are just two examples of global strategic frameworks, they show that frameworks can be improved upon and become more inclusive. Just as the SDGs improved upon the MDGs, actors can create updates for other frameworks that make the frameworks more inclusive of persons with all abilities, as well as for other stakeholders.