Opportunities and Limitations in Global Strategic Frameworks

Global Strategic Frameworks like the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals are important pieces in the puzzle of development because they are good for marketing ideas internationally and setting a standard for where the world should head, but it is essential that we examine their limitations for inclusive development. Continue reading


Opportunities and Limitations of Global Strategic Frameworks

Global Strategic Frameworks like the MDGs and SDGs are important tools in garnering international attention and support for inclusive sustainable development. Yet, it is important to recognize their challenges and limitations.

The Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) aimed to eradicate poverty around the world and were successful in starting the conversation surrounding global sustainable development on international, national, and local levels. Despite their clear goals, targets, and indicators, the MDGs had many challenges. As discussed in our first two class sessions, the MDGs had a one-size-fits-all approach to development that lacked consideration of cultural, political, and historical contexts as well as the lack of inclusivity in its goals, targets, and indicators. Moreover, the MDGs did not specifically consider the almost one billion people in the world with disabilities in the conversation regarding development.In addition, they assumed that all countries would be able to achieve all goals 100% at the end of the timeline. Lastly, the goals lacked an inclusive approach by not including disability-inclusive goals.

At the conclusion of the MDGs, the United Nations General Assembly convened a High-level Meeting on Disability and Development with the theme titled “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.” THis UNGA High-level meeting brought together international leaders to highlight core principles and values, which resulted in support for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as well as the MDGs, but emphasized the need for disability-inclusive development goals moving forward. The next development agenda had the opportunity to meet the needs of persons with disabilities, which ultimately resulted in the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030).  Similar to the CRPD, the SDGs are strongly rooted in a human rights framework that promotes the rights of persons with disabilities in development. The SDGs expanded the 8 broad goals of the MDGs from 8 to 17. They also introduced more participation from NGOs and other non-state actors, as well as allowed for each country to be flexible in which goals they focused on, which depends on their context and needs. Most critically, they brought inclusivity to the forefront of sustainable development.

Looking at the challenges to these global frameworks, many countries view the SDGs and similar frameworks as ways to evaluate and rank their countries, rather than being viewed as a working goal. Similarly, global strategic frameworks can appear to be too theoretical. In other words, those struggling with basic needs may view these goals as too abstract and not as realistic. Despite these challenges, global strategic frameworks are important in guiding the world towards inclusive sustainable development.

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. Continue reading

Opportunities and Limitations in Global Strategic Frameworks

While reviewing the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it essential to recognize the incredible progress that has been made for development on the international, domestic, and local levels. However, it is also important to identify where the MDGs have missed their targets and how global responses, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global strategies, have been implemented to mitigate the MDGs’ shortcomings.

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Global Strategic Frameworks

The Global Strategic Framework that exists for the SDGs has made more room for participation of NGOs and specifically disability-focused organizations, however there is still progress to be made to achieve effective multi-stakeholder participation at a global level. The MDGs provided a good jumping point for improvement with the SDGs, but it must be recognized some of the significant flaws and barriers that existed within the MDG framework. Continue reading

Opportunities and Limitations in Global Strategic Frameworks

The Millennium Development Goals were established at the Millennium Summitof the United Nations in 2000. At the summit, eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established, forming an internationally agreed upon blueprint for solving the world’s most pressing issues.  The eight goals were

  1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
  2. Achieve Universal Primary Education
  3. Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
  4. Reduce Child Mortality
  5. Improve Maternal Health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other Diseases
  7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability
  8. Global Partnership for Development

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Efficacy of Global and Regional Frameworks

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were presented at the Millenium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. These goals addressed global challenges such as the eradication of poverty and hunger, environmental sustainability, and to develop global partnerships for development. Prior to the implementation of these goals from 1980 to 2000, the developed world experienced economic growth and an increase in economic inequity. The MDGs aimed to expand the benefits of development to excluded and deprived populations. The MDGs introduced a new monitoring mechanism to hold national governments and the international community responsible for ensuring goals were accompanied with action.

A major limitation for the achievement of the MDGs was accountability. Many developing countries where these challenged persisted, lacked resources and a voice to truly implement programs towards goal achievement. Furthermore, the dominant ideology regarding the success of the MDGs was linked with economic growth, aid, and sound governance. This view is limiting because it isolates economics from politics and society.

While the MDGs focused on long-term goals, short-term targets and processes are not clearly defined. The global framework for development also set a one-size-fit-all model for development, assuming all countries were at the same starting point. The transition path was undefined, which painted goals as idealistic and unachievable. Monitoring processes were also highly quantitative and depended upon statistical data to determine progress. While quantitative data can say a lot about a countries development, it does not fully reflect the well-being of vulnerable populations and in cases where data is inaccessible.

While the MDGs were deemed unsuccessful, they provided a framework and a global opportunity for improvement and cooperation. With the international community and national governments aware of the limitations of the MDGs, the framework still provided a point of reference and vast opportunities for reconfiguration. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGS) served as the replacement agenda for the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs aimed to fill in the gaps of the MDGs by proposing greater short-term targets and indicators of development. The SDGs also place high important on global partnerships between all sectors of society, especially amongst the private and public sector.



Nayyar, Deepak. (2012). UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. UN Expert Group. New York.