Our last discussion focused on Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), i.e. national visions and plans established by your countries to help end poverty. This discussion aims to take us one step higher by looking at the Millennium Development Goals. MDGs often feed into or play a part of PRSPs, so we thought it would be interesting to explore them further. In addition, this September marked 5 year point before the MDGs are supposed to be achieved in 2015. We want to know from you, based on your experiences, what do you think about the MDGs, how do they link to your country’s PRSP, and do you think that they will be achieved or not, and if so, why?
As you know, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) emerged during the major international development summits of the 90s. The MDGs are 8 goals - to be achieved by 2015 - that aim to meet the greatest global challenges. They stem from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration, which was adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 heads of state during the Millennium Summit in September 2000.
As a response to development challenges and demands of civil society, the MDGs aim to reduce poverty, promote education, improve maternal health, advance gender equality. They are also committed to combating child mortality, HIV / AIDS and other diseases.
The 8 MDGs are as follows:
Ø Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Ø Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Ø Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Ø Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Ø Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Ø Goal 6: Combat HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Ø Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Ø Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
These 8 MDGs hare associated with 17 quantifiable targets and 48 indicators.
In the Millennium Declaration, Member States had agreed that the MDGs can not be achieved without effective public governance, transparent, and accountable, participatory. Success will depend largely on the effectiveness of public administration and promotion of an innovative government working in partnership with all stakeholders.
Many of you are associated or working in different institutions working to achieve the MDGs, this ediscussion should allow you to share your experience about how your country intends to achieve the MDGs, on how monitoring is carried out and on how the results are evaluated.
In addition, this online discussion will give you the opportunity to:
- Assess progress has been made in achieving each of the eight goals;
- Describe how are implemented are implemented to achieve the MDGs and comment on MDG monitoring approaches;
- Clarify roles and responsibilities of various actors (Governments, civil society, technical and financial partners, etc.).
- Identify lessons learned, best practices and what worked.
Each week, we intend to post a series of related questions. The discussion will last about 2 ½ months with a weekly posts by the discussion leader. In addition, we will summarize the main conclusions about every two weeks.
Please let us know your thoughts on this topic. Is there anything that we should include or questions that you’ve been wanting to ask? We look forward to your thoughts and views on this!
Africa and the MDGs in 2010
Since the Millennium Deceleration of the 2000 the MDGs came to the forefront of many developing nations’ development endeavors. Policy changes, political measures and economic reforms have been seen in many developing nations for the achievement of the MDGs. Africa has also been doing the same though at different pace and level. Development partners put concerted efforts to help poor nations to come out of deep rooted and multi faceted poverty. The official development assistance flow to Africa has increased substantially since 2004 but not as early anticipated and not at the rate, as many argues, to achieve the MDGs. The net ODA as a percentage of GNI (0.7% UN target) has been met only by five countries (Sweden, Norway, Luxemburg, Denmark and the Netherlands, in ranks, respectively). Africa’s development partners have not met in full their aid commitments. Further, OECD/DAC ODA to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), most of which are in Africa, continues to fall short of the 0.15–0.20 percent target commitment set in the Brussels Program of Action (BPoA) in 2001. However, the proper use of ODA in African countries also raises some concerns among different commentators on aid and development. Of course to achieve the MDGs aid is the means not the end and I would like to second those who argue that democratic governance, the rule of law, accountability and transparency– key ingredients for development. In addition, for African nations to achieve the MDGs governments and leaders are responsible for the development and well being of their nations and the citizens.
The 2010 MDG report for Africa entitled “Assessing Progress toward the MDGs in Africa” has been prepared by the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) (all these three institutions mandated by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The 2010 Assessing Progress toward the MDGs in Africa report is based on the latest updated and harmonized data from United Nations agencies and OECD statistics databases. UNSD is the official repository of data for assessing progress toward the MDGs. Africa is often portrayed as lagging behind on the attainment of the MDGs relative to other global regions. The data used in this report confirm this overall verdict. However, this broad-brush conclusion ignores the significant achievements that individual countries are making on the goals and the scaling-up of opportunities that this provides.
In a brief summary, this report mainly focuses on the achievements made so far in MDGs in African countries and the following messages come out clearly and presented.
You can get the detailed findings in document forwarded by the UNECA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, here