Weeekly Round-up: MDGs

If you haven’t had enough about the MDGs, here are some more articles:

  • The Economist has an entire series of articles on the MDGs, complete with readers’ letters.
  • If you want to see how a other actors (i.e. beyond bi- and multilateral agencies and national governments) you can look at the Millennium Promise, the “leading international non-profit organization solely committed to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals”. This oversees the Millennium Villages project (more of which later), which are a brainchild of Jeffrey Sachs, whom you might remember from previous discussions.
  • Here is also a talk about the role of innovation in achieving the MDGs.

On a more critical note, the Guardian draws some development lessons from Tunisia and Egypt:

A recent initiative gauging progress on the millennium development goals ranks Tunisia as joint first among 137 countries, while Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Iran are ranked joint third. Similarly, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco score as top movers on the 2010 Human Development Index, a hybrid measure of income, education and health. Significant increases in living standards, as measured by the MDGs and HDI, have not satisfied citizens’ needs and aspirations, and this raises issues on how we conceptualise, measure and promote development.

The conclusion is that inequality matters – not only inequality of income, but also (or especially) inequality of employment and political power. In other words, inequality of opportunity.

And because you asked what will happen after 2015, here is the question being asked right back to you: Are you ready for the MDGs 2.0

Finally, here is some news on the US (international affairs) budget debate. Speaking of which, I overlooked a link Julia submitted last week, so here it is. Given proposals to eliminate foreign aid completely, the article highlights the importance of foreign aid as a tool for conflict prevention (and thus US security) and deplores the misperception among the broader American public about how much is spend on foreign aid (about 25% vs. about 1%).

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