Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals


What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Millennium Project Late Start

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This blog is in actuality a learning tool for myself, I am simply making it available to others who are also interested in learning about the same issues. I had gathered a good deal of resources before starting this blog. Those resources helped me find yet more resources on the web including Rav Casley Gera's African Development for the Completely Bloody Ignorant. Rav not only provides even more resources, he does a good job of putting those resources into context. I already blogged (re-blogged?) on Rav's latest post.

In one of his earlier posts, he wrote on Millennium Project: Getting Started. I am going to skip the depressing parts of his post and go to the crux.

The goals remain the most comprehensive and internationally supported development framework ever agreed. So even if 2015 is unachievable, aiming for 2017 seems better than giving up.

This is were my skeptical, fledgeling, libertarian sympathies get mixed with my usual progressive views. I don't believe that governments are going to succeed or even make a true effort to accomplish the millennium development goals. What will be accomplished is greater awareness of the need of the goals and the failure of existing governments to act. I have far greater faith in an increase in social-entrepreneurship in the world by private citizens and organizations. The term non-governmental organization (NGO) seems inane to me. That will not stop me though from supporting positive approaches to bringing the Millennium Development Goals about. Rav tries to look on the bright side and so shall I. Truth is that, despite being positive, Rav also puts forward a pragmatic, dare I say, business-like view of what needs to be accomplished.

So let's pretend that, a little behind schedule, the world is now eager and ready to fund and support the UNMP's recommendations. Where do we start?

  1. Every developing country that wants to be eligible for support should prepare an MDG-focussed poverty reduction strategy, a plan to achieve the goals complete with precise costings and measurements of the aid required.
  2. Fast-track countries, that are most suitable to receive support, should be identified (more on this below).
  3. International agencies should immediately begin working with poor countries to train thousands of teachers, doctors, planning professionals, engineers, and "village specialists" in health, agriculture, forestry, road maintenance and other basic skills. This is to ensure that once infrastructure projects such as new schools and hospitals begin, they aren't messed up by lack of staff, as has often been the case in the past.
  4. The "quick wins", cheap interventions proven to be effective, should be implemented in all as widely as possible. It would take just two years, the report argues, to distribute anti-malaria bed nets to all at-risk African children.
  5. Middle-income countries like China and South Africa, while they have their own poverty issues, should also be invited to join the coalition working towards the goals for poor countries. While their ability to contribute financially may be limited, they can offer expertise, training and certain key cheap materials - for example, China produces artemisinin, a key ingredient of anti-malaria medicine. (p50-55)

Each of these can be explored more deeply, as can the five separate systems that Rav provides that have recently assessed poor countries' governance and economic policies according to fairly strict standards. I am only going to focus on one though for this post.

Because it wouldn't be fair to depend on Rav for all the links, here is one to the Millennium Challenge Corporation. It is the government corporation responsible for using the business-like approach to implementing the millennium development goals for the United States. What is of note to my progressive leanings is that this was started by the current Bush Administration, but when I read about it in the press names like Madeleine Albright and Ben Affleck pop-up. This needs to be studies more. What is more notable is the lack of support from Congress. Another resource of this blog is the the Center for Global Development who provides a couple of reports on the subject, Senate Takes Earlier MCC Haircut to Full Out Decapitation and Responsible Appropriation? Another Look at the Senate's MCA Slashing all posted by Sheila Herrling.

Millennium Bloggers (more at the Wiki)

Global News Sources

The Other Blog - My Pathways to New Paradigms