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

Monday, May 18, 2009


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One of the things that I have been wanting to do with this blog, besides finding the time to write it, was to highlight some of the organizations I have run across that are working on the Millennium Development Goals. The United Nations or the Millennium Campaign don't have to worry about being promoted. It is also important to keep in mind that a vast amount of work will be done regionally by small change-agent organizations that most people in the world will never hear about. The Web can make a small change in that. One medium of connection for this blog is the Orkut group End POVERTY / Fim POBREZA. There I connected with SAHASH INDIA NGO:

Hi Sir,
We just started this NGO 3 year ago with youth and are doing well & trying to achieve the MDG's with some legal requirements to work out. As soon as our legal status is completed, we hope we can do better for our society with your suggestions.

What I found fascinating is that a fledgling non-profit can leverage its self on the global stage through Web 2.0 tools. Whether it can do so at great enough scale is the question. Is there a Asian or Indian dgCommunities, ICCO or ComPart through which they could be working for greater collaboration? There does seem to be at least two sites, though neither are Asian or Indian in origin. The first is LinkNGO. They have a demonstration site. Here is the SAHASH (About Us - Welcome)site. The other is at WiserEarth. Here is their link for WiserEarth page Organization: Society for Animal Health Agriculture Science and Humanity - WiserEarth. They both provide important information about Sahash India NGO. They are also fellow Bloggers at SAHASH INDIA NGO.

I know that such levels of collaborative web programs have been created in India through my other blog Creating Economic Opportunity At All Levels. In my view though it is the European organizations such as EUFORIC Europe's Forum On International Cooperation that have the most to teach us about Web 2.0 collaboration. This is where the web could make a substantial difference in making the world a better place.

The work of Sahash India NGO will be at a regional level, but if it is not supported at a national level and we do not support groups like it at a global level, then the viability of reaching the 2015 Millennium Development Goals is highly questionable. It certainly can't be done by only outsiders to the region where the problems exist. It is not simply a matter of getting the G20 to agree, commit and live up to that commitment. A tremendous amount of management and resource organization must occur from the halls of the United Nations and other global organizations to the on-the-ground providers.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Getting Educated about Millennium Development Goal No. 2

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This is a guest post on the Universal Education Millenium Development Goal written by BlogCatalog colleague Claus Thorsson, a freelance writer who specializes in *free college admission essays* (link to: ) and *time management tips for college students*.

MDG 2: Giving Children and the World a Better Future

The *MDGs or Millennium Development Goals* are a set of objectives committed to by the nation members of the UN to address global problems in education, poverty, gender equality, and environmental degradation by 2015. The *MDG No. 2* (pdf) aims to provide universal primary education for all children of primary school age, regardless of gender and nationality, all over the world. The goal not only focuses on enrollment, but also in ensuring the completion of primary school and the high quality of education.

MDG 2 as a necessary action

In today's world, education is the key to gaining quality life. By forwarding the cause of universal primary school education, especially in developing nations ravaged by poverty, wars, and civil unrest, children can be better equipped when dealing with these issues and when rebuilding their nation in the future.

The benefit for humanity in general

One of the main causes of poverty is *lack of education* (see page 16). By addressing education problems, one is not only helping children make a better life for themselves and their families, but one is also combating poverty as one of its roots. Through education, developing nations have a better chance of improving their situation and creating a better future for their countries. This results in narrowing the gap between developed and developing nations, which then ensures that each nation is truly sovereign in the sense that it can stand equally amongst all the nations in the world economically and financially.

MDG Goal 2 challenges

The main obstacle to the initiatives of MDG Goal 2 is getting the resources that it needs to achieve the goals by the set time of 2015. Though the MDG Goal 2 did obtain *significant results* (link to:) for the past years as can be seen in the examples in Africa and Haiti, it is still short of the $11 billion needed annually to be on track for its 2015 target. Another challenge to MDG 2's initiatives is the willingness of the governments to allot a significant part of their *budgets to education*. The MDG is working towards having governments allot 15% to 20% of their national budget for education. Part of the drive is to provide free primary education for children, and if not, to waive the educational fees for the poorest families.

Gender equality

As education is provided regardless of gender, nationality, or culture, this will help lessen gender inequality and provide better opportunities for women to get a better life (MDG No. 3 Gender Equity). *Statistics* (see page 18) show that there is still disparity between the number of girls and boys with access to primary education. The Millennium Development Goals strives to close that gap.

Working with different nations and governments organizations

Another one of the challenges that the MDG faces is getting the full support of UN member nations towards achieving its goals. Apart from getting the full commitment of governments about allotting their domestic budgets for education, there are also the cultural walls that have to be broken, especially about women's rights. But anything can be accomplished through dialog, and with the *proper coordination with developed nations* and local NGOs, breaking through these challenges can be managed.

Related Posts:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finding the UN Chronicle | A magazine for the United Nations

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This blog is still more of a learning tool for me than anything else. I am constantly finding new resources. One recent one is UN Chronicle. Here is a recent issue dealing with hunger I ran across when working on the Making Hope Last Longer Than Hunger post. I plan on adding this as one of the ongoing resources for this blog.

  • Losing 25,000 to Hunger Every Day. From the UN Chronicles

    tags: mdg1, blogging, hunger

    • During the past two decades, population growth, improvement in incomes and diversification of diets have steadily increased the demand for food. Prior to 2000, food prices were in decline, largely through record harvests. At the same time, however, public and private investment in agriculture, especially in the production of staple food, decreased, which led to stagnant or declining crop yields in most developing countries.1 Rapid urbanization has led to the conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses, and low food prices have encouraged farmers to shift to alternative food and non-food crops. Long-term unstable land use has also caused land degradation, soil erosion, nutrient depletion, water scarcity and disruption of biological cycles.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Corn Ethanol Is Not Smart Bioenergy Period

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The Union of Concerned Scientists recently wrote me about an issue that has been discussed on these pages and at my other blog. Rushing to Expand Corn Ethanol Is Not Smart Bioenergy. I responded as requested. I am of the opinion that using food for energy is not smart regardless of the environmental issues. This just adds another level of concern. Although this to my mind seems obvious, it apparently needs to be addressed to prevent our governments from making a egregious mistake. I shortened both request and response to keep the post a reasonable size.

Contact the EPA today

Take Action Now

Dear Brian,

The use of gasoline alternatives, such as ethanol, could play a key role in reducing pollution from fuels, but scientific findings show that biofuels can also increase pollution when done wrong.

The ethanol industry, however, does not want science to interfere with their expansion plans. Producers want immediate permission to increase the amount of ethanol they can blend into regular gasoline before government tests are complete to determine if this could be a public health risk. The EPA opened a public comment period on this issue through May 16.

Please tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to deny the producers' premature request and focus on a comprehensive plan that protects public health while ensuring biofuels contribute to fueling our clean energy future.

Scott Nathanson
National Field Organizer
UCS Clean Vehicles Program

Take Action Now

Dear Administrator Jackson,

I urge you to deny the petition allowing blends of 15 percent ethanol (E15) to be permitted for use in traditional gasoline engines.

The The EPA has been coordinating with other agencies to obtain the data required by the Clean Air Act to determine the clean air risks of increased ethanol blending. But the testing will not be competed in time to review it for this request.

It would therefore be premature to approve a waiver for increased ethanol use before a thorough analysis of the public health and environmental impacts of ethanol are completed and brought to the public. With Obama administration committed to a regulatory system informed by science, I urge you to follow these principles and reject this request. I urge the EPA, instead, to focus on a comprehensive plan to protect public health and air quality, while reducing global warming pollution from biofuels.

Related Posts and Links:

- Tag: biofuel environment global - Shared By: Brian Dowling 2008-05-21 03:07:26
  • Mandelson writes: "The issue is not biofuels or no biofuels, but the right biofuels. Europe's governments have signed a commitment ensuring that 10% of the petrol in Europe's vehicles in 2020 is made from renewable transport fuels, including biofuels. This will make an important contribution to the EU's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote security of energy supply. But there is an obvious caveat: biofuels must be an environmental policy in pursuit of an environmental outcome - the most sustainable policy is the only right policy".
- Tag: economics environment - Shared By: Brian Dowling 2008-05-21 03:07:25
  • This year biofuels will take a third of America's (record) maize harvest. That affects food markets directly: fill up an SUV's fuel tank with ethanol and you have used enough maize to feed a person for a year. And it affects them indirectly, as farmers switch to maize from other crops. The 30m tonnes of extra maize going to ethanol this year amounts to half the fall in the world's overall grain stocks.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Innovation, Disruptive Milestones for the New Millennium

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Some articles of interest from the New York Times, this time on innovation. I was originally going to post this at the other blog. If we are to create a sustainable economy under a free enterprise system that is to be of benefit to the world as a whole and not to a privileged few, we will have to depend greatly upon innovation. A concern for some is that the United States is losing its innovative edge. A greater concern is that we do not apply our innovation to the betterment of mankind.

TECHNOLOGY | February 25, 2009 In Innovation, U.S. Said to Be Losing Competitive Edge By STEVE LOHR

The U.S. ranks sixth among 40 countries and regions for innovation, a nonpartisan group noted in a report.

The report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that the United States ranked sixth among 40 countries and regions, based on 16 indicators of innovation and competitiveness. They included venture capital investment, scientific researchers, spending on research and educational achievement.
Disruptive Innovation seems to me to be the Twenty-first Century update to Creative-Destruction, and of far greater utilization to entrepreneurs, social or private. The fact that it is currently being applied to the medical field also means it is applicable to global health issues being faced by Millennium Development Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases. In truth, those who have been involved in facing health challenges in developing countries have been using disruptive technologies out of necessity. The New York Times article below provides a basic look at the issues and the MIT video following provides greater insight from the author of the concept Clayton M. Christensen.

BUSINESS | February 01, 2009 Unboxed: Disruptive Innovation, Applied to Health Care
Using innovation management models previously applied to other industries, Clayton M. Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, argues in “The Innovator’s Prescription” that the concepts behind “disruptive innovation” can reinvent health care. The term “disruptive innovation,” which he introduced in 2003, refers to an unexpected new offering that through price or quality improvements turns a market on its head.

The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution to the Healthcare Crisis

Christensen distills several books' worth of research describing how business leaders sometimes metamorphose into losers when confronted with market-rocking innovations. He also reveals how we may harness his insights in such socially significant and complex industries as healthcare.
The final question is what does one need to strive in such an environment. The answer below is taken from the private sector, but I believe, as I so often do, that there are important lessons to be taken from the private sector in creating a sustainable, efficient and effective system for delivering public services and social goods.

Corner Office: The Keeper of That Tapping Pen By ADAM BRYANT Anne M. Mulcahy, who led a turnaround at Xerox, says it "learned a lot about identifying failure quickly."

Q. Do you find yourself looking for certain qualities in a candidate more than you did several years ago?

Adaptability and flexibility. One of the things that is mind-boggling right now is how much we have to change all the time. For anybody who’s into comfort and structure, it gets harder and harder to feel satisfied in the company. It’s almost like you have to embrace a lot of ambiguity and be adaptable and not get into the rigidness or expectation-setting that I think there used to be 10 years ago, when you could kind of plot it out and define where you were going to go.

Related Posts:

Millennium Bloggers (more at the Wiki)

Global News Sources

The Other Blog - My Pathways to New Paradigms