How should MDG implementation be measured: faster progress or meeting targets?
This paper questions the methodology that is widely used to assess progress in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a methodology that asks whether the targets are likely to be met. The paper demonstrates that the appropriate question should be whether more is being done to live up to that commitment, resulting in faster progress.
The paper introduces the following findings:
- the MDGs have led to an unprecedented mobilisation of the UN system and the international community
- yet, the results show that there has not been a post-MDG acceleration of improvement in most countries for most indicators, and that many countries have in fact regressed for many of the indicators
- MDGs should be used as benchmarks of progress
- it makes more sense to focus on the progress of individual countries rather than the world as a whole, or even regions
- the metric for measuring progress is the rate of progress, not the likelihood of achieving the target
- the critical question for MDGs implementation is to understand where and why progress has accelerated and why and where it hasn’t gone faster