The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ranging from halving extreme poverty rate to developing a global partnership for development will expire in 2015. Discussions on achievable goals for its next 15-year global development agenda (post 2015 development agenda) have been active and intensified. While significant progress has been made across Goals with some targets already having been met in some regions ahead of 2015, there has been “the unfinished business of the MDGs” toward which the international community needs to improve and enhance their approach. In addition, MDGs have not been able to tackle a set of issues that have been emerged or worsened for the past 10-15 years, including the issue of disparity and inequality within the regions and countries, chronicle poverty and vulnerability. In order to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” which is likely to be set as the first goal of the post 2015 develop agenda, the international community will have to deal with those issues.
This article discusses what MDGs targets have been met and what goals been slow advancing and in what regions. Then this examines the issue of disability, as a symbol of the issue left behind, which has been overlooked in international development despite of the fact that its correlation with poverty ratio is high.
This article attempts to examine the transition of the international assistance regime since the 1980s. The structural adjustment regime formed mainly by the World Bank and the IMF in the 1980s, declined as the Cold War came to an end, and an international assistance crisis followed. The retreat of the structural adjustment regime has instead brought to the rise of the poverty reduction regime in the 1990s.
The poverty reduction regime was formed mainly by the Like-Minded Group (LMG) of the OECD-DAC member countries. Among the other donors, the UK took the lead by proposing sector-wide approaches (SWAPs) and direct budget support (DBS). Since the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it has become a moral principle that has maintained the poverty reduction regime. MDGs succeeded in raising awareness of poverty reduction, and achieved some practical results in international assistance. There are some criticisms to the MDGs, however.
As the expiry date for the MDGs is approaching, the post-MDG debate is gaining momentum. Non-DAC donors (NDDs), such as China, are growing influences in international assistance, increasingly posing a threat to the DAC-ways of providing assistances that formed the core of the poverty reduction regime. The retreat of the poverty reduction regime yet again may enhance the rise of a new aid regime. However, it will be extremely difficult to persuade NDDs to follow the steps prepared and taken by the traditional donors, and to replace them. The next regime would probably widen the scope of aid process compared to the MDGs framework. Should such regime be established the focus must be placed on the people who are in need.
The objective of this article is to provide a critical view on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and post-MDGs discussion, particularly in the context of Japanese ODA. The article examines how Japanese ODA adopts a new international norm of MDGs which was formulated at the outset of the 21st century as a common ethical and practical tool for enhancing development commitment of the international society.
This was a significant shift in the policy agenda for international development because the MDGs, the set of eight goals with quantitative targets to be achieved by 2015 in areas of income poverty, hunger, gender equality, education, environment, health and survival, and global partnerships, have garnered unprecedented consensus and commitment to ending poverty. Furthermore, the MDGs seek to apply a ‘result-oriented approach’ to human development aiming at directly improving human lives and implicitly spell out that ‘growth is not enough’ for poverty to be ended. However, while the MDGs reflect implicitly this ambitious agenda, they are intertwined with full of political compromises because they had to seek to gain the approval of the entire UN membership - 189 countries in very different economic, social and political circumstances. Therefore, it is said that the MDGs could not adequately address governance and accountability issues, and thus they had distracted people from the structural causes of poverty. Simplicity of the MDGs helps national governments to appropriate them for their own political interests other than poverty reduction per se.
This article argues that Japan intentionally or unintentionally fails to adopt ‘true value’ of the MDGs for their ODA program while it ostensibly express political commitment at some policy statements. After the scrutinisation of all the outline papers of Japanese ODA projects presented for the examination at the Committee for Appropriate Development Cooperation in Japan, it reveals that Japan continues to provide large-scale infrastructure projects based on economic growth-oriented approach that are rather compatible with Japan's national interests but hardly accountable for poor people in developing countries.
This note examines how issues of conflict affected fragile states and peacebuilding have been dealt with in the preparation of the post-2015 development agenda. It is clear that the activities of g7+, OECD/DAC, and other development partners as well as initiatives such as the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States have drawn increased attention of the international community to the special challenges faced by conflict affected fragile states.
Bearing in mind the above context and the agreement that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be coherent with and integrated in the post-2015 development agenda, this note reviews, from the peacebuilding perspective, the SDGs proposal submitted by the intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) on SDGs to the UN General Assembly in July 2014. Comments in this regard include the following: 1) while a goal on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies is included in the SDGs proposal, only 2 of its 12 targets specify a target year, making monitoring of implementation difficult; 2) peacebuilding activities must be firmly incorporated in the national development strategy and plan of the country; 3) availability of timely and reliable data disaggregated by gender, race, ethnicity, and other relevant characteristics is critical; 4) inclusion and participation of various stakeholders must be ensured, including women, youth, and other vulnerable population, in planning and implementing peacebuilding activities; 5) risk management in peacebuilding activities should be a joint undertaking with development partners; 6) development financing should be secured through innovative means of mobilizing both public and private resources; and 7) South-South cooperation that includes cooperation among fragile states should be promoted further. While discussion on the SDGs and post-2015 development agenda continues at the UN General Assembly and other forums, the note concludes that the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies should be included as a firm goal along with a relevant set of targets in the post-2015 development agenda.
In order to put pressure on the international community, especially the United Nations which have been leading the efforts of creating the post-2015 global development framework that will replace the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), CSOs (civil society organizations) working on the global level have been active both on advocacy and campaign fronts.
In this effort of creating “The World We Want 2015,” CSOs have characterized the world we live in as “obscene,” in which the rich-gets-richer-and-the-poor-gets-poorer global system dominates. What CSOs demand is the realization of a transformative agenda in which three principles are respected. They are 1) upholding fundamental human rights and using the rights-based approaches (RBA) in looking at and understanding development across all spectrums; 2) ensuring participation of all stakeholders and the marginalized and disenfranchized in particular; and 3) focusing on accountability of the international community and of the nation-states who have been making and not keeping promises for eradicating poverty.
CSOs have created various coalitions to put forward their demands. At least partially, this formation of advocacy coalitions represent shifting norms of CSOs, in that there has been a push from internal and external stakeholders to bring civil society from the global “south” into the spotlight，rather than spokespeople from the “north” speaking on behalf of the marginalized. Among others, Beyond 2015 and GCAP (Global Call to Action against Poverty) have played a leading role in the global CSO advocacy for the post-2015 agenda.
Combining the sustainability agenda, we only have less than a year before the finalization of the new set of development goals. CSOs will carry on their advocacy and campaigns, knowing that the year 2015 may be a milestone but is not the end of the fight against poverty and inequality.
Firstly, I explain the preparing process about the post MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) related with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) emerged in “Rio + 20” (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, June 2014). Subsequently, I clarify the performing process and raff history about the concept and indicators of Sustainable Development.
According to my analysis on the recent trend of development regime and environment regime, civil sector groups such as NGOs are becoming to enhance international influence on global problems. Looking back at the twenty-year history of efforts to address global environmental issues, the situation has become increasingly serious. The global environmental problems, including climate change, loss of biological diversity and deforestation, are getting worse. Social and economic inequality in countries is increasing, while North-South gap is widening. The social distortion around the world has evolved according to the global free market competition. In general the haves accumulate huge fortunes by impoverishing the have-nots.
It is important to reorganize the evolutions and processes triggered by the 1992 Earth Summit in a comprehensive and integrated approach. An integrated framework should be developed for implementation of obligations of the environmental conventions and actions for achievement of MDGs. There, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be presented in the basic agenda for achievement of sustainable development, which ensures environmental soundness and social justice on the basis of harmonious relationship among nature, society, and people.
It should be noted that adjusting and harmonizing the framework of socio-economic systems with a longer and broader perspective. This new transition is closely related to the historical change in our values that must deal with the sustainable development, related with post MDGs and creating SDGs process.
The world is approaching the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in little more than a year. In Bangladesh, remarkable progress has been made across many of the MDGs, particularly in the areas of poverty reduction, gender parity in education, child mortality, maternal mortality and combating HIV/AIDS and other major diseases. However, the present global economic and political climate is vastly different from the one during which the MDGs were formulated and adopted in 2000. A number of critics have made by academicians and researchers on different aspects of the current MDGs. As they argue, despite generalized improvements, trends have been uneven within and across countries and regions. The UN has already taken initiative to set new goals and strategies to ensure sustainable development across the globe beyond MDG period. Based on available information, this paper attempts to focus on existing status of MDGs in Bangladesh and then tries to shed some light on the Country's initiative for setting post-2015 development agenda.
This study aims to revisit the controversial discussion of development effectiveness. I conducted a series of cross-country analyses of the impact of aid on growth, using sector level data of economic aid and social aid (unbalanced panel data of 183 growth spells in 60 countries during the late 1990s to the 2000s), in comparison with aggregate aid data. The originality of this study is its focus on institutional quality, and capacity in particular, as a key factor for aid effectiveness, unlike the exposition of previous studies, which emphasized the importance of policies as prerequisite conditions. Given the evidence that economic aid indeed promotes growth independent from policy or institutional conditions, this paper argues that past literatures often underestimated the impact of aid by using aggregate aid data. This study also reveals that impact of aid is significant in countries, whose institutional quality is improving, while the impact of aid is not necessarily depending on the initial conditions of institutional quality of a recipient country. These findings imply that even a country with low institutional quality has a possibility to achieve high growth, unlike the continuing debates on policy conditions for aid effectiveness. With emphasis on improvements in institutional quality, this study suggests providing aid packages with institution and capacity building schemes or projects would increase development effectiveness.
This article discusses structurization of donor-recipient relationship whereby donors support institutional reforms and recipient governments depend on the donor's aid, arguing that the relationship does not necessarily bring about aid effectiveness. To look into the relationship and its consequences, it examines a case of Tanzania.
In Tanzania, the relationship was consolidated during structural adjustment programs in the 80's and 90's, and has further bound and reproduced during poverty reduction programs since late 90's. International donors have demanded improvement of strategies and institutional arrangement for economic stabilization and poverty reduction. In turn, the government of Tanzania has accepted the demands and installed new strategies and institutional settings for acquirement of development aids.
However, the installment of the new strategies and institutional settings has not necessarily produced substantial impacts in terms of government effectiveness. A contributing factor has been the relationship of the central government and Local Government Authorities (LGAs). While the central government allocates development funds in the LGAs to implement the strategies, the LGAs disburses the funds to communities only within prioritized and limited targets determined by the central government in consultation of donors. The situation has entailed resource-oriented management of LGAs with a focus on acquirement and disbursement of funds instead of strengthening institutions and bringing about effective service delivery to communities. In the Tanzania case, the donor-recipient relationship is still reproduced and has not brought about aid effectiveness down to the people.
Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIVs) has rapidly increased its investment in microfinance (MF) in the past decade. MIVs attracted the fund from many public and private investors since they pursue not only financial returns but also social returns, such as job creation of the poor in developing countries, and have become the flagship of the impact investment. The purpose of this study is to analyze the MIVs for their contribution to the development of MF and their challenges to attain the double bottom lines of financial and social returns.
Microfinance has rapidly increased the portfolio during the 2000s at the annual growth rate of 45%. MIVs have supported the growth of many MF institutions (MFIs) as well as their transformation from NGOs to non-bank financial institutions and to banks by providing the necessary funds. However, the concentration of MIVs' funds in several markets resulted in too fast growth of MF portfolio beyond their capacity, which saturated the market and created crisis such as over-indebtedness of clients, increased bad debt, and collapses of MFIs. In those markets, the emphasis on growth and the higher returns by MIVs and other private investors created strong incentives for the fast expansion of MFIs.
To avoid such crisis, MIVs have introduced a variety of measures, including emphasis on social performance, client protection, promotion of ESG investment, etc. Oikocredit, a leading MIV, is actively engaged in efforts such as introducing the ESG scorecard for screening and monitoring MFIs.
Since the level of effort by MIVs for ESG investment seems varied, the following is recommended: 1) strengthen ESG investment system and information sharing by MIVs; 2) promotion of MIVs' investment to underdeveloped markets of MF and collaboration with public institutions; and 3) harmonization and coordination among MIVs.