Ellen Lammers: After 2015: new MDGs or a new Paradigm?

Development Policy15 Jun 2009Ellen Lammers

There are less than 7 years to go before 2015. Ever since the MDG journey took off at the turn of the 20th century, their outcomes have been monitored and assessed. The interactive maps of the MDG Atlas provide some graphic insights. We need not bother with complicated statistics, because it’s obvious: Africa’s distinguishing colour (not that of the winning team) stands out on all 8 indicator maps. And yet it is already time to start looking beyond the fast approaching benchmark year: what to do for poverty eradication after 2015? It is this question that will bring together EC and developing countries policy makers, UN and OECD representatives, NGOs and academics at the High Level Policy Forum ‘After 2015: promoting pro-poor growth after the MDGs’ on 23 June 2009.

The Broker is the preferred media partner for this international event. Starting this week, we will host blogs by several of the invited speakers and discussants, including Charles Gore, David Grimshaw, Michael Woolcock, Heather Grady, Lawrence Haddad, Joseph Assan and Andy Sumner.

Discussions at the Forum will revolve around this key question: what should an MDG Plus agenda look like? Andy Sumner’s article Beyond 2015: rethinking development policy does the kick-off. Sumner poses that agreeing to a post-MDG architecture is not just a question of which indicators of well-being or poverty to emphasize, or on which targets to focus, but also of the process we should promote to produce any new set of targets. Should we aim for more of the same or for something radically new? These questions have also sparked an online debate here at The Broker site, with comments coming in from India, Kuwait, Uganda, and Germany to name a few. Everyone is invited to contribute

For those of you with a bit of time on your hands: lots of interesting backgroud reading to the Forum – research papers that look back but most of all ahead – are grouped together at EADI’s website.

An important question up for discusion in Brussels is what the meta-processes are that will shape development over the next 10 to 15 years. And what these imply for an MDG plus agenda. Climate change – and its impact on food production, migration and also gender equality – is one of the forces to be reckoned with. And so are the increasingly vocal ‘new’ players such as China and India, which bring along their own sets of values and practices to tackle development. The current economic crisis is just another addition to this challenging mix. See for instance Timothy Othieno’s or Emmanuel Frot’s recent reflections on this.

It’s clear: the world has been anything but at a stand-still since 2000 and it is therefore high time to delve into the ‘post-2015’ discussion. We hope for a lively debate in Brussels, and will keep the discussion going thereafter, counting on your visionary and critical input!