Resources on the Post-2015 development agenda

Development Policy08 May 2013The Broker

A large number of reports and papers have been published as part of the discussions on the post-2015 development framework. In this table we present an overview of the most significant publications, with links to the full texts. They were written by various research institutions, NGOs, political organizations, UN bodies, multilateral organizations, etc.

For further resources on the post-2015 development agenda, you can also consult the Overseas Development Institute’s Tracker Initiative.

Report Institution Recommendations
Proposal of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) This is the final report of the OWG including a proposal for SDGs. It includes 17 goals and 169 targets.
Interim report of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) This is an interim report by the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). It focuses on the Group’s organizational matters, substantive highlights of its work to date, side events at the third and fourth OWG sessions, and the way forward. Among the highlights of the OWG’s work are the conceptualization of the SDGs, and discussions on issues like poverty eradication, food security, nutrition, water and sanitation, employment, education, health and population dynamics. The report emphasizes that poverty eradication remains the overarching objective of the international community, and should therefore be central in the SDGs and post-2015 agenda.
A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015 United Nations Secretary-General This is UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon’s report, in which he reflects on progress made on the MDGs, on ways to accelerate the process until 2015, and on advancing the agenda beyond 2015. It was released in preparation for the Special Event on the MDGs at the UN General Assembly on September 25th 2013. The two central questions were: where are we now, and where do we need to go to? As the MDGs have helped in understanding what does, and what does not work, several overarching objectives for the new agenda are recommended: the new – universal – agenda, with sustainable development at its core, should focus on poverty eradication, inclusive growth targeting inequality, protection and management of natural resources within a rights-based framework, and knowledge of the nexus between peace and development. Therefore, key elements of the emerging vision for the post-2015 agenda include: 1. universality, 2.sustainable development, 3. inclusive economic transformations, 4. peace & governance, 5. a new global partnership, and 6. being ‘fit for purpose’. Overall, the UNSG calls on countries and the international community to: 1. do everything possible to achieve the MDGs, 2. adopt a post-2015 development agenda that is universal and based on sustainable development, 3. embrace a more coherent and effective response to support the new agenda, and 4. provide clarity on the roadmap to 2015.
An action agenda for sustainable development Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Prepared by the SDSN Leadership Council, this paper summarizes the conclusions of discussions held with SDSN’s thematic groups on key issues of sustainable development. The paper specifies four normative concepts on which a sustainable development path should be based: the right to development for every country, human rights and social inclusion, convergence of living standards across countries, and shared responsibilities and opportunities. Interconnected with and contributing to these concepts are the following priority challenges: end extreme poverty including hunger, achieve development within planetary boundaries, ensure effective learning for all children and youth for life and livelihood, achieve gender equality, human rights and social inclusion for all, achieve health and wellbeing at all ages, improve agriculture systems and raise rural prosperity, empower inclusive, productive and resilient cities, curb human-induced climate change and ensure sustainable energy, secure ecosystem services and biodiversity, ensure good management of water and other natural resources, and transform governance for sustainable development. These challenges must all be addressed at the local, national, regional and global levels.
A new global partnership: eradicate poverty and transform economies through sustainable development High-level Panel (HLP) This report by the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda provides an illustrative (rather than prescriptive) list of measurable targets and goals to be framed within transformative shifts to end poverty through sustainable development. The post-2015 development agenda should not only build on the MDGs, but also be more comprehensive to make development more sustainable and inclusive. The report proposes five transformative shifts (leave no one behind, put sustainable development at the core, transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth, build peace and effective, accountable and open institutions for all, forge a new global partnership) to drive development policy , which are supplementary to universal goals and ‘zero’ targets. Aside from these shifts, which apply to developed as well as developing countries, the report proposes a new Global Partnership. In short, there is a clear underlying development vision.
New paths to international environmental cooperation Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) This is an advisory report on global environmental public goods, requested by the Dutch government. The report sets out policy recommendations for an integrated approach to international environmental cooperation, with an integrated vision of international cooperation as its foundation. The AIV also refers to four building blocks (multilateral cooperation, multilateral science, the role of the EU, and cooperation with or initiatives from the private sector and CS), each with five themes (climate and energy, water (quality and availability), land and food, biodiversity, natural resources). Overall, more attention must be given to mainstreaming the environment into other international issues, and to policy coherence.
Towards a post-2015 development paradigm, Bellagio goals The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Korea Development Institute (KDI) The report reviews a menu of indicators for candidate goals to inform the post-2015 successors to the MDGs. It suggests the following “Bellagio goals”: 1. inclusive economic growth for dignified livelihoods and adequate standards of living, 2. Sufficient food and water for active living, 3. Appropriate education and skills for full participation in society, 4. Good health for the best possible physical, mental and social well-being, 5. Security for ensuring freedom from violence, 6. Gender equality enabling men and women to participate and benefit equally in society, 7. Resilient communities and nations for reduced disaster impact from natural and technological hazards, 8. Quality infrastructure for access to energy, transportation and communication, 9. Empowering people to realize their civil and political rights, 10. Sustainable management of the biosphere, enabling people and the planet to thrive together, 11. Global governance and equitable rules for realizing human potential.
A Zen approach to Post-2015: addressing the range of perspectives across Asia and the Pacific. Asian Development Bank The paper discusses key challenges faced throughout the Asian and Pacific region as a number of its developing economies graduate from low-income to middle-income status at the same time as the region remains home to the majority of the world’s poor people and a number of fragile states. The region is gaining increased influence in the world economy but is still grappling to overcome interrelated challenges of poverty and sustainable development, so its priorities will be of significant importance in informing the contents of any post-2015 global development framework. Drawing from the ongoing lessons of the Millennium Development Goal process, this paper suggests a conceptual framework for setting a new generation of goals and, informed by these concepts, proposes an intergovernmental approach to implementation.
Asian perspectives on the post-2015 development agenda. Taking stock, harnessing knowledge, and achieving results United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Korea Development Institute (KDI) This report compiles views on the post-2015 development agenda from the perspective of the following countries and region: Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Thailand and Central Asia.
Emerging perspectives from Africa on the post-2015 development agenda. (Section III Assessing Progress in Africa toward the MDGs) African Union (AU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African Development Bank Group (AdBG), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) This publication summarizes the results of commissioned papers, the outcome document of a workshop organized by UNECA and an online survey on the post-2015 agenda (administered by UNECA and the AUC). Section III assesses the MDGs to date by reviewing their positive contributions and challenges, the three options for improvement and suggestions for the post-2015 agenda, and ends by articulating the emerging common African position.
Global Development Goals beyond 2015 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) The aim of this paper is to reflect on the potential contributions of the OECD Development Assistance Committee to the discussions on the post-2015 development framework. It proposes some elements for further reflection: the Millennium Declaration as the basis of the post-2015 development agenda, a win-win approach, focus on outcomes, a holistic approach to development, relevance to a broader constituency of countries, a two-layer approach to setting goals, and a country-owned indicators and measurement.
Consultation on “Towards a post-2015 development framework European Commission, EuropeAid The Public Consultation (15/06/2012 to 15/09/2012) aimed at preparing the EU contribution to the 2015 framework. The consultation asked for views on the following aspects of the debate: 1. The MDGs: benefits and limitations, 2. Feasibility of a future framework, 3. The potential scope of a future framework, 4. The potential shape of a future framework.
The post-2015 development agenda: a review of the debate and potential elements of a joint EU strategy European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) (Andy Sumner and Thomas Lawo) This Policy Paper explains the three key positions which have emerged from the ongoing debate: a ‘zero’ narrative, an ‘equity’ narrative and a ‘sustainability’ narrative. The zero narrative proposes to postpone the MDG deadline to 2030 in order to ‘finish the job’ and end extreme poverty. The equity narrative advocates revitalizing the MDGs to address issues of inequality and poverty disparities. The sustainability narrative seeks to address poverty and the environment. The latter outlook would be bolder and more ambitious.
European Report on Development 2013: Post-2015: Global action for an inclusive and sustainable future European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), German Development Institute (DIE) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) The report identifies three potential drivers of a global partnership for development post-2015 (development finance, trade and migration) to tackle poverty in an inclusive and sustainable way. The report highlights:

  • the need for a transformative agenda which tackles the roots of poverty. The new framework should promote inclusive and sustainable development and it must build on an updated understanding of poverty, explicitly tackling inequality and environmental sustainability,
  • national ownership
  • the need to extend collective action from richer countries to areas such as international finance regulation, trade, migration and climate change
  • to enhance policy coherence for development
  • the need for the new framework to be anchored in reality and refer to the instruments for international cooperation as well as to the goals.

It suggests four aspects that the EU should address, namely: ODA levels, effectiveness of aid, policy coherence for development, and a more effective external policy to increase the weight of the EU.

Towards a post-2015 development framework. European Commission’s public consultation European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) The document deals with four aspects of the debate on the post-2015 development agenda, namely: the MDGs: benefits and limitations, feasibility of a future framework, its potential scope and potential shape. It concludes that a post-2015 framework should be one that defines what overall development goals are pursued by the international community. Based on these goals, national plans, targets and indicators should be formulated through a participatory process.
Practice makes perfect? The EU’s engagement in negotiations on a post-2015 framework for development Danish Institute for International Studies, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) The paper explores the role of the EU in the post-2015 negotiations for a new framework for development. To maximize its influence in the post-2015 process, the EU will have to learn from past experiences. Thus, the paper systematically analyses five key multilateral events (the High-Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness in Accra (2008) and Busan (2011), the 2008 Doha conference on Financing for Development, the 17th COP in Durban in 2011, and the 2012 Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development). It presents four main areas which the EU might prioritize in the post-2015 discussion: 1. Work towards coordinating policy areas, 2. Climate change & sustainable development, 3. A value-based approach based on human rights, democracy & rule of law, 4. An alternative approach to measuring social progress. It points to a decrease in the EU’s global influence, and the impossibility of the new process being led by the OECD.
Post-2015: How to Reconcile the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? German Development Institute (DIE) This publication presents the two trends which dominate the current international development debate: one which is derived from the MDGs, and proposes a new agenda for reducing poverty after the MDGs, and is inspired by the aim of improving the living conditions of the poorest people. The second approach has a broader focus than poverty, its main concern being shaping development sustainability through the SDGs. After analyzing the pros and cons of both perspectives, the article further presents the possible structure of a post-2015 agenda in two parts: human development (8 final goals); reduction of income poverty, food security, education, health and family planning, infrastructure, environment, resilience (human and social security), good governance. The second agenda deals with global public goods (7 instrumental goals/enablers): limiting climate change, joint global management of oceans, atmosphere, space, the polar regions, fresh water resources, containing infectious diseases, improving the stability of financial markets, creating an open, rules-based and fair system of world trade, curbing international terrorism, disarmament of anti-personnel mines and weapons of mass destruction. The author concludes by highlighting the need for all governments and societies to accept whatever agenda is defined at the end of the process. Together with that, he recognizes the importance of an inclusive process which will integrate the concerns of developing countries, governments, NGOs, the North and the South.
Multidimensional Poverty and the Post-2015 MDGs Oxford Poverty & Human Development Institute OPHI The authors suggest using the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which assesses standards of health, education and living. The brief proposes considering an MPI 2.0 in post-2015 MDGs, as a headline indicator of multidimensional poverty that can reflect participatory inputs and can be easily disaggregated. Eradicating extreme poverty will not end other forms of poverty. The authors suggest: “A new, headline MPI 2.0, developed by a participatory process, would reinforce other post-2015 MDG indicators”.
No future without justice: Report of the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives Dag Hammerskjöld Foundation in cooperation with Social Watch, Third World Network, DAWN, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Global Policy Forum and Terre des Hommes This report assesses conventional and alternative models of development and well-being. It reconsiders development goals and indicators, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), draws conclusions for future development strategies and discusses specific policy recommendations for the Rio+20 Conference and the post-2015 development agenda. Please find the executive summary of the report here.
Ending Poverty in Our Generation Save the Children’s vision for a post-2015 framework Save the children This report sets out Save the Children’s priorities and vision for a new development framework – consisting of ten key goals – that will support the creation of a world where all people everywhere realize their human rights within a generation. The main cross-cutting principles are: reducing inequality, increasing transparency and accountability, creating synergies, ensuring access is not at the expense of outcome, environmental sustainability. These elements underlie the following 10 goals to be achieved by 2030: a) foundations of human development: 1. Eradication of extreme poverty and reduction of relative poverty through inclusive growth and decent work, 2. Eradication of hunger, halve stunting, and ensure universal access to sustainable food, water and sanitation, 3. End preventable child and maternal mortality and provide healthcare for all, 4. Ensure all children receive a good-quality education and have good learning outcomes, 5. Ensure all children live a life free from all forms of violence, are protected in conflict and thrive in a safe family environment, 6. Governance will be more open, accountable and inclusive, b) supportive and sustainable environments: 7. Robust global partnerships for more and effective use of financial resources, 8. Build disaster-resilient societies, 9. Have a sustainable, healthy and resilient environment for all, 10. Deliver sustainable energy to all.
Recommendations on the Post-2015 Development Framework Care International This proposal highlights the necessity of a strong focus on women’s empowerment and gender equality within the future framework. On that basis it suggests the following issues: social equality; 1.women’s empowerment and gender equality as a central pillar, 2.fully integration of human rights with special attention to women’s and girls’ rights, health equity; 3.particular attention on to sexual, reproductive and maternal health and rights, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and food and livelihood security; 4.deliver inclusive and sustainable economic growth, 5. Renew commitment, investment and strategic approaches to tackle the root causes of hunger and food insecurity, environmental sustainability; 6. Address the impact of environmental degradation, climate change, and disasters on the achievement of poverty eradication and lasting sustainable development, humanitarian emergencies and conflicts; 7. Include a goal related to emergencies and natural disasters with a particular emphasis on the needs of women and girls, 8. Address issues of peace, conflict and security with special attention to women, and prioritize development in conflict-affected states, ownership, participation and accountability; 9. Establish and implement country-level ownership of the future post-2015 framework, 10. Acknowledge the vital role of civil society, 11. Commit to accountability and tracking results.
Righting the MDGs: contexts and opportunities for a post-2015 development framework Action Aid This paper lays out key principles and approaches that should guide a new framework in response to the changes in landscape since the adoption of the MDGs, namely: socioeconomic (financial crisis, economic downturn), political (shifting balance of powers) and environmental (resource scarcity, environmental crisis). It builds on the strengths of the MDGs while addressing some of their shortcomings: inequality, human rights-based approach. It addresses issues like the changed nature of poverty, development finance (emphasizing domestic sources), and women’s rights as a major concern. The paper proposes that any new framework takes account of the following factors: Human rights, equality and gender, environmental sustainability, universality, adaptability and accountability, new financing, reasserting MDGs that have not been met – and ramping up ambition.
A safe and just space for humanity OXFAM This Discussion Paper sets out a visual framework for sustainable development – shaped like a doughnut – by combining the concept of planetary boundaries with the complementary concept of social boundaries. The social foundation forms an inner boundary, below which are many dimensions of human deprivation. The environmental ceiling forms an outer boundary, beyond which are many dimensions of environmental degradation. Between the two boundaries lies an area – shaped like a doughnut – which represents an environmentally safe and socially just space for humanity to thrive in. It is also the space in which inclusive and sustainable economic development takes place.
100 voices: Southern perspectives on what should come after the MDGs CAFOD – Institute for Development Studies (IDS) The main voices responding to questions about what will happen after 2015 have been those of established experts from powerful countries in the North. This joint research by CAFOD and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) seeks to broaden the conversation, and to ensure that the voices of those directly involved in fighting poverty in the South are heard. Among the key findings are: Overwhelming support for a post-2015 framework, MDGs were “a good thing”, despite their problems, a post-2015 framework must be developed through an inclusive, participative process; in partnership between North and South, it must take better account of country contexts, it must address climate change and the environment.
Equity, inequality and human development in a post-2015 framework UNDP Human Development Report Office (Claire Melamed and Emma Samman) A focus on tackling inequality ought to be central to a human development approach to the post-2015 framework. This paper will argue for an agenda in which this focus features explicitly. It calls for an expansive conception of inequality across multiple dimensions of development and on multiple levels—within countries, among people regardless of where they live, and encompassing both present and future generations.
A Post-2015 Framework for Development: Starting a Substantive Conversation United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Overseas Development Institute (ODI) This is the report on a workshop entitled “A Post-2015 Framework for Development: Starting a Substantive Conversation” during which the technical and political work needed for a post-2015 agreement were discussed. The key questions were: What would we want a global agreement to do, and how? How could an agreement be designed to encourage these changes at global or national level? How should a new global agreement link to the national level? What kind of politics and coalitions are needed to produce a new global agreement?
Tracking Post-2015” initiative Canadian International Development Platform CIPD (hosted by the North-South Institute) This tools helps to organize and analyze the proposals being made on the priorities, corresponding goals, targets and indicators, which should make up the post-2015 development framework. It enables the examination of emerging themes and issues of consensus, the level of ambition of proposals and the data that will be required to track progress in the post-2015 era with accuracy and rigor. The tool organizes the proposals into 15 themes, indicating the most prominent issues under each theme, as well as how other themes feature in the selected one. It provides a comparison between how the theme features in the MDGs and in post-2015 proposals. The themes (in order of importance) are: infrastructure, health & nutrition, environment, governance-democracy & justice, peace & security, education, disaster resilience, economic rules, gender equality, income, employment, human rights, social protection, equality and children & youth.
UNDESA Survey on the Sustainable Development Goals Synthesis of responses from UN Member State Missions Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future This report is a synthesis of the information provided in the country submissions and intends to present the findings of the questionnaire in a way that is accessible to all governments and stakeholders. The top 10 priority themes (among the 63 responses analyzed) were: sustainable energy, food security, water & sanitation, gender equality, climate change, green economy, biodiversity protection. Among developing countries’ top ten are: poverty alleviation, education and employment; whereas developed countries’ included: desertification/land degradation, sustainable consumption and production, and oceans and marine systems. Regarding the principles which should underpin the development of the SDGs, three in particular were of central importance to most respondents: equity and equality, environmental sustainability, and human rights. SDGs should reflect the social, economic and environmental dimensions within each goal. The survey was not completed by any of the BRICS countries.
Realizing the future we want for all. Report to the Secretary General United Nations System Task Team (UNSTT) UNSTT’s main findings and recommendations for a development agenda beyond 2015. This report calls for an integrated policy approach to ensure inclusive economic development, social progress and environmental sustainability, and a development agenda that responds to the aspirations of all people for a world free of want and fear. It outlines a bold vision for transformative change towards inclusive, people-centred, and sustainable development and considers some parameters for consideration when shaping the global development agenda.
Advancing the global development agenda post-2015: some thoughts, ideas and practical suggestions Jan Vandemoortele United Nations System Task Team on the POST-2015 UN development agenda. The central proposition of this paper is to start by defining the process, and to debate the content later. It lists 3 main dangers for the new agenda: overloaded, donor centred, prescriptive. It enumerates the major tasks for the UN in this process: 1. convene national reviews, 2. promote participations, 3. aggregate outcomes, 4. gatekeeper. The architecture of the post-2015 agenda can follow three options: 1. MDG1.1 an extension of MDGs with minor adjustments, 2. MDG2.0 version which involves major modifications, 3. completely different framework. The paper explains the 9 practical points proposed for the consideration by the HLPEP: 1. new time horizon, 2. different structure, 3. new targets, 4. intermediate targets, 5. ambition vs. realism, 6. benchmarking, 7. cross-cutting issues, 8. disaggregated monitoring, 9. global custodians. The paper finalizes with some suggestions under 3 categories: on process, approach and content.
Post-2015: Time to Strike a Grand Bargain between Environment and Development Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems This is a Civil Society Position Paper on the integration of development and environmental agendas. It advocates integrating environmental sustainability and development in order to achieve a successful post-2015 framework. It reflects a concern regarding the growing “two track process” of groups advocating either a post-2015 framework or SDGs. It encourages formal structures to adopt an explicit position as soon as possible. The author advocates the inclusion of the goal of access to information, as essential to development.
Position on Post-2015 Global Development Agenda The New York based Subcommittee for Poverty Eradication This paper lists the following principles underpinning any new development framework: holistic approach, people centred, human rights based, democratic, participative and inclusive, ethical, universal, equitable and sustainable, addresses systemically and structurally the root causes of poverty, builds peace and security, ensures gender equality, planetary boundaries, promotes good governance based on rule of law. The subcommittee asks for especial attention to be paid to 4 pillars: 1. social pillar (poverty eradication, full employment and decent work for all, social integration), 2. economic pillar (new global financial and economic architecture, shift from aid effectiveness to development effectiveness, need for additional resources for developing countries), 3. sustainable pillar (care for the earth, CSR), and 4. measuring, monitoring and mutual accountability.
Towards a Post-2015 Development Framework EuroNGOs, Countdown 2015 Europe, International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) and Anti-trafficking action (ASTRA) This position paper focuses on a common position for the European sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) community in the post-2015 development framework and how SRHR should feature in it. It aims at ensuring that the next global agreement takes a human-rights-based approach to development and has a strong and explicit focus on SRHR. The paper advocates the explicit inclusion in the post-2015 agenda of the following 3 elements: Human development, gender equality and empowerment, sustainable development. The future development agenda should be universal, inclusive and participatory, and people-centred.
Make the post-MDG framework inclusive of persons with disabilities International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) This position paper advocates a focus on persons with disabilities, given that they are among the poorest and most marginalized. It emphasizes principles of equality, inclusion and non-discrimination. All goals should be inclusive of persons with disabilities including specific indicators, markers and disaggregation of data, participation of organizations of persons with disabilities. All projects and programmes have to be compliant with the convention CRPD. Persons with disabilities were absent from the Millennium Declaration, but given the estimations of a billion persons living with disabilities, they should be included and explicitly mentioned.

This table has been researched and compiled by Davinia Gomez Sanchez, Cheshta Panday and Saskia Hollander.