Monday, 10 September 2012

Post-2015 Blog Week: Welcome!

Georgi York is Campaigns Intern at End Water Poverty, and has co-ordinated our Post-2015 Blog Week. Here she introduces the week by giving some background information on what our guest bloggers will be discussing.

This post marks the opening of End Water Poverty’s Post-2015 Blog Week, which is based around the question: ‘What should come after the Millennium Development Goals?’ We’ve got some fantastic guest bloggers lined up, representing civil society from across different development sectors and across the world. Each of these brings a unique perspective on the post-2015 development process and what the new development framework should include.
Before the guest bloggers have their say, I think it’s important to be clear about what we are discussing. Phrases such as ‘the post-2015 development process’ aren’t exactly easy to understand, so let’s get back to basics.
In 2000, all members of the United Nations signed the Millennium Declaration, which stated that every individual has the right to dignity, freedom, equality, a basic standard of living that includes freedom from hunger and violence, and encourages tolerance and solidarity. From this Declaration, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were created, with the aim of encouraging development by improving social and economic conditions in the world's poorest countries. There are 8 goals, which are:
    • Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
    • Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
    • Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
    • Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rates
    • Goal 5: Improve maternal health
    • Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
    • Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
    • Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
Under each goal there are a number of targets, which have measurable indicators. For example, under goal 7, target 7C is to ‘Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation’, and this is measured by
    • Proportion of population with sustainable access to an improved water source, urban and rural
    • Proportion of urban population with access to improved sanitation
The MDGs also emphasise the role that developed countries must play in partnering with developing countries – eradicating world poverty is a real team effort.
We are now nearing the end of the MDGs – they have a deadline of 2015 – and the UN have started the process to decide what should come next.  At the September 2010 UN MDG Summit, world leaders began to discuss the plans for after the MDGs, referred to as the ‘post-2015 agenda’.
There seems to be 3 main options:
1) to extend the deadline for the current goals beyond 2015
2) to create new goals and targets
3) to create something completely different – to rip up the goals and start again.
In deciding what should come next, an evaluation of the failures and successes of the MDGs is crucial – what worked? What didn’t work? Why? These questions are discussed by several of our guest bloggers, using examples from their own countries.
But the process for deciding what comes next is also very important. Many people have criticised the MDGs for being designed by just a handful of policymakers in the Western world - the people affected did not have a voice. The UN has announced that a global consultation process will ensure that the new development framework is created through participatory planning, but how open and wide-ranging these consultations will be remains to be seen.
The guest blogs we will be posting this week all have their own view on what should be included and how it should be decided, and this discussion is essential in order to make sure that the new development framework is the best it can be. So, without further ado, let the debate begin!

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