How Should MDG Success and Failure be Judged: Faster Progress or Achieving the Targets?

12 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2013 Last revised: 16 Mar 2015

See all articles by Sakiko Fukuda-Parr

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr

The New School

Joshua P. Greenstein

The New School

David Green

United Nations - Uganda Office

Date Written: January 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper addresses the debate about the use of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as performance measures in three ways. First we clarify the concept; like other global goals, the MDGs are benchmarks for gauging progress toward important objectives and should not be treated as planning goals. Second, when used as measures of national performance, the criterion of success should focus on the pace of progress rather than on achieving the targets. Third, we propose an alternative measurement method and find that with this metric, countries of Africa outperform global averages in progress to achieving the MDG targets.

Keywords: poverty, millennium development goals, global goals, accountability, monitoring methodology, Africa

Suggested Citation

Fukuda-Parr, Sakiko and Greenstein, Joshua P. and Green, David, How Should MDG Success and Failure be Judged: Faster Progress or Achieving the Targets? (January 1, 2013). World Development, Vol. 41, January 2013, pp. 19-30, by Sakiko, Fukuda-Parr, Joshua P. Greenstein and David Stewart (UNICEF). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2211599 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2211599

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (Contact Author)

The New School ( email )

66 West 12th St
room 605
New York, NY 10011
United States

Joshua P. Greenstein

The New School ( email )

66 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
United States

David Green

United Nations - Uganda Office

P.O. Box 7047
Plot 9, George Street
Kampala
Uganda

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