How to avoid the silo structure of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
in: Thomas Fues / Jiang Ye (eds.), United Nations Post-2015 Agenda for global development: perspectives from China and Europe, Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), 253-265
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), developed with the objective of monitoring the implementation of the commitments made in the Millennium Declaration, will expire in 2015. The debate on a post-2015 agenda that is to succeed the MDGs is already well under way. At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) in June 2012, Member States decided to set up an Open Working Group (OWG) and to entrust it with the task of developing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that build upon the MDGs and converge with the post-2015 agenda.
For this crucial task it is important to take stock of the considerable experience gained in over a decade of implementing the MDGs. This chapter concentrates on the question how the sectoral or silo approach of the MDG framework can be avoided that disregards all synergies between the different goals.
The first key message of UNDP’s report “What Will It Take to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals?” is that the MDGs are interrelated: “there are important synergies among the MDGs - acceleration in one goal often speeds up progress in others. […] Given these synergistic and multiplier effects, all the goals need to be given equal attention and achieved simultaneously” (p. iv). This chapter identifies two ways how the post-2015 agenda could account for the synergistic and multiplier effects between the future goals:
1) by either utilizing a composite index of the different indicators of the post-2015 agenda that is correlation-sensitive (which excludes the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI);
2) or by clustering future goals according to the three main transition phases of human life (i.e. childhood wellbeing, youth transition, and retirement) as well as gender.