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Achieving the MDGs – A Note


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  • Kishtany, Naill
  • Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum


The material and symbolic importance of these targets make it vital to assess the analytical coherence of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) “project”. In this spirit, this paper highlights complexities and difficulties of the MDG approach. Specifically, it outlines a framework for analysing the MDGs and subsequently discusses measuring progress; achieving and valuing multi-dimensional outcomes; sustainability; devising policies during structural transformation; and implementing policies in a decentralised policy system. These discussions draw attention to limitations of current methods of analysing the MDGs. Indeed, the history of today’s rich countries shows that development is a drawn out, uneven and contradictory process full of reversals and discontinuity. The MDGs, with their ambitious, linear, broad, and essentially ahistorical set of socio-economic goals belie this complexity; contemporary developed countries measured yesterday with today’s MDG yardstick might well have been branded “failures”.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 26507.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Ethiopian Journal of Economics 1.18(2009): pp. 101-116
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26507

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Related research

Keywords: Millennium Development Goals(MDGs); development policy; Tinbergen’s rule; structural transformation;

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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2004. "Vulnerability in a Stochastic Dynamic Model," Development and Comp Systems 0409003, EconWPA.
  2. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning & Bill Kinsey, 2003. "Growth and Risk: Methodology and Micro Evidence," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-068/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 19 Sep 2006.
  3. repec:dgr:uvatin:2003070 is not listed on IDEAS
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