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

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  • Fukuda-Parr, Sakiko
  • Greenstein, Joshua
  • Stewart, David

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fukuda-Parr, Sakiko & Greenstein, Joshua & Stewart, David, 2013. "How Should MDG Success and Failure be Judged: Faster Progress or Achieving the Targets?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 19-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:41:y:2013:i:c:p:19-30
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.06.014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles Kenny, Andy Sumner, 2011. " More Money or More Development: What Have the MDGs Achieved- Working Paper 278," Working Papers 278, Center for Global Development.
    2. Rafael Guerreiro Osorio, 2008. "Can we Accurately Project MDG Indicators?," One Pager 68, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    3. Yongzheng Yang & Robert Powell & Sanjeev Gupta, 2005. "The Macroeconomic Challenges of Scaling Up Aid to Africa," IMF Working Papers 05/179, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Clemens, Michael A. & Kenny, Charles J. & Moss, Todd J., 2007. "The Trouble with the MDGs: Confronting Expectations of Aid and Development Success," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 735-751, May.
    5. Easterly, William, 2009. "How the Millennium Development Goals are Unfair to Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 26-35, January.
    6. Degol Hailu & Raquel Tsukada, 2011. "Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: A Measure of Progress," Working Papers 78, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    7. David Hulme, 2010. "Lessons from the Making of the MDGs: Human Development Meets Results‐based Management in an Unfair World," IDS Bulletin, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 15-25, January.
    8. Benjamin Leo, 2010. "Who Are the MDG Trailblazers? A New MDG Progress Index," Working Papers id:2926, eSocialSciences.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zareena Begum Irfan & Arpita Nehra & Mohana Mondal, 2015. "The Culmination of the MDG’s: A New Arena of the Sustainable Development Goals," Working Papers 2015-127, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    2. Sánchez, Marco V. & Cicowiez, Martín, 2014. "Trade-offs and Payoffs of Investing in Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 14-29.
    3. Maria Lo Bue & Stephan Klasen, 2013. "Identifying Synergies and Complementarities Between MDGs: Results from Cluster Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 647-670, September.
    4. Hoey, Lesli, 2015. "“Show me the Numbers”: Examining the Dynamics Between Evaluation and Government Performance in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1-12.
    5. Sanjay G. Reddy & Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven, 2015. "Global Development Goals: If At All, Why, When and How?," Working Papers 1523, New School for Social Research, Department of Economics.
    6. Stephan Klasen & Simon Lange, 2011. "Getting Progress Right: Measuring Progress Towards the MDGs Against Historical Trends," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 87, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 20 Feb 2012.
    7. Andy Sumner, 2013. "The Evolution Of Education And Health Poverty During Economic Development:The Case Of Indonesia, 1991–2007," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201311, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised May 2013.
    8. Bello Malam Sa’idu, 2016. "Modelling Future Composite Indices for Nigerian Millennium Development Goals," Asian Journal of Economic Modelling, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(1), pages 18-27, March.
    9. Go, Delfin S. & Quijada, Jose Alejandro, 2011. "Assessing the odds of achieving the MDGs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5825, The World Bank.
    10. Jacob, Arun, 2017. "Mind the Gap: Analyzing the Impact of Data Gap in Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs) Indicators on the Progress toward MDGs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 260-278.
    11. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:132-143 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Kohler, Pierre, 2014. "Asset-Centred Redistributive Policies for Sustainable Development," MPRA Paper 55357, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:70-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Meg Elkins & Simon Feeny & David Prentice, 2015. "Do Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers reduce poverty and improve well-being?," Discussion Papers 15/02, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
    15. Moldalieva, Janyl & Muttaqien, Arip & Muzyamba, Choolwe & Osei, Davina & Stoykova, Eli & Le Thi Quynh, Nga, 2016. "Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Did they change social reality?," MERIT Working Papers 035, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    16. Maria Carmela Lo Bue, 2014. "What drives child health improvements in Indonesian households? A micro-level perspective on complementarities in MDG achievements," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 155, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    17. repec:eee:epplan:v:72:y:2019:i:c:p:54-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Brooks, Douglas H. & Joshi, Kaushal & McArthur, John W. & Rhee, Changyong & Wan, Guanghua, 2014. "A ZEN approach to post-2015 development goals for Asia and the Pacific," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 392-401.
    19. William Joe & Suresh Sharma & Jyotsna Sharma & Y Manasa Shanta & Mala Ramanathan & Udaya Shankar Mishra & B Subha Sri, 2015. "Maternal Mortality in India: A Review of Trends and Patterns," Working Papers id:7568, eSocialSciences.
    20. Gauri, Varun, 2012. "MDGs that nudge : the Millennium Development Goals, popular mobilization, and the post-2015 development framework," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6282, The World Bank.
    21. repec:spr:ariqol:v:13:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11482-017-9503-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Ashma Vaidya & Audrey L. Mayer, 2016. "Critical Review of the Millennium Project in Nepal," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-23, October.

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