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Global Development Goals: If At All, Why, When and How?

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  • Sanjay G. Reddy

    () (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research)

  • Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven

    () (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research)

Abstract

We raise some basic conceptual questions regarding global development goals: Why have them at all? What function, if any, might they serve, and under what conditions could they do so successfully? Based on our answers to these questions, we identify serious inadequacies in the contemporary approach to development goals and relate these to weaknesses in how the goals were conceived and formulated. Despite these failings, higher-level goals may play a useful role if the practical approach to them is embedded in a holistic and integrated vision of a better world. Focusing on goals rather than targets opens needed space for flexibility, innovation, and fuller democratic accountability.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:new:wpaper:1523
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. United Nations UN, 2015. "The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015," Working Papers id:7097, eSocialSciences.
    2. 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.
    3. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr & Alicia Ely Yamin & Joshua Greenstein, 2014. "The Power of Numbers: A Critical Review of Millennium Development Goal Targets for Human Development and Human Rights," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2-3), pages 105-117, July.
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    5. Easterly, William, 2009. "How the Millennium Development Goals are Unfair to Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 26-35, January.
    6. David Woodward, 2015. "Incrementum ad Absurdum: Global Growth, Inequality and Poverty Eradication in a Carbon-Constrained World," World Economic Review, World Economics Association, vol. 2015(4), pages 1-43, February.
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    11. Nelson, Paul J., 2007. "Human Rights, the Millennium Development Goals, and the Future of Development Cooperation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2041-2055, December.
    12. United Nations UN, 2015. "The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015," Working Papers id:7222, eSocialSciences.
    13. Sanjay Reddy & Antoine Heuty, 2005. "Peer and Partner Review: A Practical Approach to Achieving the Millennium Development Goals," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 399-420.
    14. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, January.
    15. David Hulme & Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, 2009. "International Norm Dynamics and ‘the End of Poverty’: Understanding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 9609, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    16. Sanjay G. Reddy & Antoine Heuty, 2006. "Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: What’s wrong with existing analytical models?," Working Papers 30, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacob Assa & Ingrid H. Kvangraven, 2018. "Imputing Away the Ladder: Implications of Changes in National Accounting Standards for Assessing Inter-country Inequalities," Working Papers 1813, New School for Social Research, Department of Economics.

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