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Assessing the odds of achieving the MDGs


  • Go, Delfin S.
  • Quijada, Jose Alejandro


How many countries are on target to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015? How many countries are off target, and how far are they from the goals? And what factors are essential for improving the odds that off-target countries can reach the goals? This paper examines these questions and takes a closer look at the diversity of country progress. The authors argue that the answers from the available data are surprisingly hopeful. In particular, two-thirds of developing countries are on target or close to being on target for all the Millennium Development Goals. Among developing countries that are falling short, the average gap of the top half is about 10 percent. For those countries that are on target, or close to it, solid economic growth and good policies and institutions have been the key factors in their success. With improved policies and faster growth, many countries that are close to becoming on target could still achieve the targets in 2015 or soon after.

Suggested Citation

  • Go, Delfin S. & Quijada, Jose Alejandro, 2011. "Assessing the odds of achieving the MDGs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5825, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5825

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Arbache, Jorge & Go, Delfin S. & Page, John, 2008. "Is Africa's economy at a turning point?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4519, The World Bank.
    3. 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.
    4. Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen, 2010. "Fragility and MDG Progress: How useful is the Fragility Concept?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 41, Courant Research Centre PEG.
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    Cited by:

    1. Moroni, Stefano & Antoniucci, Valentina & Bisello, Adriano, 2016. "Energy sprawl, land taking and distributed generation: towards a multi-layered density," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 266-273.

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    Population Policies; E-Business; Achieving Shared Growth; Primary Education; Country Strategy&Performance;

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