With less than five years left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the international development community is showing renewed urgency to assess the various development efforts, especially in light of the recent global economic crisis and the still-fragile recovery. What are the prospects and challenges for reaching the goals? Answers are clearly linked to the complex tapestry of progress that lies below the global numbers.
In chapter 1, economic growth is seen as critical to attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Prospects for further progress on the MDGs should be seen in light of macroeconomic developments in emerging and developing economies, and in the global economic environment they face.
Education and health are key dimensions of many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As 2015 approaches, calls for greater development effectiveness are taking on increased urgency for two reasons: development assistance for health and education has risen to unprecedented amounts, but has not led to expected improvements in outcomes; and the global crisis has forced a reexamination of social spending.
As we approach 2015 and come closer to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets, the remaining challenges take on increased urgency. One of these is reaching out to the last and most difficult groups to reach—vulnerable populations with tenuous connections to the modern state and its economy.
The global economy has weathered the financial crisis, but the recovery remains fragile. Governments and international institutions cooperated in the face of recession, thus avoiding the perils of a protectionist spiral, maintaining aid levels, and boosting emergency financial resources. Because a beneficial global environment also supports progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), this chapter reviews recent changes in the international development framework—in the context of the gradual transformation of development policies over the past decade.
Both poverty and economic development affect global biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem goods and services. More food, water, and firewood are needed to sustain population growth, especially in the poorer parts of the world. At the same time, expected rising levels of affluence in emerging economies will add to the demand for products like meat, construction timber, and paper. When current technologies and consumption patterns prevail, increased global consumption by a larger and richer population will drive:
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are typically defined in terms of the number or percentage of people (for example, halving the number of poor people or achieving 100 percent access to primary education). Whereas data are generally collected on a country basis, the influence of each country in the global average depends on the size of its population. When large countries like China and India are doing well—as on the poverty MDG—their progress will be reflected very visibly in the global average, but will also hide progress (or a lack of it) in smaller countries. To examine how poor countries are doing, the data in chapter 1 are also presented in terms of progress in individual countries—not to replace the standard approach, but to provide additional information.
With less than five years left to achieve the MDGs, this year's report looks at the prospects and challenges for reaching the goals. It also examines the great diversity of performance across indicators, countries, and categories of countriesto determine the necessary policies to fill the remaining gaps.