Scaling Up Integrated Local Development Innovations- A Global Programme Partnership Proposal

21 Feb 2011

With just five years until the 2015 target date, many countries have made substantial progress toward achieving their nationally set targets. Before 2008, many developing countries enjoyed strong economic growth that helped reduce poverty and strengthen public service delivery. Even with the recent economic downturn, "progress on poverty reduction is still being made," and "the developing world as a whole remains on track to achieve the poverty reduction target by 2015" (UN MDG Report, 2010). Major advances are being made in increasing primary school attendance even in the poorest countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Improvements have been made in key health interventions, such as malaria control and HIV prevention and treatment, and provision of immunization (UN MDG Report, 2010). The wide application of technology such as mobile phones has improved access to information, markets and services for many of the world's poor. Evidence from the past decade confirms that, even in the most challenging circumstances, the MDGs are achievable if they enjoy sustained commitment from governments and international partners.

However, progress toward the MDGs has been uneven, and large disparities still persist among and within countries. The recent financial crisis and the resulting global economic recession, as well as climate change, are directly harming the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable. In many fragile states, least developed countries (LDCs), and countries in or emerging from conflict, there is a real threat of halt or reversal of the progress made toward the MDGs. As a result of the recent economic crisis, an estimated 50 million more people will fall into poverty by the end of 2010 and one third of the world population—about 2 billion people—remains in poverty, living on $2 or less per day (WB Global Monitoring Report, 2010). The impact of the crisis is felt deeply across other MDGs: under-five child mortality could reach 1.2 million, some 350,000 children will fail to complete primary school, and 100 million more people will lose access to safe drinking water (Global Monitoring Report, 2010). Furthermore, the economic crisis and climate change disproportionately affect women, children and vulnerable groups.

Progress toward the MDGs continues, but there are persisting and increasing inequalities "between the rich and the poor, between rural populations or those living in slums and better off urban populations, and those disadvantaged by geographic location, sex, age, disability and ethnicity" (UN MDG Report, 2010). Lack of access to essential public services such as health and education, infrastructure facilities such as water and sanitation, productive assets such as land, and limited opportunities to be engaged in decent employment threaten to perpetuate poverty across generations. The recent MDG International Assessment reported that countries with greater inequality are more likely to make slower progress toward the MDGs, and poverty, measured at $1.25 per day, tends to be 42% higher in such countries than in countries with lower disparities. Disparities in nutrition between rural and urban children have increased in Latin America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia. In Southern Asia, 60% of children in the poorest regions were underweight, compared with 25% in the richest households (UN MDG Report, 2010). Disparities in access to quality education and health services disproportionately affect the poor, especially women and girls. Three fourths of those who do not have access to water live in rural areas (UNDP International Assessment (IA), 2010).

For more information please contact:
Xiaojun (Grace) Wang (Practice Manager) -
Tuya Altangerel (Policy Specialist) -

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