Our Perspective

      • Is the Global Partnership relevant? | Jérome Sauvage

        06 Mar 2014

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        A post-2015 consultation with young indigenous Brazilians. (Photo: Juliana Wenceslau)

        In Washington, D.C., a number of U.S. Government agencies and think tanks are preparing for the forthcoming Mexico Ministerial Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. At a recent prep meeting, I met enthusiasts and skeptics. The optimists pointed at the progress achieved from Monterrey 2002 to Busan 2011 and how the Paris Declaration started to align programs with developing countries’ priorities. This brought more harmonization and accountability between donor and recipient countries. The process now includes inter-governmental, civil society and private-sector actors and addresses gender equality, climate-change financing and the fight against corruption. The skeptics think that the “aid business” is beyond repair, that the so-called aid effectiveness agenda does not measure "effectiveness" but "efficiency" — looking at bureaucratic processes rather than the actual impact of aid on reducing poverty. One of their spokespersons, American scholar William Easterly, attributes a good share of aid’s failings to a lack of feedback and accountability: “The needs of the poor don’t get met because the poor have little political power with which to make their needs known and they cannot hold anyone accountable to meet those needs.”   But optimists and skeptics seem to agree on one thing: the need toRead More

      • Post-2015: On our way to the World We Want | Olav Kjorven

        24 Feb 2014

        Within the next fifteen or twenty years we could live in a world where everyone has enough food, access to basic health services, schooling and jobs.   That’s a different world from the one we inhabit today, but I’m optimistic, because a new emerging vision is galvanizing support from governments, business and civil society. My optimism comes from following the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG). The 70 governments in the group held in-depth discussions on how we can transform our economies, societies and environment into a more sustainable system. There is a common understanding between the governments that ambitious targets on providing access to food, education, jobs, health, energy, water and sanitation will be included in the next development goals. There is strong agreement that we need targets to reverse environmental degradation and protect the eco-systems. There is commitment to building just societies for women and girls, and to reverse the trend of rising income inequality. There is also agreement that this agenda needs to be for all countries, North and South. Another reason for optimism is that during each of the sessions of the OWG, the Member States have engaged with world-class experts, civil society and theRead More

      • A million voices for education | Corinne Woods

        20 Feb 2014

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        Girl scouts participating in the MY World survey in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Stanislav Saling / UNDP

        If you had to make a guess at the average person’s number one priority for a better life, what would you choose? Good health, a longer life, prosperity? Or all of the above? Because the answer encompasses them all. The answer is education. One of the biggest public opinion polls ever conducted and with the power to shape global policy, the UN-led MY World, is saying just that. A million people out of nearly 1.5 million surveyed say that education is one of their top six priorities for a better world. Because no matter where they live in the world, people know that it is education that makes the real difference to their lives. Whether they are young men in Africa, educated women in Europe or teenagers in Asia, like Pakistan’s Malala, they are dreaming of a chance for everyone to learn, to develop, to realize their potential and overcome their hurdles. Education is the key to fighting discrimination, to improving health and to securing better jobs – and people know it. They don’t need to read the statistics – and there are plenty out there – proving that a better-educated population is healthier, more prosperous, more harmonious. Across the world, inRead More

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